Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Tamil population has legitimate grievances - Manmohan Singh

"But the Tamil problem does not disappear, with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. the Sinhala chauvinism is a reality. But we have to find a difficult balance because what happens in Sri Lanka has a domestic dimension also."

Police investigation into Lasantha’s murder heading nowhere

After two and a half years, no suspects yet
The investigation into the murder of the founding editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunge, has been unable to find a murder suspect even two and a half years after investigations into the incident since the main aim of the investigation is to blame former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka for the murder.

Sri Lanka: Rajapakse and the return of dissent July 2011

Families demand info on Sri Lankans said abducted

June 30, 2011 / By KRISHAN FRANCIS, Associated Press
Hundreds of people protested Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of their family members abducted by "white van squads" allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan government during the height of the country's civil war.

North ruled via army violence? ARMY DENIES VEHEMENTLY

by Ranga Jayasuriya
On Thursday (23) in Kilinochchi, the military dispersed a group of frail men and women who had gathered to get information on the whereabouts of their missing relatives. The protestors, many of who were ageing Tamil mothers and fathers who were clutching pictures of their missing children, had assembled at Depot junction, Kilinochchi, to demand that the government reveals where their loved ones are being kept.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields shame exposed in major documentary

"The comments of soldiers as they piled bodies of naked LTTE cadres onto trucks is yet another indication of disregard for the laws of war which clearly stipulates the treatment of both civilians and combatants. Speaking in Sinhala, the language of the Sinhalese, soldiers make lurid comments about the shape of the female bodies and one even states he would like to cut the breasts of a woman cadre if no one was around. "
By Kshama Ranawana /June 29, 2011

Sri Lanka mosques exonerate 'pornography girls'

By Swaminathan Natarajan /BBC Tamil
Mosques in the eastern Sri Lankan town of Kattankudi have made public announcements exonerating two teenage girls accused of watching pornography.
The loudspeaker announcements were made following a court order.

Defence ministry orders flower and plant sellers to vacate the park

The Defence Ministry has asked flower and plant exhibitors and sellers at the Vihara Maha Devi Park to vacate the area by tomorrow because of plans to beautify the City of Colombo.

President misinformed about demands: FUTA

President should not be making comments without being properly informed about the current situation.
30 June 2011/ By Lakna Paranamanna
The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) yesterday charged that it was unfortunate for the President to be unaware of the academics’ real demands.

FTZ workers file FR petition before SC

By S.S.Selvanayagam
Ten workers of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) filed a fundamental rights violation petition yesterday before the Supreme Court against the impugned police assault on the peaceful demonstrators within the FTZ on May 30.

JVP to boycott PSC ( re political solution)

MP Anura kumara

"The so called All Party Committee headed by Prof. Tissa Vitarana had, after 127 sittings, produced a 11,000-odd page report, but there without a solution, he said. This time, too, the government was not concerned about the real issues of Tamil people living in the North and East, "

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


By Ranga Jayasuriya
The government on Tuesday (23td June) turned down an opposition request to table the report of the presidential commission, which probed allegations of corruption and irregularities in the procurement of high value military supplies for the security forces.

We believe that progress on accountability must be made by the end of 2011- Alistair Burt

“Honest friends” : by Mr Alistair Burt, Foreign Office Minister for South Asia
28 June 2011
The events of the past weeks have brought uncomfortable focus onto the last days of the conflict in Sri Lanka. Allegations made in the media have recalled memories of a distressing time in Sri Lanka’s history. - Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt MP

Enough with the state secrets

by Namini Wijedasa
WITH all the negative publicity Sri Lanka is generating internationally, even a few tentative steps towards enhancing democracy could go a long way. And yet the government seems hell-bent on taking the opposite direction.

‘I can’t print money to pay dons’ - MR

It was not possible for the government to grant the salary increases demanded by university teachers, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. There was a salary structure and the government had to stick to it and paying a salary of Rs. 200,000 to a university professor was impossible, he said.

U.S. threatens action against Colombo for failure to redress Tamils

The United States on Tuesday hardened its stand against Sri Lanka government cautioning it to take necessary steps to book the perpetrators of alleged war-crimes in the country and to bring together the war-torn north and east with the rest of the country after 26 years of war.

IBA regrets BASL's condemnation of UN expert panel

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute says it is disappointed by the recent resolution of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka condemning both the appointment of the UN expert panel and its subsequent report.

Watching ‘Killing Fields’ was ‘most painful fifty minutes I have ever spent watching anything on a screen’

28 June 2011/by Preeta Samarasan
Among some of my oldest relatives, there’s a custom of recording weddings gifts given and received in order to ensure that no family is left feeling cheated.

European Conservative bloc calls for maximum autonomy for Tamil areas, justice for war crimes

A center-right bloc of Conservative parliamentarians in the European Parliament Tuesday expressed support for “a just and peaceful solution for the Tamil community of Sri Lanka” and for “a negotiated political solution which can achieve maximum autonomy and regional devolution to Tamil majority areas within a single Sri Lankan state”, as well as “justice for all alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the conflict.”

US warns Sri Lanka on war crime charges

WASHINGTON - THE United States on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to move quickly to address allegations of war crimes, warning of rising pressure for international action if it does not.

The Lankan government's might to information

Sutirtho Patranobis, June 28, 2011

A two-thirds majority in a 225-member Parliament usually means that in the last election the people overwhelmingly voted for the current government. But does that mean that citizens have abdicated the right to ask questions? Or, even better, have handed over the right to control their thoughts to the

Sri Lanka police investigate attack on teenage girls ( in Kathankudi)

The case has fuelled concern about a rise in radical Islam in that area.
By Swaminathan Natarajan BBC Tamil
Sri Lankan police are investigating an assault on two girls apparently accused of watching pornography in the east of the country last week.A group of men allegedly beat up the 17-year-olds after they came out of an internet cafe in the mostly Muslim town of Kattankudi, near Batticaloa.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Plans afoot to “Sinhalacise” Tamil border villages in east, says MP

Of 310 families which fled from their homes only 70 have returned to the village Poochchikoodu located in Raanamadu GS division in Batticaloa district, according to Batticaloa TNA parliamentarian P. Selvarasa. Authorities in Colombo are ignoring resettlement of Tamil families with a sinister motive to “Sinhalacise” border Tamil villages, Selvarasa alleged.

'I will accept any political solution given by parliament'

Sri Lanka says Parliament Committee on political solution will strengthen Parliament-
28 June 2011
Sri Lankan President said that the appointing of a Parliamentary Select Committee to find a permanent political solution to the ethnic problem was by no means a delaying tactic, but one that sought to obtain the concurrence of Parliament for any decision made, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa denies Indian pressure over Tamil issue

"There was no pressure from India on the thirteenth amendment of thirteen plus," Rajapaksa told reporters.
Responding to a query on the visit by Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, he said the Indians had only discussed with him routine bilateral issues.

2018 CWG bid:Has the Nielsen survey been spin-doctored?

 What if the question indicated that the initial cost estimate of the 2018 CWG in Hambantota is some Rs 440 billion?  Will there be "overwhelming support" or will Sri Lankans think that the cost is way more than we could afford at the moment

500 Days since the Disappearance of Mr. Pattani Razeek! Still No Police Investigation

Statement by Sri Lankan Civil Society Activists
27th June 2011
On 25th June 2011 we marked 500 days since the disappearance of Mr. Pattani Razeek, a Sri Lankan Human Rights Defender, Managing Trustee of the Community Trust Fund (CTF) in Puttalam and Executive Committee Member of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUMASIA).

The war that confronts us: Looking at Sri Lanka’s official responses to Channel 4 video

witness our suffering

27 Jun, 2011 by Anamika
Channel 4’s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is anything but understated. It is designed to shock, even if you are the most hardened of viewers. Images of blood-soaked bodies assail you from every angle. As a cellphone camera jerks around, you see the bulging eyes of a man-turned-killing machine.

Is the army and the political leadership on a collision course?

The Noolaham and Alaveddy incidents have seeds of potential mutiny in them. The people of Jaffna have a yearning to regain their political freedom – that they lost to two forms of their adversaries in the past 3 decades. But the army has its own agenda. This is hardly consistent with that of the Jaffna Tamil people.
by I.S. Senguttuvan

Sri Lanka, a source for sex trafficking - US

The 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the United States stated that Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking the country but is making significant efforts to do so.

Murdered Jaffna man was previously abducted

28 June 2011
The man who was murdered and found hanging from a goalpost at a playground in Valikamam, Jaffna had been, on a previous occasion, abducted, but managed to escape from his kidnappers.
Identified as 30-year-old Balachandrean Satkurunadan, the resident of Achchuveli had been born at Mailady.

CB releases latest Economic & Social Satistics publication

28 June 2011
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has just released its annual publication titled “Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2011 – Volume XXXIII”. This publication contains data covering a wide range of economic and social aspects of Sri Lanka.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jaffna returnee found hanged to death

A 30-year-old male who had recently returned to Jaffna, after staying in south for 2 years, was found beaten and hanged to death Sunday morning at a playground in Achchuveali Thoappu in Valikaamam East, 20 km northeast of Jaffna city.

SLTB loses 40mn on May Day

By Yohan Perera
 The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) had suffered a loss of Rs 40 million on May Day alone by providing buses to UPFA rally, the JVP charged yesterday.“These buses had been given on hire on a lesser rate than the usual fee of Rs 65 per kilometre. Malpractices such as these had made SLTB a loss making entity,” JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a news conference yesterday.

War crimes and denial - 'Dawn'

by Irfan Husain
ONE of the most disturbing TV documentaries I have seen recently was Channel 4’s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields when it was aired in the UK a fortnight ago. Chronicling the last few days of the murderous civil war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in triumph for government forces two years ago, it is a searing indictment of the methods used in the final phase of the last battle in Mullivaikal.

Attack on TNA meeting in Jaffna signifies Govt not ready for post-war changes

by Sumanasiri Liyanage
Both print and electronic media in Sri Lanka and abroad have reported that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party meeting held in Jaffna was attacked by an armed group in uniforms on Thursday 16 June. It was also reported that a number of TNA parliamentarians were present at the meeting when the attack took place.

Commonwealth calls for investigation of Sri Lanka war crimes

The Commonwealth has long supported the peaceful resolution of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and recognises that genuine and sustainable reconciliation must include investigation of alleged war crimes and accountability of those responsible, and the promotion of justice.

Turbulent times - My Days in Sri Lanka

A succinct account of how India got caught in a cleft stick during the regime of Lankan President Premadasa who continued to engage in a deadly game of political brinkmanship
By Lakhan Mehrotra.

No assurance given ( re registration in Jaffna)

The Army Headquarters today said it had not given any assurance to anyone with regard to the registration of Tamils in the North. Issuing a statement with reference to the Daily Mirror June 21 story titled ‘Registration of Tamils in North to be stopped’, in which ‘an assurance’ has been attributed to Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, the army headquarters said

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lanka's war of blame

 But, Rajapaksa can possibly breathe easy. With Jintao and Medvedev ready to bail out Sri Lanka against any resolution in the UN Security Council - and India ready with its silent support in international forum - it's unlikely that the deaths of the unknown number of persons in the last months of the war will ever be resolved. Instead of being healed, the wound will remain hidden.
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times

A genuine solution for all communities - need of the hour

The Muslim community today is not represented by any party or group as the Muslim political leadership has virtually collapsed. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, a byproduct of communal politics, came with the slogan of unity. However, almost a quarter century later today the SLMC, divided into numerous splinter groups and absorbed individually and collectively by the government, has ended up like the Greek Tragedy.
07 June 2011/ By Latheef Farook

Life of North Muslims and their Voting Rights

The discrimination faced by the Northern Muslims have become an unending story. The governments’ neglect against minorities in this country is once again rearing its ugly head as Northern Muslims are denied of their voting rights.
The LTTE’s oppression against the innocent people was elevated to an entire new level when they forcible evicted Muslims from the Northern Province in 1990.

Rajapaksa regime has embraces majoritarian – supremacism as the path to absolute long term power

25 June 2011 / BY Tisaranee Gunasekara
“This disposition to admire, and almost worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or at least, to neglect, persons of poor and mean condition…is the great and most universal cause of corruption of our moral sentiments.” – Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)

‘I have asked to visit Sri Lanka but this has so far been denied’ – Heyns

However, I had some frank and I thought constructive meetings with government representatives in Geneva, including the attorney general, who briefed me on legal developments in Sri Lanka and explained to me the agony caused by the allegations that are being made. I told him that if we can be of any assistance with the investigations we will be happy to do so. It is in everyone’s interest to find a way to move forward.

Gas Oil Story: USD 500 Million Purchase Concluded By One Man

By Faraz Shauketaly
In an astonishing revelation, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Industries, Titus Jayawardena, has signed off on an order for the supply of Gas Oil which has a staggering price tag of US$ 500 Million. It could well be the single largest value business transaction ever carried out by a solitary official.

Govt. rejects our right to know

  •     Long-delayed Freedom of Information Bill defeated in parliament, chink in Rajapaksa regime's armour exposed
  •     Bill would have strengthened democracy amidst allegations of oppression and human rights violations

Ekneligoda habeas corpus case on Aug.23

The habeas corpus application filed by the wife of a Lanka e-news free lance
journalist who went missing since 2010 was fixed for argument for the third time
for August 23.
The petitioners Mrs. K.M.S.P. Ekneligoda and her two children cited DIG Nandana Manasinghe of CID, Homagama Police OIC, then IGP Mahinda Balasuriya and the Attorney General as respondents.

President insists solution only through PSC

By Sunday Times Political Editor
The proposed Parliamentary Select Committee would determine whether the 13th Amendment should be part of a settlement for Tamil grievances, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has re-iterated.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sivajilingam, Sri Kantha decide to join TNA, restructure TELO

Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians as well as Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) leaders Mr. Sivajilingam and Mr. Sri Kantha have decided to dissolve their newly formed party Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) and to re-join TELO and TNA, with a view of strengthening TNA and restructuring TELO to meet the demands of the times.

Bahu warns that Northern elections will be under martial law

Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) General Secretary said that the attack on Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians in Jaffna shows that the local government elections in the north of Sri Lanka will be held under military rule. In a protest held in Colombo against the attack on a TNA gathering in Tellipalai on the 16th of June, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne accused that the Sri Lankan military launched this attack with a political directive from the top.


A documentary collates the horrors from the final war against the LTTE
“Are you still afraid to kill a terrorist?” asks a man, most likely a soldier, in Sinhala to the one standing next to him, with his gun pointed at three blindfolded people, their hands bound, naked and kneeling on the ground. Gunshots are heard, the three prisoners flop to the ground, their heads drenched in blood.

Sri Lanka police torture, lawlessness entrenched: rights body

 Use of torture by police in Sri Lanka is "endemic" and lawlessness has gradually superseded rule of law in the island partly due a flawed constitution, a rights body which has publicized hundreds of such cases for over a decade, has said.

Politicians’ “fear” of freedom of information

by Melani Manel Perera
An organisation representing journalists and media hold press conference in which they slam politicians for fearing freedom of information. They note that Sri Lanka is the only nation in South Asia that does not have a law guaranteeing freedom of information.

Sri Lankan police fails to give information about ‘war missing people’

 Hundreds of people in the northern parts of Sri Lanka who responded to a police announcement about relatives held in detention in the civil war, which ended in May 2009, have said that they have not received any information so far.
Police had assured ten days ago that the concerned people would be given details about their detained relatives, but none except one could actually trace the whereabouts of a detainee, the BBC reports.

Work with the ‘other’ International Community: leftist MEP

Paul Murphy
“Tamil diaspora activists are very capable and able to put pressure on governments around the world. But, alongside this work, I would really like to encourage the Tamil diaspora to focus on the 'other' international community – which isn't represented by these governments or institutions,” said Socialist Party and United Left Alliance MEP for Dublin, Paul Murphy MEP,

SL Army orders against renting halls to TNA, political parties

Sri Lanka Army occupying Jaffna comes out with intimidating ‘unofficial orders’ to owners of public halls in Jaffna, not to rent halls to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) or to any other political party critical of the Colombo regime to conduct political or public meetings, news sources from Jaffna said.

Channel 4 video threatens regional harmony - Deputy Minister

The fabricated Channel 4 video will harm the peace and unity of Sri Lanka and the region. This is a regional issue, said External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Perera during an interview with the Daily News.
He pointed out that relations of Tamils who came from India to work in estates still live in India. Therefore, the vide creates hatred not only in Sri Lanka but also among countries in the region.

SLMC pushes for tripartite devolution talks with UPFA & TNA

June 24, 2011/by Shamindra Ferdinando
The SLMC is pushing for immediate expansion of post-war bilateral talks between the SLFP-led government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on devolution of powers.The SLMC says the Muslims should be represented at the talks and the failure on the part of the government to accommodate the party wouldn’t help ongoing national reconciliation efforts.

Freedom of association is a right in the north as elsewhere

A statement by the National Peace Council
 The physical attack of those attending a TNA election meeting in Jaffna ahead of local government elections to be held on July 23 has attracted considerable criticism and condemnation. Government spokespersons have argued that the meeting was unauthorized.

Rs.11bn interest for H’tota Port loan

24 June 2011
The government has to pay US $ 111.21 million which is roughly around to Rs. 11.1 billion in terms of interests for the US $ 307 million loan obtained from China for the Hambantota Ports Development Project, P8/.+ liament was informed today.

Tigers caged but Tamils' tale goes on

Tamil refugees

John Zubrzycki
ALL insurgencies end in negotiations, argue those in favour of talking with the Taliban to end the conflict in Afghanistan. After a decade of war and no sign of a military solution, only a political settlement with moderate Taliban can achieve long-sought stability and pave the way for a withdrawal of Western troops.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Journalists Talk about Life in Exile

IPI Commemorates World Refugee Day 2011
By Mina Nacheva
Sunanda Deshapriya (L), media spokesperson for the Free Media Movement, speaks as Sanath Balasuriya (C) from Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association and Daramasiri Lankapeli (R) from the Federation of Media Employed Trade union, look on during a news conference for five media organisations in Colombo July 1, 2008. REUTERS/Buddhika Weerasinghe

“The deep-rooted issues of discrimination and impunity [in Sri Lanka] have been allowed to continue unabated throughout the years. Those wishing to speak out against the practice and policies of the Government, in particular the media and journalists, have been subjected to intimidation, harassment, and threats to their lives.”

165 Sinhala families settled in Tamil village Kokkachchaankulam in Vavuniya North

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
“Sinhalaisation” of North continues. Tamil village in Vavuniya district re-settled with Sinhalese without knowledge of district administration half.
Kokkachchaankulam is a Tamil village in Vedivaithakallu GS div under Nedunkerny divisional secretary in the Vavuniya North Piradesha sabhai.

Protest in Kilinochchi to find disappeared persons

 24 June 2011
The protest campaign held in Kilinochchi demanding government to find disappeared persons was successful even though the military personnel attempted to obstruct it occasionally, said steering committee member of 'Api Sri Lankikayo' organisation Udul Premaratna.

Ranil alleges govt. moving towards dictatorship Condemns UPFA over compulsory ‘military training’ for university entrants

by Saman Indrajith
UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday alleged that the UPFA government was rapidly moving towards what he called a dictatorial rule.

How the world should react to ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’

Going forward, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields represents a powerful case for the international community to follow the recommendation of the UN report and conduct a thorough independent international inquiry into what happened during the final weeks of the 26-year civil war.
by Yiagadeesen Samy

It is finally out: The "never privatize" Government has privatized the best 20 acres of Sri Lanka even without a tender-Harsha

UNP National List MP Harsha de Silva lashed out at the government over the sale of 20 acres to two international buyers outside tender procedures. The MP alleges that the UPFA has privatized the best 20 acres of Sri Lanka even without a tender. The following is his full statement:

Lenient sentences in child abuse cases

HR groups concerned:
24 June 2011/By Susitha R. Fernando
Several human rights and women’s organizations yesterday expressed shock and concern on a dangerous trend since of late to impose lenient jail terms and suspended sentences for persons convicted in cases of sexual abuse, rape and child molestation.

SRI LANKA: Widow of three children denied justice to protect a Superintendent of Police by the Headquarters Police Station of Kandy

Ms. Q. Mahendra Devi (42) is a widow and the mother of three children. She resides at No: 100/36, Dharmaraja Road, Kandy and works as a cleaning labour working for a private company. After the death of her husband she built a house in above mentioned address.
June 24, 2011

Replacing investigations with gossip: The attempt to trivialize the campaign on the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneliagoda

By Basil Fernando (AHRC)
There are discussions about Prageeth Eknaliagoda's abduction and disappearance that go something like this:
Was he a journalist or was he not a journalist?
Was he a great journalist or was he a lesser journalist?
Was he abducted and made to disappear due his activities as a journalist or was the abduction and disappearance unrelated to his journalism?

One wonders what MORAL ISSUE is involved in asking such questions and in making such distinctions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sri Lanka ‘Killing Fields’: Will there be progress and what does that mean?

"In conclusion, however, there’s one point worth mentioning. If even amidst constant reiteration politicians are unable to see the dangers which are staring at them, and if in the face of such danger their only response is absolute denial, it would be beneficial for some to be simply vigilant, ever mindful, and observe the madness surrounding you, with equanimity."

Three forces to maintain three cricket stadiums

20 June 2011
It is reported that financially ruined Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is to commission the three forces, Army, Navy and Air Force to maintain and provide security three cricket stadiums – Sooriyawewa, Kettarama and Pallekele.

20 B supplementary budget for Defence HQ presented in Parliament

June 23, 2011 
Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathne today presented a supplementary budget for Rs. 20 billion for the construction of the Defence Headquaters in Akuregoda, Battaramulla. Accordingly the Ministry of Defence, Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Army Headquarters along with Headquarters of Air force and Navy will be relocated.
The land where the Ministry of Defence is situated at Galle Face is to be alienated on an earlier cabinet decision for two foreign projects that will bring FDI of USD 1000 million.
Ada Derana

India and Sri Lanka after the LTTE

Asia Report N°206 23 Jun 2011/EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
India has long been the country with the greatest influence over Sri Lanka but its policies to encourage the government there towards a sustainable peace are not working. Despite India’s active engagement and unprecedented financial assistance, the Sri Lankan government has failed to make progress on pressing post-war challenges.

Killinochchi ‘Army administration’ further obstructs agitation by ‘We are Sri Lankans’

23 June 2011
Security forces continue to obstruct the agitation of parents whose children have been disappeared and organized by ‘We are Sri Lankans’ organization in Killinochchi today (23rd) says Member of the Executive Committee of the organization Udul Premaratne.

Sri Lanka’s bloody secret

If what Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields shows doesn’t constitute crimes against humanity, nothing does
Here, There, Everywhere  -THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Sri Lanka 'war crime' images fuel Tamil resentment

23 June 2011
A TV documentary with gruesome footage that appears to back up war crimes charges against Sri Lankan troops has aggravated ethnic wounds two years after the end of the island's civil war.

Never ending search for the missing -two thousand visited police

By Dinasena Ratugamage/ Vavuniya
They came in their hundreds in search of their loved ones. Almost all returned empty handed.
Nearly two thousand Tamils have visited the police in the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavunia over the last ten days to find details of those missing during the war and since the military declaring it's victory over Tamil Tigers more than two years ago.

Democracy defeated by 63 votes

Daily Mirror editorial /23 June 2011
Freedom of expression is an unalienable right enshrined in democracy. It is not a privilege that any government can deem its right to deliver the citizens as and if they so desire. The defeat of the Private Members motion on a Right to Information Bill by 63 votes speaks volumes of the tragic laws Sri Lankan society has today forced itself in to.

Sri Lanka Government Rejects Right to Information Bill - IFJ

Media Release: Sri Lanka  /June 23, 2011
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed to learn that a freedom of information law proposed in Sri Lanka has been overwhelmingly defeated by the government majority in the country’s parliament.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sri Lanka regime rejects press freedom bill

COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's ruling party used its parliamentary majority Tuesday to defeat an opposition-initiated bill to grant greater media freedom, a parliamentary official said.
President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance, which enjoys a two-thirds majority in the 225-member assembly, shot down the Freedom of Information Bill presented by an opposition lawmaker, an official said.

Ban’s visit to SL not correctly portrayed in the killing fields

The United Nations yesterday said that UN Chief Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Sri Lanka’s northern part during the last stage of the War was not correctly portrayed in the ‘Sri Lanka’s killing filed’ film, that was produced and aired by British Channel 4 news service.

Academics in protest march

By Lakna Paranamanna
Bringing the university academics’ ongoing struggle to the streets, a protest march was staged in Colombo for the first time yesterday with the participation of academics from all universities.Hundreds of university academics from Colombo, Jayewardenepura, Sabaragamuwa, Moratuwa, Ruhuna and several other universities participated in the protest march

‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ – shocking the UN into action - AI

Sri Lanka's civil war killed up to 100,000 people and displaced thousands
By José Luis Díaz, Head of Amnesty International’s United Nations Office
As we prepared for the screening today of the Channel 4 film, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” at Amnesty International’s United Nations office in New York, our main worry was the size of the turnout.

Govt. defeats Right to Info bill

22 June 2011/By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
The government yesterday thwarted an attempt by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to present a private member’s bill which provided for the freedom of access to official information.Soon after the question time, Mr. Jayasuriya rose on his feet to present the bill which provided for access to official information or else specify grounds on which access could be denied.

Media rights group want Issipriya’s death probed

21 June 2011
The New York-based media rights group Committee to Protect Journalists has called for an international inquiry into the death of LTTE television presenter, who was allegedly executed by government forces.

CID queries journalist over drug dealer arrest article

22 June 2011
The CID has questioned the ‘Divaina’ journalist who had written an article for the newspaper’s June 13 issue regarding the arrest of a drug dealer.Commercial crimes OIC Anura de Silva had gone to the newspaper office yesterday (June 21) and said that he was investigating a complaint made by UPFA Colombo district MP Duminda de Silva.

Military Registrations Continue in the Peninsula - Hathurusinghe Says One thing but Doing Another.

 registration documents
22 June 2011 People Dissatisfied - GTN reporter
Registration activities in the Jaffna peninsula continue without any changes, despite Jaffna. Commander Major General Hathurusinghe’s announcing that registration activities in the peninsula are suspended.
It is reported that registration activities continue in Valikamam, Vadamaraachchi and in many other areas.

Uni lectures ready to go to jail for rights- public rally in Colombo

photos -
 SB is ideally fit to be in charge of Pig sty not as Higher education Minister
Dr. Prabhath Jayasinghe speaking at today’s University academic staff public meeting in Colombo said, if Sri Lanka is to be made Asia’s central educational Headquarter , the present higher education Minister , S B Dissanayake is the central figure militating against it as he is absolutely unfit and incompetent to hold the post of Higher education Minister.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Election Time in North: EPDP’s dreaded Charles resurfaces

Douglas and Basil
As Minister Douglas Devananda announced his candidature for the Chief Ministership of the Northern Province yesterday, the government intensified efforts at shutting down the potential opposition. Thursday night the army moved into a private TNA meeting of the leadership with its Local Government candidates in Alaveddy, assaulting all and sundry. About 60-75 were in attendance.

Post-War Sri Lanka: Rethinking Reconciliation

by Amarnath AmarasingamDoctoral candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University  
While the government response was predictable, another line of argument has recently gained some fanfare. This peculiar position, as most recently articulated by Amjad Mohamed-Saleem in Groundviews, argues:

Army intrudes upon Matara Municipal administration: officers who rejected Army directives transferred

There had emerged another grave report from Matara today (20) about the Rajapakse regime’s militarization of the South in addition to the North. Early morning today (5.15 a m.), a group of Army officers who descended on the Matara municipal council had made the health protection workers to line up . They have also summoned the Heath Inspectors and after allocating a soldier for each of the Council tractors for supervision and made a list. A Major, Prasad Perera had been in charge of this operation.

Monday, June 20, 2011

'Channel 4 video, the work of asylum seekers’ - Army spokesperson

UN leaves war z one
Chamikara Weerasinghe
The Sri Lanka Army yesterday said the video of alleged extra judicial killings telecast by Channel 4 on British television is doctored and that its footage may have been invented by some self-exiled Tamil citizens seeking asylum in the UK.

CPI calls for all India solidarity with Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka

20 June 2011,
The Communist Party of India (CPI) in its National Council Meeting at New Delhi on 18-19 June, passed a resolution, demanding the Indian government to take into account the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu State Assembly on war crimes investigation and economic sanctions against Sri Lanka. Accusing Sri Lanka Army for violation of human rights, state terrorism and perpetration of mass murder of Tamil population in the island, the CPI demanded India to facilitate open enquiry on war crimes and resettlement of Tamils in their own places as well as media entry to monitor Indian aided rehabilitation.

The Silence of Sri Lanka

will he act?
By DAVID MILIBAND and BERNARD KOUCHNER  / Published: June 20, 2011
In April 2009, we travelled together as foreign ministers to Sri Lanka, as 25 years of fighting between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers neared its end. The remaining fighters were trapped in the northern most part of the country — along with large numbers of civilians. U.N. estimates put the numbers of civilians there in the last few months of the war at over 300,000.

Sri Lanka killing fields: Defence secretary on killing of Ramesh

A multiple choice question for Gotabaya: Why do you wear clothes ? 

Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse referring to the channel 4 documentary which charges that an LTTE leader of the East Colonel Ramesh was killed after he was arrested by the Army , stated as follows at a Nugegoda meeting:

Groundviews and Vikalpa blocked in Sri Lanka

A number of user reports from Sri Lanka indicate that Groundviews is now blocked on Sri Lanka Telecom ADSL broadband Internet connections. It also appears that Vikalpa, our partner site that publishes critical content in Sinhala, is also blocked. Further, the website of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is also blocked.

Issipriya a LTTE combatant

Channel 4 News revealed that one of the victims was a high profile member of the Tamil Tigers - but claimed she was just a journalist rather than a direct fighter as a result of a heart condition. Issipriya was born in 1982 in Jaffna and was subsequently recruited by the LTTE and underwent military training in the Wanni. She then served in the LTTE Military Wing and subsequently joined the "Voice of Tigers", the official radio station of the LTTE.

Sri Lanka’s “Novel way to kill tens of thousands”: The Times

20 June 2011,
“In a grotesque perversion of humanity, the military had considered the mechanics of human grieving and come up with a novel way to kill tens of thousands: they would drop an initial shell on a village, usually killing those too old, weak or young to take shelter in time. Then they would wait ten minutes — until people had gathered around dead or dying loved ones, trying to save them, or weeping over them — and then shell for a second time; thus wiping out whole families in 11 minutes flat,” says Caitlin Moran, in UK’s The Time’s review of the Channel-4 “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,” widely believed to be “the most visceral war footage ever broadcast.”

SRI LANKA : Combating impunity - Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS)

Reporters Without Borders interviewed Bashana Abeywardane, a representative of Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), an association of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights activists in exile, above all in Europe, which was created with the aim of informing the international community about thehuman rights situation in Sri Lanka. Nowadays it is a close partner of Reporters Without Borders, both in its support for journalists in distress and its efforts to tell the world about press freedom violations in Sri Lanka.

Military ‘training’ in the name of leadership

Lankan students have to undergo rigorous workout to get into varsities
by Chandani Kirinde
Salvage a heavy vehicle stuck in mud, complete a 5-km march in 45 minutes and do push ups and run obstacle courses. This is not part of the curriculum for those training to join the Sri Lankan military or the police, but a part of a controversial three-week-long “leadership training” programme for the students to gain admission to state-run universities across the country.

Local NGO CTF, Puttaalam taken over by defense ministry, Brigadier heads interim committee.

Last week  the NGO secretariat took over the control of the Puttalam based non governmental organization, the Community Trust Fund (CTF) over alleged mismanagement and corruption. NGO secretariat comes under the defence ministry

Rajapaksa regime subjecting Sri Lanka to global ridicul

by Mangala Samaraweera
 The ineptitude of the present regime in the face of intensifying and relentless international pressure is driving Sri Lanka further and further into isolation and is likely to have devastating effects for this country’s prospects for rebuilding and reconciliation in the post-conflict phase.

Killing Fields: ‘Recognition that Tamil Tigers were prepared to use as pawns the civilians they claimed to represent is commendable’

War crimes: Tyrants are right to fear the new technology witnesses
There was much in the documentary to commend. Its recognition that Tamil Tigers were prepared to use as pawns the civilians they claimed to represent; the forensic way it explored the UN’s unconscionable retreat as the conflict worsened; the wide range of experts interviewed to provide ballast and balance. But the real significance of the film emerged from the extraordinary, almost unwatchable, footage of the horrors of those grim weeks, much of it recorded on mobile phones

Tamil Eelam is the solution: Loyola opinion poll in Tamil Nadu

19 June 2011
65 percent of the participants in an opinion poll conducted in Tamil Nadu this month by Centre for Public Studies of the Loyola College in Chennai said that an independent Tamil Eelam is the appropriate permanent solution for the question of Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. 70 percent of them said that the Government of India should declare Mr. Rajapaksa as war criminal

Katunayake FTZ clashes reverberate overseas

ITUC to agitate membership protest, demands Govt. immediately withdraw Pension Fund Bill
An international grouping of trade unions has vehemently hit out at the recent unrest at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (KFTZ) that left a worker killed and scores injured, calling upon its 300 plus membership to launch individual protests against the Government of Sri Lanka.

Troubled NGO taken over

By Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe
The NGO Secretariat which comes under the Defence Ministry has named an interim body to take control of a non-governmental organisation plagued with allegations of corruption and malpractice.The three member interim body comprises Brigader Jayashantha Gamage,

The Rule Of Law In War

"Naked prisoners shot in the head; the dead bodies of women who had been raped, dumped on a truck; the immediate aftermath of a shell landing on a hospital – images caught on mobile phones of the atrocities committed in the final months of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war, left most of us shell-shocked"

Lanka seeks dialogue with UN rapporteur on Channel 4 allegations

Sri Lanka has accused Britain’s Channel 4 Television of not providing the government with a copy of the video titled ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ but assured that it is ready “to constructively engage” with the UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Withdraw army, put them in barracks - Anandasangaree

Veerasingham Anandasangaree, the TULF president and  a long standing Tamil politician  was perhaps the most vocal critic of the LTTE,  among the old school Tamil political leadership, even during the hey days of the LTTE. Anandasangaree, once hailed by the government, as a ‘moderate’ Tamil voice, now cautions that the frequent military excesses in Jaffna would sow seeds of a future conflict.

CID exposes stunning police con in FTZ probe

 By Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe
The CID in its investigations have determined that when the police said that they had opened fire to save Senior DIG Ravi Wijegunawardena, who was being attacked allegedly by FTZ workers on May 30, the DIG was in fact in hospital.

Attack continues against Tamil prisoners

 Several Tamil political prisoners in the Kandy Bogambara prison was severely attacked by the prison officials on 14.06.2011 and admitted in the prison hospital.

Sri Lanka Cricket Run Out

By Frederica Jansz
Sri Lanka Cricket also known formerly as the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka is in a financial melt down due to political interference, large scale corruption and short-sighted management policies.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

US Federal Court summons SL leader

Govt. says not ruffled by decision
18 June 2011/By Susitha R. Fernando
A United States Federal Court has issued summons on President Mahinda Rajapaksa in connection with three civil cases filed under the Hague Convention claiming monetary damages under US Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) over alleged extra-judicial killings, the Justice Ministry sources said.