Friday, September 30, 2011

Lanka paper held back by the Police .

This week's Lanka newspaper,  published by the rebel faction of the JVP has been seized by the Mt Lavina police.
 A spokesman for the group said that the motive appeared to be delaying the distribution of the paper, JVP (DNA) MP Vijitha Herath said that since there was a dispute over the publication they had lodged a complaint with the police.

Canada lashes Sri Lanka, summit showdown looms

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 29, 2011. Canada publicly criticized Sri Lanka over its human rights record for the first time Thursday, setting the scene for a confrontation at a major international summit next month.

Canada, UK target SL on C’wealth front - Prof. Peiris fumes over proposals targeting govt.

Shamindra Ferdinando
 The Sri Lankan government yesterday (29) alleged that a small but influential section of the Commonwealth was carrying out an anti-Sri Lankan campaign ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Western Australia.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Commonwealth could split–sl over the appoinment of HR commissioner

Dianne Silva
The Sri Lankan government which rejected a move by the Commonwealth Ministerial  Action Group to appoint a Commissioner on Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law said yesterday the push for a “punitive role” by a few commonwealth countries could cause a split in the organisation.

Sri Lanka – Media smear campaign and death threats against human rights defender Sunanda Deshapriya following his participation in the UN Human Rights Council - Front Line

Front Line Defenders - The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights 
29 September 2011
Human rights defender Mr Sunanda Deshapriya was the target of a media smear campaign and death threats, following his participation in an event held at the UN headquarters in Geneva on 12 September 2011. State controlled media reportedly published an inaccurate account of the event following which calls were made to have Sunanda Deshapriya killed for betraying the Sri Lankan State.

UN review on response in Eelam War IV

Signalling more trouble for Sri Lanka, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has initiated a review of the UN’s actions regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates during the Eelam War IV and its immediate aftermath, according to an online report of The Hindu on Sept. 27

GMOA to decide on counter measures against increased threats

Dasun Edirisinghe
The General Committee of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will meet today (29) to decide on a strategy to counter the stepped-up threats on its President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya for spearheading the ongoing protest campaign targeting the Malabe Private Medical College (PMC).

Civil Defence Committees to be resurrected

Lumbini Karandana
Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday declared that reactivating Civil Defence Committees (CDC) which had been a great source of help to the country in the final phase of war had become necessary to eradicate crime.

CID search home of dissident JVP MP , computers taken into custody

Ranjan Kasturi
The Madiwela residence of JVP MP Ajith Kumara, who had joined the JVP dissident group, had been searched by the CID yesterday.  The CID had taken into custody two desktop computers, one laptop and some documents.

Authorities fail to investigate death threats made against another journalist

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk of Matara District is the regional news reporter of the Sinhala medium 'Lankadeepa' and English medium 'Daily Mirror' news papers, both are the of the most widely circulated newspapers in the island. On 1 September 2011 he received death threats from one of the leading politicians of the ruling party.

In policy shift, Stephen Harper presses Sri Lanka on human rights

Stephen Harper’s government, which alienated many Tamil-Canadians in the last days of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, is aggressively campaigning to pressure Sri Lanka on human rights and political reconciliation.

Buddhist temple being erected in the place where there was Pillayar Hindu Kovil

 In Kokilai district, Mulaitivu where there was a Hindu Kovil (temple) which was damaged during the war is being demolished and a Buddhist Temple is being erected in that place, according to reports reaching Lanka e news. Buddhist monks have arrived there and the construction has begun.

The victimizers may 'sleep no more'

The attempt by a New York court to serve summons on Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Major General Shavendra Silva is short-sightedness at its worst. To begin with, as pointed out by the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, this is a glaring violation of the laws and conventions governing the treatment of the diplomatic representatives of member states of the UN.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AHRC seeks justice over HR defender’s killing

The Asian Human Rights Commission is seeking justice over the alleged death after torture by the STF in public of a human rights defender in Puttalam.

Last minute court-order halts Sri Lankan Tamil deportation from Brita

 Jonathan Miller
A forced removal of failed asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka has been put on hold by a judge after a day of frantic legal appeals. Foreign Affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller reports . Frantic efforts by lawyers in London to prevent an aircraft, chartered by the British government, from forcibly returning failed asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka have succeeded in delaying the plane’s scheduled departure..

Human rights were not discussed with president Rajapaksha - Maldives vice president

The Vice President’s Office later refuted reports that Dr Waheed discussed the Sri Lankan human rights situation with Rajapaksa during the meeting, following media reports quoting Sri Lankan officials to the contrary. Haveeru on Tuesday quoted a senior Sri Lankan official as saying that during a meeting between Rajapaksa and the Vice President, Dr Waheed “assured that he will be supporting Sri Lanka’s stance on the human rights issue.”

UK not monitoring safety of Tamils deported to Sri Lanka

Ian Cobain
The government has conceded that it is doing nothing to establish what is happening to scores of Tamils who are being forcibly removed from the UK despite concerns for their safety in Sri Lanka.

Maldives President thinks Sunanda Deshapriya a Tamil

Responding to SL government-backing media allegations against exiled, Sinhala media rights activist Mr Sunanda Deshapriya at Geneva, involving the name of the President of Maldives, the President’s Office of the Republic of Maldives came out with a press release on Tuesday that sounded as though the President of Maldives had thought Mr Deshapriya a Tamil.

Mystery behind the Kelaniya beggar’s death

Four beggars have been attacked and killed while spending their nights at the pavement in Kelaniya. The beggars have been killed by assaulting their heads with a heavy weapon and the police have said they are yet to determine the cause for their murders.

Regimes in Sri Lanka, Maldives, forge questionable alliance

Maldivian Vice-President Dr Mohammed Waheed, meeting Mahinda Rajapaksa over the weekend at the UN General Assembly Sessions, assured the latter of the support of Male to Colombo’s stand on its human rights issues, according to Maldivian media Haveeru, Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ambassador Silva protected by int'l treaties (re war crime case )

It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs that an attempt has been made by an agent to deliver summons issued by a New York Court on the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka’s Mission to the United Nations in New York Major General Shavendra Silva.

The continuing saga of alleged accusation by the president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives re prominent Sri Lanka human rights defender

A list of false allegations and attacks on Sri Lankan HRD, Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya due to his participation in the 18th session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Sept. 2011 by media controlled by and sympathetic to the Sri Lankan government

Notes of the Q&A - “Sri Lanka - Humanitarian Operation: A Factual Analysis” the GoSL side event at HRC

Introductory remarks by Minister Samarasinghe:  
National human rights plan of action has been finalised and approved by the cabinet. It will be ready by end of this week. We will start the implementation of the HR action plan.  Today High commissioner said that she has come to know that president has allowed some Emergency regulations to lapse. We are concerned that she has not been able to welcome that ER has been completely repealed. The statement is not correct and we will explain it to you.

BASL exemplifies Sri Lanka's legal institutional decay

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) "express[ed] serious concerns as to diabolic overtures by the West to destabilize Sri Lanka on the instigation of the Tamil Diaspora...," a Sri Lanka weekly said Sunday, and added, BASL is establishing "a high powered" committee to advise the government on matters that should be raised before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Sri Lanka export shift to Asia seen difficult

Sri Lankan exporters face difficulties in trying to shift from traditional markets in the West which are stagnant or growing only slowly to fast-growing emerging markets in Asia, an official said.

Sri Lanka’s onward march ( normalisation of relations with UN) - Editorial

From what could be gathered, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has had a fruitful, cordial and frank exchange of ideas with UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon in New York on issues arising from the Darusman Report and allied matters and we hope the Lankan state and the UN would continue to forge ahead together on the road to complete normalization in Sri Lanka.

Accountability to whom? Inversing the Order

there is an issue of accountability and the GoSL and the state security forces are answerable and accountable to what happened. Nonetheless, the second question will naturally arise: accountability to whom? 
Sumanasiri Liyanage

UN: Lanka should exploit it to give real picture - the war crime case

 Sandun A. Jayasekera
The initiative of a public litigation on alleged war crimes against Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent envoy to the UN, Major General Shavendra Silva can be turned into an opportunity to expose the extended misinformation campaign of the Tamil Diaspora, certain western countries and organizations, the government said yesterday.

Notes from the informal meeting on the proposed draft decision by Canada re LLRC report

-          We are proposing this draft decision asking OHCHR to organize an interactive dialogue on the LLRC process and other reconciliation steps taken in Sri Lanka, to be held at the next HRC session
-          We are doing this because of our own interest and what we see as a shared interest among the international community in having a conversation at the HRC within context of a regulalr HRC session

FMM awaits the response of the government of the Maldives

FMM condemns false allegations against press freedom and human rights activists
The Free Media Movement (FMM) expresses its serious concern on the false allegations being carried out by the media controlled by and sympathetic to the Sri Lankan government against a former Convener and a present Ex-Co Member of the Free Media Movement.

Interactive dialogue on the HR situation in Sri Lanka is necessary - Nimalka Fernado at UNHRC

''This false reporting has led to a major media campaign against Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya and his close family still residing in Sri Lanka. As IMADR we call for urgent attention of the Human Rights Council on this matter and call for an immediate stop to such misleading reporting. Indeed, Madam Chairperson, it also shows that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka needs urgent improvement and consideration.''

Monday, September 26, 2011

‘Lanka needs a solution, home-grown or otherwise’ - N.Ram

Chief editor of India’s ‘The Hindu’ newspaper N. Ram said in Colombo yesterday (Sept. 25) that Sri Lanka needed a solution to the ethnic question, home-grown or otherwise, to accommodate the just demands and aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people within the framework of the unity and territorial integrity of the country.

Church accused of 'being silent'

"Last night's toll of the dead is 3318 and of the injured more than 4000," the letter sent on 10 May, 2009 and seen by the BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya stated. "It was a barrage of artillery, mortar, multi-barrel shelling and cluster bombs, weapons which Sri Lankan government denies using on the civilians in the no fire zone," says Fr Joseph's letter to the Pope.  

Not mere nitpicking on parliamentary process

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
Public distrust of this administration's attacks on civil rights is best evidenced by the bizarre sequence of events that took place this month over the extension of the Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions Act. First enacted in 2005 (Act No 15 of 2005) and thereafter extended in 2007 (Act No 42 of 2007) up to 2009, this law caters to a special category of offences including murder, kidnapping and rape.

Mahinda says UN visit productive, successful

Nisthar Cassim in New York
 President Mahinda Rajapaksa described his engagement with the United Nations member countries last week as very successful for him personally and Sri Lanka at large. “I am very happy with the visit as it was very productive and through our discussions we were able to portray the true picture,” President Rajapaksa told the Daily FT.

India advises Lanka how to curb external interference

India believes that an agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the TNA will thwart external interference in post-war Sri Lanka, according to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Colombo quoting the Indian Foreign Secretary in New York.

Police and land powers not needed -- CMs of South

 Yohan Perera
The chief ministers of the provincial councils have resolved that police and land powers are no longer required for the provincial councils to discharge their duties, provided they are given sufficient funds to carry out development work.

Govt.-TNA talks crucial: Indian PM

The two sides also discussed the issues of resettlement of displaced people including the housing project which is being undertaken with Indian assistance. They also had a detailed discussion on the fisheries issue

Ban sees “Lies Agreed To” but not “Killing Fields”

Inner City Press reports UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon has seen “Lies Agreed To”, the official Sri Lanka rebuttal to Channel 4 UK made documentary; however the UN Secretary General reportedly has not seen “Killing Fields”:

TULF calls for proper mechanism with local participation to ensure just settlement and rehabilitation efforts

''The TULF is very strongly of the view that the solution to the ethnic problem based on a Unitary Constitution will never bring peace or any settlement to the country’s problem.''
Resolutions past at the annual general meeting of the TULF on 24.09.2011 in Jaffna

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New York Court Issues Summons to Sri Lanka President: TGTE

A Court in New York issued a Summons against visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, issued this summons in the case of Devi v. Rajapaksa (case number: 1:11-cv-06634-NRB).

If Milinda Moragoda wins it will be Gotabhaya with terror apparatus who will run Colombo

  ''What a fool I am. I should have known that Milinda’s biggest argument to attract votes is that ready access to Gotabaya guarantees him a much better chance than any other candidate to develop Colombo. To what kind of a city however I do not know! ''
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Ban stresses need for accountability process over end to civil war

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for a “credible national accountability process” over actions in the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka during a meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s President.

Hundreds of Tamil rebels likely to be indicted: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's foreign minister has told The Associated Press that hundreds of hardcore Tamil rebels are likely to be prosecuted on charges including mass murder for crimes committed during the island's quarter-century civil war that ended in 2009.

BASL to help govt on war crimes charges

Srian Obeyesekere
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday, while expressing serious concerns as to diabolic overtures by the West to destabilise Sri Lanka on the instigation of the Tamil Diaspora, appointed a high powered committee headed by J. de Z. Gunasekera, PC, to advise the government on matters that should be raised before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Protesters storm Japanese Mahayana Temple at Liberty Plaza - Claims devotees being fleeced

Jayantha de Silva
A large group of Buddhist monks and laymen stormed the Vichiren Shosu Mahayana Buddhist Temple situated on the third floor of Liberty Plaza around 6 am yesterday forcing devotees engaged in religious activities to remain behind closed doors for more than three hours.

Puttalam politico clearing large lagoon area illegally -Environmentalists warn of doom to crustaceans

Saliya Kumara Gunasekera
Environmentalists warn that the Puttalam lagoon could be severely damaged due to a decision taken by a powerful politico of the area to clear 75 acres of land on the eastern side of the lagoon.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Land in the North and East of Sri Lanka: Concern and confusion over Government circular

''Hence, the overall aim of this current initiative needs to be welcome. However, this circular contains particular provisions, which are problematic and unclear and may exacerbate fear and apprehension among affected communities. ''

Torture case filed against Sri Lanka's ex-General Shavendra Silva

American University Washington College of Law's Human Rights Clinic in a press release issued today said that it has filed civil action at the District Court of New York Southern District (SDNY), on behalf of two Tamil plaintiffs against Sri Lanka's ex-Army General and currently Sri Lanka's Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Shavendra Silva, on charges of torture and wrongful death.

Muslim Congress demands and Islamisation in Sri Lanka

An Interview with Dr.ARM Imthiyaz by Melani Manel Perera

 “The ruling regime can solve the problems that afflict Muslims in north-eastern Sri Lanka, but is doing nothing,” said A. R. M. Itmtiyaz, associated professor in the Department of Political Science in Temple University, Philadelphia, United States,

GMOA demands Rs 300 mn from Minister SB Disanayake for defaming its head

Don Asoka Wijewardena
The Government Medical Officers Association has decided to demand Rs. 300 million from Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka, claiming that he has defamed its president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya.

JVP dispute leads to bloodshed; 3 arrested - Talks, reconciliation ruled out

Saman Indrajith
 The JVP’s intraparty dispute took a turn for the worse yesterday with the dissidents, known as the Premkumar Gunaratnam group, resorting to violence against the loyalists of JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe.

Lawsuit filed against Sri Lankan Army General Responsible for Executions, Torture & Attacking Civilians; Currently Living in NYC

This morning, American University Washington College of Law’s UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) against Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva, who currently resides in New York City.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice, fairplay - MR

"Whilst clash of ideas, opinions and values continue we have clearly to recognize that dialogue, deliberation and consensus offer the only viable means for resolving differences. The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fairplay," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka must seek balance between East and West: economist

 Sri Lanka must improve trade ties with emerging Asian growth centres but not write-off the United States and Europe just because they are in a weak phase, an economist said.

Ramesh's wife files a case in US against president Rajapaksa

LTTE leader Ramesh's wife, Vathsala Devi, has filed a case in the US, against the visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for killing her husband, reports.

new Regulations under PTA :dishonest and wholly incongruent with the President’s promises to Parliament

CPA Statement on the new Regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
23 September 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) condemns the government’s decision to perpetuate a number of the most widely used Emergency Regulations, such as those relating to detainees, purported ‘surrendees’ and local authorities, in the form of regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

An appeal against infringement of university autonomy in Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Higher Education has issued a directive that all state universities should hire the services of Rakna Lanka Ltd for provision of security services.

BASL wants action against cop violence inside court complex

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday demanded an impartial inquiry into an alleged attack by police in the Jaffna Courts complex last Monday (19).

International concerns grow over plight of Sri Lanka's Menik Farm refugees

 As the Sri Lankan government plans to close the Menik Farm camp, one of the world''s largest refugee camps, located in the country’s northern region, international concerns have grown regarding the conditions of the refugees who will be located to new camp site.

COPE says huge losses at state institutions

Kalum bandara
The parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has revealed that the government has lost a staggering Rs.10 billion due to the mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption at 24 state institutions from 2010 up to now, the Daily Mirror learns. This is in addition to the annual losses incurred by some of these institutions.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Irida Lanka news paper circulation stopped by Grandpass Police

The circulation of Irida Lanka news paper was stopped by Grandpass Police after JVP's mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Sunil Watagala two other directors of the Lanka Fast Publishers lodged a complaint.

Sri Lanka relocates uprooted civilians by force in jungles to cover-up war crimes

Closing down the infamous Manik Farm barbed-wire camp where several thousands of war-displaced Tamil civilians were detained under extremely difficult conditions since early 2009, the genocidal Rajapaksa regime has now decided to relocate them in some strange jungle areas by force, under the name of ‘resettlement’ of internationally displaced people (IDPs), mainly to cover up war crimes.

Swiss AG confirms war crimes investigation if SL diplomat returns

 Following a criminal complaint brought by TRIAL (Swiss association against impunity) and the Society for threatened peoples (SPM) against the Sri Lankan Deputy Ambassador to Switzerland, Jagath Dias, for war crimes, the Swiss Federal Attorney General has decided that a criminal investigation will be launched if Mr. Dias were to come back on Swiss territory, because of “his personal involvement in the atrocities committed”.

A Kunanayakam by any other name?

Mercenaries with misplaced consciences appear to be leading Sri Lanka’s latest band of apologists. Seldom does a hired hand leave such a damning trail as does Tamara Kunanayakam, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland.

Canada drops its resolution on Sri Lanka at UN HRC, Geneva

Canadian government has decided not to go ahead with the resolution on Sri Lanka which requested  GOSL to submit LLRC report for an interaction dialogue at the 19th session of Huamn Rights Council.

Discussions in Geneva show world plunging into ‘State Anarchy’

The way Sri Lanka’s war crimes were viewed by many State actors at Geneva showed how these States are leading the world into anarchy and are contributing to global unrest of peoples, political observers said. In an informal discussion of State delegates and human rights groups held in Geneva on Wednesday on a draft proposal from Canada to convene an Interactive Discussion on the outcome of Sri Lanka’s LLRC in the 19th session in March 2011, Sri Lanka challenged such a procedure.

Jaffna lawyers boycott court sittings

Lawyers in Jaffna had taken a decision to boycott the sittings of the Courts of Law in the District until such time action was taken to arrest the seven policemen who had allegedly harassed a person who they say was illegally arrested by the police.

New laws to curb LTTE fund-raising

 Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
The government enacted new laws in parliament yesterday to deal with LTTE overseas fund raising activities and money laundering.The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill and the Convention of the Suppression of Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill were passed in the House.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“The way to give back liberty to the people of this country is not by militarizing local government.”

Harsha de Silva, Ph.D, Member of Parliament
Now that I have been entrusted with leading the campaign for the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council (SJKMC) election I have had the opportunity to visit the homes of many people in the administrative capital of Sri Lanka. The first thing that struck me was that not only does “the proud city of Jayawardene” as mentioned in the Salalihini Sandesa have a rich history it is rich in its diversity of people.

Delhi court rejects Centre's plea to send back Sri Lankan Tamil

 Magistrate: how can court become party to persecution of refugee?
J. Venkatesan
“Handing over a refugee to Sri Lanka where he fears persecution will make us nothing short of abettors,” a magistrate court here said on Tuesday. It turned down the Centre's plea to deport a Tamil refugee, who has been in India for the past 20 years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IMF delays loan instalments - Speculation over state of economy, but Central Bank denies rumours

Kelum Bandara
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed the review of the country’s economic situation till December before releasing the ninth tranche of the US$ 2.9 billion stand-by facility which was scheduled to have been released in August, officials said yesterday.

A dastardly attack carried out by thugs on the UNP meeting in Colombo.

 A.J.M. Muzammil
 The same government that boldly claimed they will have no problems winning the upcoming Colombo Municipal Council Elections has now resorted to brutality and thuggery in a desperate attempt to stifle the will of the people.

‘Freedom of expression situation is in peril’ - AHRC

The situation of the freedom of expression in the country is in peril, the Asian Human Rights Commission warns, pointing to the recent assault of VFM managing director Ruwan Sugathadasa. The AHRC says in a statement that the government has shown no interest in prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of the incident.

Sri Lanka to establish ‘new village’ for IDPs

Sri Lanka Information Department is reporting that several thousands of IDPs are to be re-settled away from their homes and villages:

Sri Lanka cancels landing visa for 78 countries

Based on ‘security considerations’ Sri Lanka cancels landing visa facility to 78 countries. Visitors form these countries could make online applications from September 28 onwards for Colombo to process visas, Daily Mirror reported Monday, citing a SL Immigration Department official.

Local government elections: Military puppeteers, elected puppets, right to information and people’s liberties

Now that I have been entrusted with leading the campaign for the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council (SJKMC) election I have had the opportunity to visit the homes of many people in the administrative capital of Sri Lanka.  The first thing that struck me was that not only does “the proud city of Jayawardene” as mentioned in the Salalihini Sandesa have a rich history it is rich in its diversity of people.

Greens call for suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth

Amanda Hodge
 AUSTRALIA'S Greens will launch the first major challenge to Sri Lanka's Commonwealth membership today when the party calls for its suspension pending a full investigation into allegations of war crimes committed in the final months of the country's civil war.

Monday, September 19, 2011

‘What we have now is plain and utter corruption’

''These new regulations enforce an equal chilling of freedom of expression and information and constraints on general liberties. What is the practical and legal justification for this? And when we talk of post rehabilitation detainees being monitored, is this accompanied by intimidation or threats ''
Kishali Pinto Jayawardene 

Police can still detain suspects for 48 hrs

Kelum Bandara
The Justice Ministry yesterday said the police were still vested with powers to detain  suspects in custody for 48 hours instead of 24 hours, although the Criminal Code Procedure (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill was not approved by Parliament last time due to concerns by the opposition.

‘SILENT AND POWERLESS’- Review of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in 2010 by LST

In the absence of members (between June 2009 and until February 2011), the intervening year was an annus horribilis for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). The senior staff sought to safeguard the institution, and its day-to-day functioning, to the best of their ability and exercising their own judgement. They did not have many allies, nor did they seek to find new ones.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mervyn makes waves (in taking law onto his hands)

''Nevertheless the president would know better than most that giving certain kinds of people an inch leads to their grabbing a mile and Mervyn Silva belongs to that breed. Laughing at their antics and allowing them to preen in the glare of publicity is certainly not the best way of controlling them.''

UK Sets Deadline For Sri Lanka

 Easwaran Rutnam
The British government has set a deadline for Sri Lanka to show progress in addressing  concerns of human rights violations committed during the war. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the British Foreign Affairs Committee that Sri Lanka has been told it needs to show progress by the end of this year or Britain  will support the international community in revisiting all options available to press the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its obligations.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weerawansa accuses UN of seeking revenge on Sri Lanka

Harischnadra Gunaratna
Democratic National Front leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said the intention of the UN to send an officer, claiming to review the actions of the UN in Sri Lanka during the ‘Humanitarian Operation’, was to take revenge on Sri Lanka.

Ministry of Defence propaganda film “Lies Agreed Upon” misses the point - ICG

The government of Sri Lanka has responded to the British Channel 4’s investigative journalism on alleged war crimes in the final stages of the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with its own televised program – “Lies Agreed Upon”.

Our consciences and the defence of the rule of law

''Now, with the current nationalist resurgence, are we going to witness another spate of attacks on places of worship of the religious minorities? A website reported this week of the destruction of a Muslim place of worship in Anuradhapura claiming that the mosque was built on the site where the ashes of Dutugemunu were interred. ''

Watchdogs Push Hard for War Crimes Probe in Sri Lanka

''The push was sparked by a diplomatic spat at the 18th annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which opened in Geneva on Monday, when Navanethem Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, urged Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a full review of its security apparatus. ''

Substantive accountability actions are required to move towards the fundamental concern of reconciliation.

7. RECOMMENDATIONS: Reaching out to National Reconciliation
One of the fundamental objectives of the seminar was to examine courses of action open to move beyond the UNSG‟s Panel Report in regard to issues of accountability that Sri Lankans must address in moving towards reconciliation.

SL threantened TO take legal and administrative action at HRC against UNSG panel report

Sandun A. Jayasekera
The Sri Lankan team to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) prevented moves to bring in a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC annual session and the delegates of the member countries accepted Sri Lanka’s presentation that countered allegations, team member and  Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

Sri Lanka: State media distort a UN HRC event and drag a head of a state to intimidate dissent

NfR - Net working for rights in Sri lanka - Exile network for media and human rights in Sri Lanka
Press release/ 15 September 2011
NfR Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders living outside the country, condemns the falsification of the proceedings of a side event organized by Sri Lankan Mission in Geneva, to intimidate Sri Lankan press freedom and human rights campaigner Sunanda Deshapriya.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rajapakse regime has been ducking and diving for too long and as a result lost all credibility before the world

Best way to communicate to the world that Sri Lanka is serious about its obligations is to replace Gothabaya Rajapakse
 Dushy Ranetunge in London

Mu'l'likku'lam villagers left to languish, resettlement denied

Amid claims by the Sri Lankan government that all displaced persons in Mannaar district have been resettled in their own villages, uprooted residents of Mu'l'likku'lam in Musali DS division of the district, who were evicted from their homes in 2007, are still refused entry to their village by the Sri Lanka Navy, which has changed their village into a military cantonment.

Tamil villages in Ampaa'rai being renamed in Sinhala

Tamil names of traditional Tamil villages located along the border of Ampaa'rai district are erased and new Sinhala names are introduced day by day, according to Selliah Rasiah, the chairman of the Kaaraitheevu Piratheasa Chapai.

Canada nudges Lanka over accountability issues

Shamindra Ferdinando
The Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo, Bruce Levy yesterday emphasised the importance of Sri Lanka addressing concerns raised by the international community, regarding accountability issues as early as possible.
Levy said that Sri Lanka couldn’t ignore accountability issues if it was keen to ensure peace and development.

MR vows to haul PSC before Cabinet

Kelum Bandara
The Cabinet and the Public Service Commission (PSC) are on a collision course over the government’s decision to absorb acting principals with required educational and professional qualifications into the permanent cadre, informed sources said yesterday.

The situation took a turn for the worse on Wednesday with President Mahinda Rajapaksa even vowing to haul the PSC before the Cabinet.

Maldives silent on media’s claim on Nasheed-Sunanda arguments

The Maldivian government is yet to respond to an incident that had reportedly taken place four days ago at the side event during the UN Human Rights Council sessions, involving the Maldives president and exiled Sri Lankan journalist Sunanda Deshapriya.

Exposing the sham: Sri Lanka guilty of deception in lifting of Emergency

JC Weliamuna
Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and others are yet to make any pronouncements. This short essay is an attempt to examine the implications of the decision of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) together with the nature and effect of withdrawal of the emergency.

Human Rights groups urge UNHRC to fulfill its responsibilities towards ensuring accountability in Sri Lanka

Sixteen Human Rights Organisations today (September 16, 2011) called upon the current President of the UN Human Rights Council to provide leadership to the Council towards ensuring accountability in Sri Lanka. They also urged the President to issue an official statement acknowledging the transmission of the UN Panel of Experts Report on Sri Lanka by the UN Secretary General on September 12. A copy of the full letter is reproduced below.

Present LLRC and UNSG reports to 2012 March session for discussion - coalition of NGOs

1.  Acknowledges the President’s receipt of the Secretary-General’s correspondence dated 12 September 2011;
2.       Invites both the government of Sri Lanka and the Secretary-General to present to the Council at its 19th regular session in March 2012 their undertaken activities with respect to the implementation of the joint communiqué, including the findings of the LLRC.

Protect our environment — Group of concerned citizens writes to President

A concerned group of Sri Lankan environmentalists have taken measures to draw the attention of the President regarding several development projects that have been carried out at present which would harm wild animals and the environment.

Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Charles Haviland
The demolition has been denounced by both Muslims and Sinhalese. A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine last week, the BBC has learned.

United outrage over rights record - End of emergency rule fails to convince critics

While welcoming this month’s lifting of emergency rule, which has been intermittently enforced since 1981, the Bishop of Mannar says Sri Lanka still has a long way to go in terms of personal and religious freedom.

Fears for British Tamil held for four years in Sri Lanka

The British government and a legal charity have expressed concerns about the plight of an ill British Tamil who has been held in Sri Lanka for almost four-and-a-half years without charge or trial under controversial anti-terror legislation.

Turning the screw - Sri Lanka's government under pressure

THE United States is not in the business of threatening its friends, said Robert O. Blake, US assistant secretary of state, in Colombo on September 14th. But, he added, smiling placidly, there will be pressure.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I never asked any questions– Sunanda refuses false reports

Mr. Sunanada with President Mohammad
Our Correspondent in Geneva

"In the news bulletins of the government and pro-government media it was reported that Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed accused me of being a disgrace to the country in answering a question by me after the screening of the film in Geneva recently. I never asked any question and President Nasheed didn’t say anything like what the Colombo media reports," Mr. Sunanada Deshapriya says in a telephone conversation with the Sri Lanka Guardian from Geneva.

US official urges Sri Lanka’s war commission report to address war crimes allegations

 A top U.S. official has urged Sri Lanka to address allegations of war crimes in a report on its civil war due to be released this year.

US urges Sri Lanka to act on UN war report

Envoy tells government officials accountability for alleged war crimes should be top priority.
A senior US offical has called on the Sri Lankan government to follow up on the findings of a UN report, by bringing to justice those who committed war crimes during the civil war.

US wants Paramilitary activity in north stopped

Dianne Silva
The United States yesterday urged the government to control para-military activity in the North and for Tamil police personnel to be deployed to the North.

Thinakural’ newspaper sacks employees

Twenty three journalists and typesetters have been sacked by Thinakural newspaper, ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ learns.
 Their removal today (Sept. 14) follows directors of Thinakural’s publisher Thinakural Publications Pvt. Ltd. selling the entity to Asian Media Publications Pvt. Ltd. which publishes Weerakesari.

Grease devil incidents give rise to new levels of insecurity in Jaffna-US Asst. Secretary Blake

 Statement by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake at the Colombo Press Conference, Sep 14, 2011
 It is a pleasure to be back in Sri Lanka and to see many old friends. Over the last two days I have had a wide range of meetings in Colombo and Jaffna.

SRI LANKA: Pressure mounts on accountability process

 The failure of a national accountability commission into human rights abuses in the last days of the civil war could add to calls for an international inquiry, a top US diplomat warned on 14 September in Sri Lanka.

Survey: 40,000 Prostitutes 35,000 Homosexuals & unaccounted Lesbians

 A survey conducted by Health Authorities as a prelude to combat the deadly HIV AIDS spread has discovered that there are 40,000 prostitutes, 35,000 Homosexuals and an unaccounted number of Lesbians in the country.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

White vans pursue leaders who organized agitation against killing of Roshan Chanake

The organizers of the agitation by the Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) held on the 30th of August against the failure of the authorities to take action against those who were responsible for the killing of Roshan Chanake are being threatened by thugs say reports.

US comments on LLRC assist Sri Lanka deflect international pressure over mass atrocities

The United States and other governments must move without further delay towards an independent international investigation into mass atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war, and desist from lending credibility to Sri Lanka’s sham domestic investigation, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said in a statement Tuesday.

SL to protest Ban report at UNHRC in NY and Geneva

 Dianne Silva
The government of Sri Lanka will protest strongly against the taking up of the Darusman report at the United Nations Human Rights Council both in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York next week, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris told the Daily Mirror.

TNA Statement on Minister Samarasinghe's statement at UNHRC, Geneva

The TNA is surprised to learn of the contents of the September 12 address to the UN Human Rights Council by Hon. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Head of the Sri Lanka Delegation. We take particular exception to his claim that the government’s approach to reconciliation has been predicated on building trust and amity between communities. The experience of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka does not support this claim.

UNSG appoint Thoraya Obaid to review UN failures in Sri Lanka's war

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) -- The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday announced that its report indicating that both government and rebel forces committed war crimes during Sri Lanka's civil has been sent to the human rights body for review.

Sri Lanka recalls diplomat accused of war crimes

The Sri Lankan government has recalled its second most senior diplomat to Switzerland and Germany in response to accusations he was involved in war crimes.

Sri Lanka doctors 'complicit in torture'

Doctors in five countries including Sri Lanka are complicit in torture by failing to report torture when they treat torture victims, says the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

LLRC should not block space for the Council’s action to develop diverse means and tools, including an independent international mechanism

''FORUM-ASIA stresses that this Council must continue its demonstrated leadership in seeking accountability for the allegations of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. To this end, the findings and recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on accountability issues in Sri Lanka must be brought to the agenda of this Council for its debate and action''Oral Statement Delivered by Ms. Giyoun Kim on Behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

UN Human Rights system should act as a deterrent to breaches of international human rights laws, and war crimes

''One such tragedy, and one that her Excellency refers to in her report, is the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka.  The government of Sri Lanka embarked on a no-holds barred attack against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and in doing so, ignored the plight of innocent Tamil civilians. The laws of war were broken by all sides of the conflict''
S. Gary Anandasangaree for Lawyers Rights Watch Canada

Council should have structured discussion i about Sri Lanka’s human rights situation - AI at UNHRC

Madam President,
Amnesty International welcomes that the High Commissioner drew this Council's attention to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. We also welcome that the Government of Sri Lanka has again come to Geneva to discuss its serious human rights problems.

Sri Lanka: Post-War Progress Report

12 September 2011: The Government of Sri Lanka has not taken credible steps to ensure accountability for the grave allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity identified in the April 2011 report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.

UN move on war crimes report angers Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has denounced the decision to submit a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva accusing troops of killing thousands of civilians.

findings and recommendations UNSG panel report on sri Lanka must be brought to the agenda of this Council - Forum Asia

 ''FORUM-ASIA stresses that this Council must continue its demonstrated leadership in seeking
accountability for the allegations of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian

Two traitors in Geneva - Dinamina

Two persons betraying the country’s interests are involved in organizing pro-LTTE groups against Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the UNHCR sessions; the 'Dinamina' has reported today (Sep. 13).

EPDP protest blocks Blake meet with Jaffna civil society, students

The visiting US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert O Blake, had to cancel his appointment with civil society representatives, including student representatives of the University of Jaffna on Tuesday afternoon as EPDP paramilitary cum political party, aligned with Rajapaksa regime in Colombo, organized a protest outside the American Corner, situated on 4th cross street in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said.

Fonseka’s conviction lacked material - Counsel

Appeal against CM II conviction and sentence
 Chitra Weerarathne
The convictions of General Fonseka, by the Court Martial II, were not affirmed by the convening Authority, the President. Hence, there cannot be a consequential sentence, said Romesh de Silva PC, in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

China, Pak back Lanka at UN Human Rights Council: Minister

Plantation Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who heads the government delegation at the 18th session of the UN Human Rights Council, told the state owned `Lakhanda radio on the telephone that China and Pakistan had spoken in support of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka report sent to human rights council

UN leader Ban Ki-moon has sent a report accusing Sri Lankan troops of killing tens of thousands of civilians to the UN Human Rights Council, bringing a potential international inquiry one step closer.

Take a holistic view of the Sri Lankan situation - minister Samarasinghe at UNHRC

Mahinda Samarasinghe
It is my privilege to once again address this august body as head of the Sri Lanka delegation. We come here as always, Madam President, to share with the members of this Council and the other representatives of the community of nations, our experiences in overcoming the several challenges we face in the present era – an era that offers a fresh hope of a new Sri Lanka.

Monday, September 12, 2011

President, Blake discuss LLRC Monday,

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake during his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa today discussed the report by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Prime Minister Spends Millions For Wedding and Homecoming Invitations

Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne is believed to have spent approximately Rs. 3.6 million for his son’s wedding and homecoming invitations.

UN: Truth and justice needed to resolve Sri Lanka rights crisis

The UN Human Rights Council must act immediately to end the crisis of impunity that plagues Sri Lanka more than two years after the end of the bloody civil war in the country, Amnesty International told the Council today.

Opening Statement by Ms. Navanethem Pillay at 18th Session of the Human Rights Council

''Sri Lanka is one such case. For three decades, not only has that country suffered the brutal effects of terrorist acts, but the response of successive governments over the years has undermined independent institutions, human rights and the rule of law. I note the President's decision to allow some emergency measures to lapse, but strongly urge the Government to follow up with a comprehensive review of all security-related legislation and detentions.''
full spech: 

Sri Lankan post war situation to be presented at UNHRC today

Sri Lanka is ready to brief the International Human Rights Council at its opening session today in Geneva on the record of protection of human rights in Sri Lanka.  The 18th regular session of the UNHRC will be held from 12 to 30 September 2011 at the HRC headquarters in Geneva .

‘Grease devil’ episode develops into standoff at Tholpuram in Jaffna

An standoff that erupted between the residents of Paa'naaveddi village and the occupying Sri Lanka Army soldiers of 51-3 brigade Saturday night was contained in the last minute from deteriorating into a blood bath by the intervention of community leaders and politicians, after the residents caught two armed SLA soldiers.

Canadian PM Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper calls on the Commonwealth Leaders to Boycott Sri Lanka and call for international investigations into war crimes

'' Well, Canada’s position hasn’t changed. First of all, in terms of the specific you raised in your preamble, I have expressed concerns about the holding of the next Commonwealth summit, the one after the one coming up in Sri Lanka''.

AI charge over LLRC composition countered

 UK, US examples of domestic mechanisms highlighted
Shamindra Ferdinando
 The government yesterday said those undermining the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on the basis some of its members, including Chairman C.R. de Silva had held government appointments had forgotten similar appointments made by other UN member states, accused of human rights violations.

HRC sessions: Lanka wants issue taken up in Oct. 2012

Sujeeva Nivunhella
External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, said that that ongoing moves to take up Sri Lanka’s issue at the UN Human Rights Council sessions, scheduled to begin in Geneva today, were not acceptable.

More authority for Govt. over PC funds

The Finance Commission has recommended greater control by the Central Government over Provincial Councils in a bid to frame strategies for the development of Provinces which are congruent with key National initiatives.

Grease Devils

Increased fear and violence have spread across rural areas of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka over the past month following reports of assaults by ‘grease devils’.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Auditor General Issues Damning Report On Cash Strapped CPC

 ■COPE calls for explanation from CPC
  Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
A damning report by the Auditor General’s Department on the position of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in 2009 has highlighted many irregularities in the cash strapped government institution.


  V. Suryanarayan & Ashik Bonofer
 When the Fourth Eelam War began in early 2006, the main objective of the Sri Lankan Government was to find a military solution to the ethnic problem. The armed forces were given a free hand, they were well armed and well equipped with latest weapons acquired from different parts of the world; and they were not constrained by likely human rights violations.

Alleged war crimes: Lanka launches major diplomatic offensive

Senior ministers visit UNHRC countries to canvass support while delegation remains alert in Geneva Sunday Times Political Editor
This week began with the continuing focus on issues related to the aftermath of the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wikileaks reveals Mahinda Samarasinghe-Blake meetings

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is presently in Geneva leading a Sri Lankan team to the UN Human Rights Council sessions, had once told the then US ambassador Robert O’ Blake that he would not sacrifice his political career to become part of a whitewash for the Sri Lankan government’s human rights violations.

Batticaloa civil authority pressures relatives to declare missing persons dead

Civil authority in Batticaloa district has been forcing kith and kin of persons missing after arrest or abduction to obtain death certificates stating that the missing victims are dead, according to the relatives.

Sri Lanka children's homes 'should be shut down'By Saroj Pathirana

All children's homes in Sri Lanka should be closed down because of "rampant" abuse, the head of the country's child protection body says.

Activities of the grease man should be probed into by A Presidential Commission: TULF Leader

V. Anandasangaree, President of Tamil United Liberation front (TULF) has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe the “activities of the grease man” via a “Presidential Commission”. He has referred to related incidents taking place in Jaffna peninsula and other places in the letter. Full Text of the letter to the President by TULF leader as follows:

I boycotted ‘Godage Lierature Festival’ as I did not want to insult Tolstoy – Dharshana Medis

Mr. Dharshana Medis, who had been invited to make the keynote address at the ‘Godage National Literature Festival’ held at J.R. Jayawardene Center in Colombo on the 7th boycotted the festival and abstained from making the keynote address when he suddenly realized the ‘festival’ was being held with the official participation of the government machinery.

Blake to discuss LLRC report

The US embassy confirmed today that one purpose of Assistant Secretary of state Robert O. Blake's visit, was to hold discusssions on the LLRC report.

Sri Lanka says Amnesty war probe allegations 'interference'

Sri Lanka said Saturday that Amnesty International comments on the island's probe into its military victory over Tamil rebels, were an "interference" in the country's sovereignty.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jaffna MC adopts resolution against reduction of MP seats

The Jaffna Municipal Council has unanimously adopted a resolution against the reduction of parliamentary seats for the district.

Who Is He? Who Said So? (the case of Namal and Thushara)

Raisa Wickrematunge
Thushara Jayaratne is a name not many may remember. The Law College student was the centre of some controversy last year. He claimed that the questions in an open book Commercial law paper (held December 3, 2010) had been leaked to none other than the President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa.

SL 'grease devils’ in Jaffna target uprooted Vanni families

While news reports from the East earlier this week said that the Sri Lanka Army in Batticaloa has been harassing the families of former LTTE members, including those who had left the movement 20 years ago, reports from different areas in the Jaffna peninsula indicate that the SL military operated ‘grease devils’ and ‘abduction units’ in the peninsula have been increasingly targeting uprooted families from Vanni,

SRI LANKA: Battles ahead for women

Women in a vegetable plot they startedALLANKULAM, 8 September 2011 (IRIN) - More policies and programmes must address the needs of female-headed households in Sri Lanka's former conflict zone, experts say.

HR National Plan ready

In the run-up to the forthcoming Sessions of the Human Rights Council, the government of Sri Lanka has adopted a National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.

A government minister yesterday called for land powers to be devolved to the North and East.

Minister wants
land powers for North and East
To early to devolve police powers - Hisbullah
September 8, 2011, 12:00 pm

Zacki Jabbar
Deputy Minister of Child Development and Womens Affairs A. L. M. Hisbullah told The Island that it was alright granting North and East administrations control over land, since it was over two years since the LTTE had been defeated.

Disputed detention bill deferred Friday,

Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
The controversial Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill that seeks to hold a suspect in custody for 48 hours instead of the 24 hours under the normal law without being produced before a magistrate was deferred in parliament yesterday after the main opposition challenged its legality.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

AG’s Dept. not independent - new AG

The Auditor General’s Department is not an independent institution, since it is financially and administratively linked to the Treasury and other state bodies, said new auditor general H.A.S. Samaraweera.

Gota takes over university security

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and vice-chancellors of all universities in the island have been informed by the Ministry of Higher Education to hand over security affairs of all universities to Ratna Lanka Ltd that belongs to Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and L.R.D.C. Pvt. Ltd that is also connected to him.

‘Bait and Switch’ on Emergency Law: Abusive Detention Powers Remain in Place in Sri Lanka-HRW

Emergency regulations lifted in Sri Lanka do not affect existing and new laws that allow the government to detain people for long periods without trial, Human Rights Watch said today.

Using ‘grease devils’ Colombo sets next stage of militarisation

Citing ‘grease devils,’ Sri Lanka occupying the country of Eezham Tamils sets the next stage of its militarisation by creating a ‘civil’ paramilitary that will be formally led by SL minister Mr Douglas Devananda, but actually ‘steered’ by the commander of the occupying forces, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe and the colonial governor Maj. Gen. Chandrasri.

Batticaloa residents urge international action on already admitted crimes against humanity

The kith and kin of 174 Tamil youths, who were arrested and dragged away by the occupying Sri Lanka Army 21 years ago in two separate incidents at Vanthaa'rumoolai and later massacred en masse, observed Monday memorial prayers at the Saiva temple at the Eastern University premises and at the Vishnu temple of Vanthaa'rumoolai.

Govt. seeks to hold suspects in custody for 48 hours

Kelum Bandara
With the lapsing of the state of emergency, the government has sought parliamentary approval to extend the period for holding a suspect in police custody from 24 hours under normal law to 48 hours before producing him or her before a magistrate.

New proclamation for military deployment

 Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
Three forces in all districts to maintain law and order
Govt. rejects call for removal of PTA and PSO

A week after the lifting of emergency regulations, the government yesterday issued a new proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance allowing for the deployment of the army, navy and air force in addition to the police for the maintenance of law and order in all districts of the country.

Group urges independent Sri Lanka war crimes probe

A leading human rights group on Wednesday urged the United Nations to launch an independent investigation of alleged atrocities committed in the final stages of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, saying the country's own probe into the matter was flawed.

Sri Lanka: Amnesty report premature or overdue?

A new report by Amnesty International released today accuses the Sri Lankan government of covering up war crimes, committed by its military, at the end of the country’s civil conflict in 2009. But why is it publishing now?

Rajapaksa has not kept his word: Karat, CPI M, India

Seeks equal status, maximum autonomy for the community and a political solution to the crisisThe Communist Party of India (Marxist) held a dharna at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday demanding equal status, maximum autonomy and a political solution for Sri Lankan Tamils.

IMF:Sri Lanka should limit forex intervention

* Sri Lanka non-borrowed forex reserves have declined -IMF
* IMF: Cbank fx sales not in line with current economic fundamentals
* Sri Lanka's 2011 economic growth to be around 7.5 pct
* Cenbank says sold dollars to maintain rupee stability

Sri Lanka Rights Record Under Spotlight

Tom Wright
Pressure on Sri Lanka to allow an independent investigation of war crimes committed by the government and the Tamil Tigers at the end of their 26-year war is mounting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sri Lanka should meet benchmarks prior to commonwealth games

At the 2009 CHOGM, Sri Lanka’s candidature for hosting the meeting was deferred from 2011 to 2013 because of concerns about human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government. While war-time abuses have ended, the situation in Sri Lanka continues to be characterised by serious human rights violations, including assault on democratic institutions, such as the media and trade unions.

CPI(M) Asks Govt to Address Plight of Sri Lankan Tamils

Voicing concern over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka post the conflict, the CPI(M) today asked the government to play a more active role in rehabilitating and relocating them as per India's commitment under the peace accord between the two countries.

Media limitations seriously damage country’s people: DRC Chairman

There should not be limitations on the media as it would result in grave damage to the people in a country, the Press Complaints Commission’s Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) Chairman Sam Wijeysinghe said today.

Sri Lanka: Inquiry into armed conflict fundamentally flawed

AI launched the report on 07 Sep in Geneva at UN press room
The Sri Lankan government’s inquiry into the country’s civil war is fundamentally flawed and provides no accountability for atrocities, according to a new Amnesty International report.

At UN Screening on Sri Lanka Murders, Kohona Tells Press to Ask Nambiar, Silva Says It Was 53rd Div - Lies Agreed On

Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, September 6, updated -- Sri Lanka's two top diplomats at the UN in New York took Press questions after they screened "Lies Agreed Upon," of which the invitation from the president of the UN Correspondents' Association stated, "Sri Lankan Authorities state, 'this video directly challenges the assertions contained in the UK Channel 4 video, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields.'"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Appointment was made under lapsed emergency regulations – M.P. Sumanthiran

TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran charged in Parliament yesterday that the appointment of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation had been made under the Emergency Regulations although these were no longer in operation. 

'complete destruction' seen by Moon

The UN Secretary General had told the diplomats that he saw a scene of "complete destruction", when he flew over the former "no-fire zone" in Sri Lanka. He described the conditions of Manik Farm refugee camp as worse than anything he had ever seen before, reveals a US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.

Restore law and order in Jaffna: Ranil

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today proposed that a committee comprising all the MPs from the Jaffna district be appointed for the government to consult in matters such as the dismantling of the High Security Zones in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the emergency regulations.

What earthly reason is there to fault me? - Sarath N Silva former CJ

I write in reference to the article bearing ‘Ex-CJ should be aware of agreements signed’ published in The Daily Mirror of August 31st, by Minister S. B. Dissanayake, to an interview given by me and published as an “opinion” in your newspaper of 22-08-2011.

Bishop worries about reconciliation

Attitude of welcoming different opinions and thinking of others 'is decreasing now'
Peace and minority rights are illusory even two years after the end of a 30-year civil war, the secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference said September 3.

The Continuing 'State of Emergency' in Sri Lanka

Amali Wedagedara
The decision of the Sri Lankan government to lift the Emergency Regulations (ER) has been received in good faith by many. The international community has expressed its pleasure and satisfaction. The Indian minister of external affairs, S.M. Krishna welcomed the move as an “effective step leading to genuine national reconciliation in the country” (The Hindu, August 27, 2011).

Bad petrol loss Rs.410 Mn: Culprits go scot free

Zacki Jabbar
Despite the committee that probed the CPC’s import of sub standard petrol, recommending the recovery of the loss of around Rs.410 million from those responsible including the supplier, no action has been initiated, the UNP said yesterday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

SEC must safeguard credibility of CSE to build investor confidence in Sri Lanka

Harsha de Silva Ph.D
We understand that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is planning to compound undisclosed securities fraud by some billionaire investors. Media reports have begun to circulate that Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) and its Directors have agreed with the SEC to pay an insignificant fine of Rs 10 million and compound an offence related to securities trading.

Int’l dispute: Private sector expresses concern

Dianne Silva
The private sector is concerned that the dispute on accountability issues between the government and the international community would lead to grave consequences for Sri Lanka’s industrial sector.

4 persons arrested while pasting posters despite the Emergency cessation

Four activists of the 'people's movement for safeguarding schools' have been taken into custody by the Wariyapola Police last night (04).  They had been pasting posters on 'threats on free education'.

President shown photos of shelling civilians

President shown photos of shelling civilians
 'The Foreign Minister insisted that satellite images did not provide information needed to determine the source of fire,' says the US embassy cable  

More shocking scams at CEYPETCO

The Auditor General in a highly critical report has drawn the attention of the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) as to how the top management of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO), one of the major semi government institutions which is in deep financial trouble had among other financial misdeeds misappropriated funds, made false tax declarations, and excessive payments to lawyers and advertisers.

In the assassin's mind

‘Satanic Force’ contained over 1,000 names of women raped, men butchered by IPKF

Jaya Menon,
Material Objects (MO) 124 and 125 are now just piles of paper gathering dust in a court vault. But they helped enlist an army of fighters, and assassins, for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. 'Satanic Force', two large volumes of Tiger propaganda seized by CBI investigators soon after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi gives an insight into the harsh indoctrination that LTTE cadres were put through.

Lanka leads in diseases, injuries

Carol Aloysius
Sri Lanka holds the record of the country with the highest incidence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Communicable Diseases (CDs) and Injuries in the world. Mortality rates from NCDs are currently 20-50% higher in Sri Lanka than in developed countries – especially for cardiovascular disease and asthma.

TNA to legally challenge new laws

Kelum Bandara
The Tamil National Alliance decided to legally challenge the regulations imposed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on the principle that things done by the government under the state of emergency could not be done under a different legal regime, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said yesterday.

Rajapaksa comes down heavily on those demanding accountability

Some countries are providing a “safe haven” to “theoreticians of terror in Sri Lanka”
Coming down heavily on countries that demanded accountability for the civilian deaths in the last stages of the Eelam war IV in early 2009, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that for most of those who demand accountability, it was only a “verbal apology for civilian deaths that are dismissed as collateral damage in heavy bombings.”

Lapses in lifting of Emergency

  • Confusion over new laws amidst mystery of the missing Gazette
  • Attempt to placate international community but US and India maintain pressure

Donors knew of shelling civilians

International donors were aware of artillery attacks on Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka military in the last stages of the war against Tamil Tigers, according to recent Wikileaks revelations. However, donor nations have stopped short of making their knowledge public.

GSP suspension still remain in force - US

US Congress is yet to vote on reinstating GSP, says US embassy
The United States says that the suspension of trade concessions to Sri Lanka is still in force.
Rejecting media reports in Colombo that the US has decided to restore the withdrawn Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility, the US says that the Congress is yet to vote on reinstating the facility.

Civilians will be dealt under PTA - army

More than 120 people have been arrested in Jaffna for vigilante attacks  
Saroj Pathirana
Those who attack military and police installations are "terrorists" and will be charged with country's anti-terror regulations, says Sri Lanka military.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

US Embassy Cables – Colombo – 2010 – 21 to 30

21 Embassy Colombo EAC meeting 01/20/2010
22 Sri Lanka: assessing progress on key issues
23 Subject: leftist JVP explains support for Fonseka
24 Ambassador summoned by Foreign Minister
25 Sri Lanka: Elections Update No. 11
26 Sri Lanka: Elections Update no. 12 - Morning generally peaceful, turnout high so far
27 Sri Lanka: Elections Update no. 13 - Polls closed
28 Subject: sri lanka: elections update no. 14 - announcement of returns slow
29 Subject: IPR protection in Sri Lanka: Bad, but improving
30 Sri Lanka: Elections Update No. 15

US Embassy Cables – Colombo – 2010 – 16 to 20

 16 Sri Lanka: Elections update No. 9 
17 GDP growth is not enough as popular economic discontent imperils president's reelection
18 Election developments in eastern Sri Lanka
19 Rajapaksa pollster says race is neck and neck
20 Elections in Ampara: Intimidation and weak allegiances

US Embassy Cables – Colombo – 2010 – 11 to 15

11 Tissanayagam out of prison  
12 Post recommends not accepting Sri Lanka GSP petition for review 
13 Sri Lanka war-crimes accountability: The Tamil perspective 
14 Sri Lanka pledges its support for Haiti  
15 Sri Lanka: Elections update no. 8

US Embassy Cables – Colombo – 2010 – 01 to 05

US Embassy Cables – Colombo – 2010 – 06 to 10

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sri Lanka Army admits using physical force on ‘grease devil’ protesters

Mr Rajapaksa says army would act against anyone making trouble just as it defeated 'terrorists'
 Charles Haviland  
An opposition MP in Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka says many people there are in a state of panic and afraid to go out at night because of the security forces’ behaviour.
Reports say the police and army beat up 20 people when taking action against a crowd who had been chasing some strangers they accused of acting suspiciously.

JVP, TNA say legal vacuum in country - New regulations still to be gazetted

Kelum Bandara
A legal lacuna exists with the lapsing of the state of emergency on Tuesday, as the government has failed to print the gazette notification giving the new regulations imposed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) charged yesterday.

Most allegations against Sri Lankan Army ‘nonsense'

Rajapaksa adviser says majority of the soldiers behaved impeccably.
 Sri Lanka can initiate inquiries into allegations that have been levelled against its Army of war crimes in the final stages of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009 only if it is provided specific instances with prima facie evidence, a parliamentarian from President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling alliance has said.

Should Sri Lanka’s Youth Get Ready To Confront Armed Intervention Two Years After The War?

One broad question that arises is whether this – this issue about training the youth – was actually an ulterior motive of the Government’s plan to give ‘leadership training’ to those selected to University. The Government argued that it has no such intentions. But then, if the above author is to claim that the ‘recent successful experiment’.....

Sri Lanka imposes new laws to hold terror suspects

Sri Lanka will still detain hundreds of terror suspects and outlaw the defeated rebel Tamil Tiger group despite lifting wartime emergency laws, an official said Thursday. An ethnic Tamil lawmaker condemned the moves as undemocratic and said the anti-terrorism law the government is expanding is too restrictive and should be abolished.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photographic evidence of assault on Jaffna civilians 30th Aug 2011

'Panic' in Jaffna over Grease Devils

Charles Haviland
Military believes former Tamil Tigers were behind some of the crowd violence
An opposition MP in Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka says many people there are in a state of panic and afraid to go out at night because of the security forces’ behaviour.

Grease devils, occupying forces, intensify terror in Jaffna

The ‘grease devil’ terror, staged by Sri Lanka’s occupying forces in the country of Eezham Tamils in a systematic way, clearly shows signs of a master-minded genocide emboldened by international inaction, said political and civil activists in Jaffna, commenting on terror unleashed on Wednesday and Thursday in the Jaffna University locality and in the Kurunakar suburb of Jaffna city.