Monday, October 31, 2011

SL Police registers details of residents in Trincomalee city

 The occupying Sri Lanka Police in Trincomalee has started registering residents in Trincomalee city and its suburbs from Saturday evening. SL Police personnel were seen visiting households in Trincomalee city Sunday handing over printed forms to the chief occupant and asking him or her to write names of persons residing in the house.

Lankan legislator urges civil society protests over draconian take-over bill .

A fiery, forthright Sri Lankan opposition legislator on Monday called for civil society protests against a draconian Bill allowing the government to take over a list of specified,  state and private enterprises on the grounds of  ‘under-performing’ or ‘under-utilised’.

Amnesty slams ‘disgraceful’ Commonwealth inaction on Sri Lanka


Amnesty International is outraged that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth has utterly failed to hold Sri Lanka to account over allegations of war crimes and other grave human rights abuses arising from the 2009 conflict.

Sri Lanka and the death of Muammar Gaddafi

Sunanda Deshapriya
Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera.  Once any individual is captured, in spite of the crimes allegedly committed by the person, whether victim or perpetrator,  due process and the rule of law has to be followed.  That is what makes us civilised people.

A Prima Facie Critique of The New Bill to Vest in the State Under performing Enterprises and Under Utilized Assets


  1. The Bill appears to have been certified by the Cabinet on the 20th October 2011 as an Urgent Bill and was presented to and reviewed by the Supreme Court during the last week.
  2. The Bill has reached the Media and Citizens only towards the end of last week ie. after the review by the Supreme Court and possibly after its verdict had reached the Speaker of Parliament

Crime, drugs and politics operate in synergy in the post-armed conflict context of Sri Lanka

''To some extent this entwining of politics, crime and drugs was explained by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence in following words: “Unfortunately, due to the environment of this area; where the underworld existed with a gun culture, it was not unknown that the politicians working there would have such connections. The politics they have to play in this area is such that they have no choice in it. ''

Limited progress made on Commonwealth human rights reforms

''A new human rights commissioner — the lynchpin of the reform report — is no longer needed in the form recommended, said Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth’s secretary general.  That’s because a ministerial management group has been given new powers to enforce human rights abuses.''

Canadian PM 'skeptical' of Sri Lanka's president's promises

David Akin,
 Alone among its Commonwealth peers, Canada is calling out Sri Lanka's government for failing to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Sri Lanka's army in the final months of that country's bloody civil war. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, rewarded Sri Lanka Sunday by re-affirming its decision to hold its 2013 heads of government summit in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

CHOGM 2011: Fifteen nations help GoSL defeat Canada’s anti-Lanka move

Shamindra Ferdinando 
Sri Lanka had thwarted an attempt by a minute section of the Commonwealth and the LTTE to humiliate Sri Lanka, at the CHOGM 2011, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said yesterday. Addressing the Sri Lankan media at the conclusion of the three-day biennial in Perth, Prof. Peiris said that Sri Lanka faced threats on three fronts, namely CHOGM 2011, litigation initiated by the LTTE and perceived bid to re-open the venue issue.

Vote of Confidence in Sri Lanka

The triple diplomatic triumph achieved by Sri Lanka at the just concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, is a veritable Vote of Confidence in this country by the majority of Commonwealth countries, and constitutes a high moment in this country's international relations.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Colombo pushes for 40,000 acres land grab for Sinhalese in Batticaloa

More than 40,000 acres of fertile lands that are located in border villages that come under the DS division of Koa'ralaippattu North, Vavu'natheevu, Ea'raavoorpattu, Chengkaladi, Koa'ralaippattu South and Paddippazhai in the Batticaloa district belonging to Tamil speaking people are under alienation to Sinhalese without the permission

Britain urges Sri Lanka to make progress on rights by 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron urged Sri Lanka on Sunday to make progress on human rights before it hosts the next Commonwealth leaders meeting in 2013 to prevent the likelihood of boycotts. Cameron said he pressed President Mahendra Rajapaske during this year's Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Australia to show that Colombo did not "have things to hide" following the end of the country's civil war.

Sri Lanka's expropriation law names two listed firms: report

 At least two listed companies in Sri Lanka have been named among several dozen, in a secretly hatched law to expropriate assets of firms deemed by the state as 'underperforming' or 'underutilized', a media report said.

Our university system cannot make country the ‘Knowledge hub of Asia’ unless we recognize importance of intellectual freedom

''Several generations of politicians destroyed much that was valued in the intellectual environment of our universities. Let us hope that politicians of today do not strangle the State university system in pursuit of their distorted vision of a knowledge based society and an Asian knowledge hub in Sri Lanka.''

New Govt Policy on Land matters in the North and the East - Friday Forum

The “Friday Forum” group of concerned citizens has issued a statement as a discussion paper, expressing its concerns over a new government policy on land matters in the North and the East.

Confederation of civil groups formed in Jaffna

A confederation of people’s forums for humanitarian work was formed in Jaffna on Saturday morning, when representatives of various civil groups and civil activists met at the NGO Centre located at the Temple Road in the city. The decision to form the confederation was unanimously resolved at the meeting.

SL Police registering people in Batticaloa causes fear among residents

Fear and tension prevail among residents of Batticaloa district following the re-introduction of registration of persons by the Sri Lankan Police. The SL police personnel, predominantly Sinhalese, have been collecting the details of residents living permanently and temporarily in Batticaloa.

SLA constructs cantonment in Mannaar causing fear among residents

The occupying Sri Lanka Army in Maanaar is constructing a cantonment at Chelveari area situated along Mannaar - Thalai Mannaar Road. For the last four days heavy vehicles such as armoured cars and tanks had been seen transporting materials for the construction, thus creating fear and tension among residents.

TNA leaders meet U.S., U.N. officials

''According to TNA leader M.A. Sumanthiran, after May 2009, the defence forces have occupied more than 7,000 sq km of land owned by Tamil people. There is one member of the armed forces for approximately every 10 civilians in the Jaffna Peninsula. ''

Getting to the truth of Nandikadal

''Moreover, the capture of state assets by a ruling family exceeds even the excesses of the past, valuable state land is up for grabs by all and sundry and now, bills are not only kept secret but they are apparently not being drafted by the Legal Draftsman's Department.''

Oppressed North; Lawless South

Tisaranee Gunasekara 
If they harm me, it is the country they harm,” Gotabhaya Rajapaksa - (Daily Mirror – Hard Talk)
A despot sees himself not as the First Citizen in a country of peers but as the Patriarch of an infantile-nation. He thereby arrogates unto himself the triple-roles of traditional-fatherhood, becoming, at least in his self-besotted eyes, the wise-guide, the caring-provider and the dauntless-protector of his people.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Militarising Public Space And Silencing The Vulnerable - State Defence And City Development Ministry

Jude Fernando
All institutions representing city development are now under the purview of the State Defence and City Development Ministry – the new name of the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defence is a top-down command driven institution, while the development institutions are expected to be democratic.

Editor Threatened

Indika Sri Aravinda
The Editor of The Sunday Leader, Frederica Jansz last Thursday (27) received a death threat via the post to her residence. Frederica lodged a complaint with the Mirihana Police after receiving the threat.

Former CJ On The Mat

Vimukthi Yapa
 Seventy six government members of parliament including cabinet ministers and their deputies have signed a motion calling on Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to inquire into and report on the allegations of abuse of power, misconduct and/or misbehavior that have been leveled against Sarath N Silva, former Chief Justice.

Turning Former LTTE Personnel into Sri Lankan Citizens?


Whatever the death toll during the last stages of Eelam War IV in 2009 the official government data in that year acknowledged that 11,696 (9078 male and 2024 female)[i] of those who survived had identified themselves or been identified as members of the LTTE — whether combatants or active functionaries.

Gota throws away the transfer letters issued by IGP to SSP, ASP and OIC implicated in Bharatha murder

The transfer order letters issued by the IGP to the three high rung police officers who are implicated in the quadruple murder at Mulleriyawa , had been disdainfully thrown away by Gota the defense Secretary, according to reports reaching Lanka e news.. He had also flown into a demonic rage so characteristic of him.

14 pc of young Lankan girls sexually abused

Ten to 14 per cent of Sri Lanka’s young girls are sexually abused, said the Family Health Bureau.
 According to the Bureau’s statistics, seven pc of girls become pregnant at a very young age.

Testimonies before LLRC show people want clarity not retribution – Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

''Every single survey from 2006 onwards was fully supportive of the President fighting the LTTE but equally supportive of a political solution, so one cannot accuse the Sinhalese of being racist.  Both the government and the TNA will have to recognise that there are extremists on either side who would prefer not to have a compromise. We must respect the extremists without giving into them where their views are not in the interest of progress. ''

Sri Lanka must stop attacks on Indian fishermen: Advani

Terming repeated attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy as a national issue, BJP leader L K Advani on Friday said the government should firmly ask Colombo to put an end to them. "Sri Lanka must be told firmly that the repeated attacks on Indian fishermen must end," he told

Taking a stand on Sri Lanka

Rajapaksa at the Commonwealth Business Forum
Years after Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war ended in a bloodbath, we still don’t know the half of what went on in the final horrific days.
According to the United Nations, “tens of thousands” died in 2008-2009 as government forces crushed a Tamil Tiger rebellion.

Intelligence expanded into six battalions .

The Sri Lanka Army has expanded the sole intelligence battalion of the Military Intelligence Corps into six battalions to face future threats and to make sure that a situation similar to what the country underwent in the recent past would not take place again.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Perpetrators of a brutal attack on a student of Jaffna University have not been arrested

Asian Human Rights Commission
 Mr. Rajavarothayan Kavirajan (27) of Nalloor, Punarin in Kilinochchi District, a final year student of Art Faculty of the Jaffna University was severely assaulted by members of an unknown group, who are believed to be of the country's military intelligence units, in Jaffna on 24 October 2011. Rajavarothayan was seriously injured, and was admitted to the Kilinochchi General Hospital and then on the next day considering the severity of the condition he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

Sri Lanka dealing with war allegations: president

The Sri Lankan president says his government is working to heal the divisions caused by the recent civil war.
Mahinda Rajapaksa says many former combatants have been released and reintegrated into the community.
But there is growing international pressure on Sri Lanka to thoroughly investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the country's army.

UN SG presses for rights accountability in Sri Lanka

John Paul Putney


[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] reemphasized Wednesday the importance of accountability issues in Sri Lanka related to conflicts with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [JURIST news archive]. The comments came during a meeting with Mahinda Samarasinghe [UN News Centre report], the Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights, as part of the UN's ongoing dialogue with the Colombo government [VOA report].

How did Dilitha Jayaweera who did not have Rs. 5 earn billions? Shan Wickremesinghe complains to the CCD .

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s eldest brother Shan Wickremesinghe today visited the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) and lodged a complaint with the head of the CCD SP D.R.L. Ranaweera to immediately inquire as to how Dilith Jayaweera who could not afford a meal for Rs. 5 when he was a Law student in the Colombo University, has now purchased stocks of the Rs. 2 billion George Stuart Company.

Fertile Tamil village targeted for Sinhalicisation in Mullaiththeevu

An ancient Tamil village Tha’n’ni-mu’rippu, well known for its fertile landscape and resources in the Karaithu’raippattu division of the Mullaiththeevu district, has been brought under the newly created Sinhala division Weli-oya, and is targeted for fast Sinhalicisation of its land and water resources, while resettlement of the villagers is blocked.

Commonwealth values put to test by Sri Lanka

 Salil Shetty
Australia takes over leadership of the Commonwealth group of nations at CHOGM this week. But whatever legacy it hopes to leave from its two years at the helm, there is one that can only tarnish its record.

Probe ( against former CJ) has no legal grounds says former CJ

The attempt to investigate the former Chief Justice (CJ) has no legal basis say Sarath N. De Silva, former chief justice. Media reports say, the speaker had decided to appoint a parliamentary select committee to conduct an official investigation in to alleged abuse of power during De Silva’s tenure as Chief Justice.

Samarasinghe questions UNHRC transparency .

The Special Envoy of the President for Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing the Third Committee meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today expressed Sri Lanka’s concerns about the transparency of the UN Human Rights Council.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sri Lanka: Blocking Lanka e News: An Indication of the Regime’s Fear of an Informed Citizenry

Press release/ 27 Oct 2011
NfR Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders views the blocking of the website of Lanka e News in Sri Lanka as clear sign of the present regime's fear of an informed citizenry. The site has been blocked by the State owned Telecom, its subsidiary Mobitel and the privately owned Dialog internet service providers.

Entire legal framework of electoral process should be reviewed, modified and strengthened

Sarath N. Silva
The recent incident at Mulleriyawa resulting in several deaths and serious injuries to others, which took place when an election was in progress, depicts the spiral of violence that has engulfed our electoral process. The incident involved high ranking politicians of the ruling party itself and their heavily armed security personnel.

TNA parliamentarian Sumanthiran files petition in appeal court against circular concerning lands in North and East

''Tamil National Alliance National List Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran in his petition filed through attorney-at-law Mohan Balendra expressed apprehension that the impugned circular was a means to maliciously and illegally circumvent and compromise the rights and protections granted to persons in and from the northern and eastern provinces mandated by the constitution and the law. ''

Some nations may boycott CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka: Rudd

Natasha Chaku
 Disclosing that the next meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) will go ahead in Sri Lanka in 2013, Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd today said some nations may boycott it. "It will be a matter for individual governments how they then view matters unfolding in Sri Lanka between now and when that next CHOGM is held," he said adding that "I think our friends in Sir Lanka are mindful that there are a range of views on this across the Commonwealth."

Ban stresses importance of accountability as Sri Lanka recovers from civil war

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated the importance of dealing with accountability issues as Sri Lanka continues to work towards national reconciliation following its long-running civil war. Mr. Ban stressed the point during a meeting at United Nations Headquarters with Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights.

Priests want monument for the disappeared demolished

We are writing to bring to your notice an action by some priests, namely, Rev. Father Prasad Perera the Parish priest of of the church at Raddoluwa Junction and Fr. SriLal Manoj Perera, the Bishop's property caretaker, who were accompanied by a lawyer made a request to the Seeduwa Police to demolish the monument for the disappeared erected at Raddoluwa, Seeduwa, the Hong Kong based rights group, the Asian Human Rights Commission urged in an open letter to the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bharatha killing, drugs and CSE 'linked'

There seems to be a link between Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), illegal drugs and the recent murder of a presidential advisor, says the owner of a private media network. Shan Wickramsinghe, the owner of the TNL media network, told BBC Sandeshaya that he received death threats after his network discussed the alleged link in a talk show.

Sri Lanka Team Calls UN Ban "Close," No "Darusman" Report Action For Year?

Matthew Russell Lee,  
UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- After Sri Lanka's special envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe met Wednesday morning with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press asked him how the meeting had gone. Video here and below.

Sri Lankan rights abuses top the bill as leaders talk

AUSTRALIA is arguing for the Commonwealth to be given greater powers to stop member nations engaging in military coups and human rights abuses, rather than persist with the present system of suspending nations only once they have transgressed.

Billion of rupees wasted from online lottery

In another glaring instance where public money has been wasted due to corruption, the country has lost a massive Rs.983 million as a result of an investment made in a Norwegian company a few years ago for an online lottery, the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has revealed.

Another Jaffna undergrad assaulted


Just days after the assault of a student leader in Jaffna, another undergraduate was stoned by unknown persons at Punagari Junction in Paranthan.  Twenty six-year-old R. Kavdas was admitted to Kilinochchi with serious head injuries at 24th October.

EDITORIAL Sri Lanka Gaurdian: New bill on assets

Underperforming government brings a bill to acquire underperforming private enterprises
Today's media, based in Colombo has reported that the government has placed before the Supreme Court a bill for a new law to acquire underperforming enterprises and underutilised assets. The president has placed this bill before the Supreme Court for approval.

‘I don’t want to be the Prime Minister. I am not interested in that’–Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

An Interview with Shakuntala Perera for “Hard Talk”.
 QUESTION:
 Is there a conspiracy behind Baratha Premachandra’s death? His family alleges against a move to obstruct justice from within the government, with a finger pointed directly at the President?
 ANSWER:
 These are political rivalries. I don’t know what this big conspiracy is; they should explain what this is. It’s not like he was a national leader.

Post-war relations: MR praises Dutch action against the LTTE

Shamindra Ferdinando
 President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday evening urged the international community to follow the Dutch example in dealing with the LTTE seeking to destabilise Sri Lanka.Addressing a section of the Sri Lankan community based in Australia at the Winthrop Hall in Perth, Western Australia, President Rajapaksa said that there couldn’t be a better recent example than the way the Netherlands had dealt with those raising funds to cause death and destruction in Sri Lanka

Australia AG refuses to allow Sri Lanka war crimes case

Jamie Reese
[JURIST] Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland [official website] refused Tuesday to allow a war crimes case against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa [official website]. McClelland's announcement was in response to charges filed [JURIST report] by an Australian citizen claiming that during the 2009 Sri Lankan civil war, civilian targets were intentionally bombed by military forces.

Sri Lanka - Committee against Torture (CAT); A glance at the recommendations of the alternative reports

Recommendations are the most important section of all alternative reports that have been submitted to the CAT.  These recommendations represent a summary the expectations and bench marks for the campaign to stop torture in Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recommendations of International Disability Alliance (IDA) to CAT re Sri Lanka

Recommendations from IDA :
Closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in national and regional strategies to prevent torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment in accordance with Articles 4(3) and 15 of the CRPD.

Concluding recomendations of REDRESS to CAT re Sri Lanka

III.CONCLUDING RECOMMENDATIONS
The Panel of Experts’ Report provides evidence that suggest violations both of Sri Lanka’s negative obligation to refrain from committing torture and ill-treatment and its positive obligation to prevent and respond to such violations.

REPORT OF GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO END ALL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN to CAT Re SRI LANKA

Corporal punishment is lawful in the home. The Penal Code (1883) was amended in 1995 to provide for the offence of cruelty to children (article 308A, amended further in 2006), but article 82 of the Code states: “Nothing, which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age, or, of unsound mind, by or by consent, either express or implied, of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause/or be intended by the doer to cause, or be known by the doer be likely to cause, to that person….”

Tamil Tiger 5 – a case of irony and disappointment

After four emotional weeks in court and another two weeks of quiet deliberation, the trial against 5 Dutch-Tamil Sri Lankans in The Hague, charged with supporting the Tamil Tigers movement, ended in disappointment for both sides.

Govt must ok Sri lankan President’s case – Australian PM

A war crimes case filed against the Sri Lankan president in an Australian court cannot proceed without the federal government's consent, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says. Sri Lankan-born Australian citizen Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran has lodged a war crimes indictment against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The continued militarization of Sri Lanka

Gibson Bateman
Led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, post-war Sri Lanka is a sad place. In May of 2009, the Sri Lankan government achieved a resounding military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Most of the LTTE’s leadership was killed. For the foreseeable future, it is hard to envision another Tamil nationalist movement taking up arms against the state.  Yet, if living in Sri Lanka, one might think that the conflict is still going on.

India to oppose a human rights monitor at CHOGM

Indrani BagchiIndrani Bagchi,
India will oppose a Commonwealth report that seeks to establish a monitoring group for member countries on human rights, democracy and rule of law. At the Commonwealth summit in Perth this week, India is working the diplomatic levers to make the case that such groups are beyond the mandate of the 54-nation grouping.

Canada rallies behind Commonwealth human-rights reports

Mark Kennedy 
Sri Lanka is scheduled to host the next Commonwealth summit in 2013, but the country is under attack for alleged human rights violations and war crimes in the final days of its civil war with the Tamil Tigers in 2009. It is refusing to heed calls for an international investigation into those allegations, which has annoyed some other Commonwealth nations.

Govt. means business: Sends SC urgent bill to takeover underperforming State enterprises

Sending an emphatic message that it means business, the Government yesterday submitted to the Supreme Court for its clearance an urgent Bill aimed at taking over State enterprise and assets which are underperforming or beset with other ills.

Australia citizen files war crimes charges against Sri Lanka president

Jerry Votava

[JURIST] An Australian citizen has filed two counts of war crimes charges against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa [official website] for abuses that he allegedly witnessed in 2007 and 2008 as the Sri Lankan civil war drew to a close. Jegen Warran claims to have witnessed intentional attacks [ABC News report] by Sri Lankan military forces against civilian targets including a working hospital, killing patients and other civilians.

Conclutions of the Freedom form Torture submission to the Committee against Torture re Sri Lanka

4. Conclusions
In this submission we have summarised the key findings of a review of 35 detailed medico-legal reports (MLRs) prepared by Freedom from Torture clinicians in relation to clients, most of whom are asylum seekers or refugees, who were tortured in Sri Lanka after the end of the of the civil war in May 2009.

Seeking international justice: Dr. Manoharan for son and Premachandra siblings for brother

Kshama Ranawana
The family of the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra plans to seek international backing in seeking justice for their slain brother. Now that is ironic.
After all, the Premachandras have maintained close connections to the ruling political party. Their slain brother, whose involvement with government goes back at least thirty years, was an advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the time he was killed.

Conclutions and recomendations of the TRIAL to the Committe Against Torture re Sri Lanka

CONCLUSIONS
TRIAL respectfully submits to the Committee Against Torture that the current state of Sri Lankan legislation does not fully implement the Convention Against Torture, due to the absence of a definition of torture in conformity with Article 1 of the Convention,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tamil Information Centre's submission to the Committee Against Torture on Sri Lanka

October 2011
 The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) welcomes the opportunity to provide information to assist the Committee in its consideration of the Sri Lankan government's third and fourth periodic reports under article 19 of the Convention.

Conclutions and Recomendations of the Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada to the Committee against Torture re Sri Lanka

Conclusions:
The Government of Sri Lanka is clearly not ready, willing nor capable of fully implementing the Convention against Torture into its domestic law. In the past few months, Sri Lanka has come under increasing pressure to investigate credible allegations of torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Australian accuses Sri Lanka's president of war crimes

''A 63-year-old retired engineer who was caught up in the fighting at the end of the civil war says he saw hospitals and other civilian infrastructure in both Tamil-held areas and no-fire zones being deliberately attacked by Sri Lankan forces. ''

Defence Secretary warns of LTTE re-emergence

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has emphasized that no room should be left to nullify the freedom accorded to the country by the war heroes by eliminating tiger terrorism. He has said that pro-LTTE elements are still attempting to spread wrong opinions within the country and re-group once again.  He has emphasized that these attempts should also be defeated.

Sri Lankan Tamils press for justice

 (Reuters) - Meena Krishnamurthy still remembers the coloured slippers littered in the dirt around a bombed-out orphanage in Sri Lanka and a legless teenage girl unable to leave her dirt bunker, begging for a drink of nearby contaminated water.

Channel 4's Sri Lanka documentary cleared by Ofcom

Controversial film that featured graphic footage of alleged war crimes did not breach broadcasting code, rules regulator

Channel 4's controversial documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, which featured graphic footage of alleged war crimes, has been cleared of breaching the broadcasting code.

“Money Laundering” Jayaweera threatens Shan Wickremesinghe, head TNL TV & radio

One of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s racketeer friends, the head of Triad Advertising and Derana Network, Dilith Jayaweera also known as “Money Laundering” Jayaweera has threatened the Opposition Leader’s brother and the head of TNL TV, Shan Wickremesinghe with death.

FMM condemns blocking of Lanka E news

Press release/ 24.10.2011
The Free Media Movement (FMM) unequivocally condemns the recent action by internet service providers Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and Dialog Axiata PLC to block access to the Lanka E News website in Sri Lanka.  The blockage by the State owned SLT and the privately owned Dialog is a serious threat to both mainstream and alternate media, media freedom and the democratic right to free expression.

K. Manoharan et al. v. Mahinda Rajapakse: Complaint, Summons

TamilNet
As per order issued on the 13th day of October 2011, by the United States District Judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District Court of District of Columbia, with respect to Civil Action No. 11-00235 (CKK) Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan, et al. v. Percy Mahendra Rajapakse, the Court Summons and the Complaint are published here in full. The 29-page complaint is published as a single PDF document, and as 29 separate jpg images, one for each page.

Canadian Peace Alliance, unions show solidarity with Tamil Nation

TamilNet
The Canadian Peace Alliance, Canada’s largest umbrella organisation of 180 groups representing over 1 million Canadians, resolved last week to encourage “its member organizations to stand in solidarity with the Tamil nation in their global struggle for self-determination and freedom.” It called for an “immediate end to the colonialism and genocide of the Tamil nation and an end to the occupation of the Tamil homeland by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and its allied paramilitary groups.”

SITUATION IN NORTH –EASTERN SRI LANKA: A SERIES OF SERIOUS CONCERNS

M.A. Sumanthiran



1. Introduction
On 7th July 2011 I tabled a report in Parliament detailing the situation in the North and East, highlighting a series of urgent concerns. The following is an update to the previous report and discusses some of the most serious issues that have arisen since or continue to take place in these areas.

'Hundreds tortured' in police custody

Hundreds of people were tortured in police custody since January this year in Sri Lanka, international human rights groups say. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said it has documented nearly 100 cases of torture and killings in police custody.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

CHOGM 2011: SL opposed to controversial proposals (creation of an Office for Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights)

Shamindra Ferdinando
 Sri Lanka will strongly oppose moves to execute recommendations by an 11-member Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG), particularly the creation of an Office for Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

Govt. Slashed Allocations To The Education Sector Says IUSF

Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
 The Appropriation Bill for 2012 presented to parliament last week has indicated a slashing of the budgetary allocations to the education sector, the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) said.  IUSF Convener, Sanjeewa Bandara said that the current administration has continuously slashed allocations to the education sector, which has put the future of free education in the country at risk.

Mystery Death Of Sole Suspect In Lasantha’s Murder -A Sudden Death in custody or another extra judicial killing?


 
Nirmala Kannangara in Nuwara Eliya Pictures by Asoka Fernando
 The sudden demise of 40 year old Pitchai Jesudasan, the main suspect in The Sunday Leader Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case has raised many questions. Jesudasan was arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) on February 26, 2010 at his residence No. 31, Magastota Estate, Ruwan Eliya, Nuwara Eliya for the alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

The Rajapaksa Troika, 20 percent of anticipated spending allocated to the President and his two brothers

The Appropriation Bill 2012, which was moved recently for Parliament approval outlines Rs. 2.22 trillion as next year’s anticipated spending by the UPFA government, although it leads to a budget deficit of Rs.1.105 trillion. Out of this massive fund, over 20 percent has been allocated to the President, several Ministries, and some statutory institutions that come under the direct control of the Rajapaksa family.

Another One Bites The Dust - death of Pitchai Jesudasan

Frederica Jansz
So now Pitchai Jesudasan from Nuwara Eliya is dead. The sole remaining suspect in the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge.  Jesudasan is not the first and will most certainly not be the last man to die “suddenly” while in remand custody.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stop submitting 'irrelevant' evidence

A court in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, has ordered the police to prevent submitting ‘irrelevant’ evidence with regard to the killing of a presidential advisor. The Colombo magistrate’s court made the order to police criminal investigation division (CID) as the lawyers representing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others made an objection against police providing irrelevant evident.

National Reconciliation, Transitional Justice, Rights and Accountability in Sri Lanka

''The physical and emotional pain that has been handed down through generations in Sri Lanka during the last five decades has mainly been the inevitable outcomes of past policies followed by the successive governments, based on discrimination and social exclusion. The players, particularly parties to the conflict, have continued their unceasing confrontational politics. The current landscape in Sri Lanka and within the diaspora bears testimony to this situation''

Dutch court convicts five for Tamil Tiger fundraising Tamil Tiger rebels

A Dutch court has convicted five Dutch ethnic Tamil men for raising funds for the banned Tamil Tiger rebels.
The men got sentences of up to six years for their activities on behalf of rebels who fought for an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Report of the Amnesty International to Committee against Torture- CAT- on Sri Lanka

This briefing is submitted to the Committee against Torture (hereafter the Committee) prior to its consideration of Sri Lanka s combined third and fourth periodic reports on its implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereafter the Convention). It details Amnesty International's concern about a persistent pattern of torture and other ill treatment of detainees, including individuals detained under the Emergency Regulations or the Prevention of Terrorism Act

ICJ report to the CAT ( re torture in Sri Laka)

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE ON THE EXAMINATION OF THE COMBINED THIRD AND FOURTH PERIODIC REPORTS OF SRI LANKA UNDER THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT

SSP Deshabandu Tennekoon and Mulleriyawa OIC had been in fleet of vehicles of Duminda when Bharatha was killed

At the time Bharatha Lakshman , the Presidential advisor was shot and killed by Duminda Silva , the OIC of the Mulleriyawa police station, and SSP Nugegoda Deshabandu Tennekoon had been in the fleet of vehicles of Duminda Silva. These shocking details were revealed in the Magistrate court at the trial by the witness when giving evidence.

(Hon M.P)Duminda shot (Presidential advisor) Premachandra says witness

The post mortem inquiry into the death of former Parliamentarian and Presidential Adviser on Trade Union Affairs, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on election day at Mulleriyawa was held before the Colombo Chief Magistrate.

Sri Lankan, Shreen Abdul Saroor gets UNDP peace award

Sri Lanka’s Shreen Abdul Saroor, founder of the Mannar Women’s Development Federation and Mannar Women for Human Rights and Democracy in Sri Lanka was among the four winners to the first N-Peace award of the UNDP.

On Sri Lanka, Darusman Tells Press "It's a UN Report," Ban Berated Staff

Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 20 -- When Marzuki Darusman spoke to the media at the UN on Thursday, his biography as read out by the UN did not include his recent work on Sri Lanka. Inner City Press asked him about what the Sri Lankan government has taken to calling the "Darusman report." Video here, from Minute 17:52.

TNA discusses concerned about the east

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), during its meeting with the ruling party today, stressed the ongoing process of registration of lands in the north and the east, the decision to attach the Sinhala populated Welioya area to the Mullaitivu District and the move to send a Sinhalese Government Agent to Mannar should be stopped immediately.

IUSF condemns military shramadana in universities

The Inter University Students Union (IUSF) condemns the military shramadana underway at universities islandwide, the IUSF spokesperson Sanjeewa Bandara said today. “First it was the military training, then they sent ex-military men as security to the universities and now they are getting the military to organise shramadana,” Mr. Bandara said.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don’t allow Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel to rob your sight as well –a request from LeN

The blocking of the Lanka e news website from viewers and readers in Sri Lanka (SL) which was initiated by the Dialog Co. is now continuing with the Govt.’s Telecom Co. and the Mobitel which is its subsidiary . They are jointly carrying out this unlawful and unethical operation.

Death of the primary suspect in the case of the murder of a newspaper editor should be investigated

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Pichchei Jesudasan, the primary suspect in the murder of veteran journalist editor of the Sunday Leader News Paper, Lasantha Wickramatunga, died while in remand prison. The other suspect who was arrested in relation to this case confessed to the Magistrate that he is under severe pressure by senior police officers to say that the killing was ordered by members of the military.

Siddha Medical Faculty in Trincomalee to come under Colombo University

The Colombo government is taking steps to bring the Siddha Medical Faculty now under the Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University with the University of Colombo. Academics in the East blame the move as a design of cultural genocide by Colombo that seeks to undermine the traditional medical science of the Tamil country.

There is something rotten going on in Sri Lanka

Robert Muggah
There is something rotten going on in Sri Lanka. More than two years after comprehensively dispensing with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), the government is at risk of losing the peace. Rather than reducing the presence of the armed forces in occupied areas and promoting a peaceful transition, the government is instead militarizing the country. Far from realizing the promised peace dividend, the north and east now consists of a patchwork of military installations and high security zones.

Rampant lawlessness has enveloped every aspect of our society

Anura Gunasekera
In the decade that I have been living in Hokandara there has been an exponential growth in the number of residences and vehicles using the Hokandara – Talawatugoda road, particularly in the morning and evening. The recent move of an international school to the area , from Nawala , has further compounded the existing problem.

In Sri Lanka, anti-government website blocked - CPJ

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that access to anti-government news website Lanka eNews has been blocked inside Sri Lanka, according to the site's exiled editor and users inside the country. All three language versions of the site, English, Sinhala, and Tamil, have not been available since Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A law unto themselves

DAYASIRI JAYASEKERA 
It has once again been proved that Sri Lanka is a lawless country; where political rivalry between members of the same party has gone beyond the ethics of political culture and resulted in the death of a leader. This is a very pathetic and sad situation. when people in a country begin to act with scant regard for the law, it is inevitable that the country turns out to be a grave yard.

SRI LANKA: It is not enough to 'cry for the country'- AHRC

The implications of the failure to prosecute Duminda Silva
The editor of the Sunday Leader, in an article entitled 'The law is an ass' questions the statement by a government spokesman that Duminda Silva is not a suspect in the killings of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others. Some members of Bharatha Lakshman's family also condemned this in the bitterest terms and expressed their lack of faith in due process being carried out as there are powerful persons protecting the alleged culprits.

SLN imposes pass system to fishermen in Jaffna lagoon

The occupying Sri Lanka Navy in Jaffna has again introduced pass system for fishermen engaging in fishing in the Jaffna lagoon, fishing community leaders in Jaffna csaid. During the recent election campaign in the North, the SLgovernment had annonced that it was withdrawing the pass system which has been in practice for several years.

Sri Lanka in war crimes quagmire before CHOGM

TamilNet,
Sri Lanka is sinking deeply inside a torrent of allegations of war crimes against three senior officials, including Sri Lanka's President, ten days before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is to take place in Perth, prompting Premier Julia Gillard to confirm that Australian Federal Police (AFP) is conducting investigations on Sri Lanka officials over allegations of serious war-crimes,

Dialog and Telecom illegally blocks LankaeNews in Sri Lanka

Two of Sri Lanka's Internet Service Providers – Dialog and Telecom – have illegally blocked Lanka E News to their customers.  The chairman of the Telecommunication Reclamation Commission,(TRC) Anusha Palapita, stated that he has not given such orders to any internet service providers that he was unaware of this incident.

FAQs: Sri Lanka as the host of CHOGM 2013

Press Release: Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Background: In early 2009 Sri Lanka’s long running armed conflict came to an end. Following this several serious allegations of human rights violations have been made on the warring parties including the government. A recent report by a Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General found many of these allegations to be credible

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) lost Rs. 270 million in one week in a questionable transaction

''The Central Bank-managed Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has lost a massive Rs. 270 million in just one week on its highly-questionable stock market transaction of Laugfs Gas company. It is well known in the market that the EPF purchased the said shares at an unjustifiable Rs. 48 per share on Monday 10 October when it was trading at around only Rs. 40 just a few days prior to that.''

Baratha killing: Family ask why Duminda is not a suspect

Olindhi Jayasundere  
The family of presidential adviser Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra yesterday asked why parliamentarian Duminda Silva was not a prime suspect in the investigation into Mr. Premachandra’s assassination and said they had no confidence in the probe carried out so far.

Australia urged to investigate Sri Lanka war crimes

[JURIST] A group of rights organizations and lawmakers on Monday called for Australia to investigate [press release, PDF] a top ranking official in the Sri Lankan High Commission [official website] in Canberra for war crimes violations allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Navy during clashes with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [JURIST news archive] in 2009.

A diplomatic dilemma of the Sri Lankan kind

John Dowd, president of the Australian chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), has named the current Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, in a submission containing allegations of war crimes.

EU pours more funds into post-war recovery projects

Shamindra Ferdinando
In spite of LTTE efforts to influence the EU against Sri Lanka over accountability issues, the Sri Lankan government receives substantial support from the 27-member grouping for post-war recovery projects. Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the EU has launched new projects to empower the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, with special emphasis on food security and nutrition in the Eastern Province.

US extends the GSP Programme till end-2013

The US GSP Programme, which came to a temporary halt at the end of 2010 due to some domestic concerns, has now been extended till the end of 2013 and the US President is expected to sign the Reauthorization Bill into law shortly, the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.

Euro Police warns SL on LTTE activities

The Euro Police had warned Sri Lanka about increased LTTE activities internationally, and a Paris court alone had imprisoned 21 LTTE operatives in recent times,   Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said in Parliament today. External Affairs Minister Prof. Peiris said that the government, therefore, could not relax security attached to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at any cost under such circumstances.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sri Lanka raises defence spending

Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced it would raise defence spending by over five percent in 2012, more than two years after the government ended a decades-long ethnic conflict with Tamil rebels. The government allocated 230 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) for the calendar year 2012, up from 215 billion rupees ($1.92 billion) estimated for defence expenses in 2011, according to official figures tabled in parliament Tuesday.

'We see little being done by this government to listen to its people'

Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka Project Director and Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group speaks to Daily Mirror on its motives for screening the controversial Channel 4 documentary,'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' in the European Parliament, the LLRC process and Sri Lanka's process of peace.

Baratha murder investigation sans a shade of transparency - Family members

Int’l campaign to seek justice for Bharatha
An international campaign will be launched to expose and punish the killers of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, says his sister.  Speaking to the media at Hotel Nippon in Colombo today (Oct. 18), Swarna Gunaratne said the conspiracy to murder her brother had been planned since a long time ago.

Sinhalese given lands in Tamil villages in East under Mahaweli Scheme: TNA MP

TamilNet
Thirty Sinhalese families have been allocated lands under the Mahaweli Development Land Distribution Scheme in a traditional Tamil village Oamadiyaamadu located in Koa'ralaippattu North DS division in Batticaloa district. This planned land grab in Batticaloa district is being carried out on the direction of Colombo government led by SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sinhala division starts functioning in Mullaiththeevu district

TamilNet
A Sinhala administrative division, under a Sinhala Asst. Government Agent, has started functioning recently in the Mullaitheevu district. The new division with a toponym ‘Welioya,’ renaming the Tamil Ma’nal-aa’ru, will permanently wedge the demographic contiguity of the northern and eastern provinces of the country of Eezham Tamils occupied by Sri Lanka’s military.

Colombo responsible for attack on JUSU Leader: Jaffna university students

The successive SL governments in Colombo have been subjecting the student leaders of the University of Jaffna to state terror and harassment and the student community is not going to give up voicing for the rights of Eezham Tamils, said student leaders who addressed the gathering of more than 1,000 students at the University grounds Monday.

Sri Lanka, - media freedom remained restricted, with journalists subject to legal harassment and physical intimidation

Freedom of the Press 2011 - Sri Lanka
Status: Not Free
Legal Environment: 23
Political Environment: 30
Economic Environment: 18
Total Score: 71

Protest in Vavuniya ( by TNA against sinhalisation )

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and several other Tamil parties have commenced a protest in Vavuniya focusing on three main issues.,Vauniya MP Sivasakthi Anandan said that the protest began this morning and will continue till evening today. New Assistant Government Agent Divisions (AGAD) are being created within the Welioya AGAD in the Mullaitivu District and attempts are being made to settle Sinhalese persons in the area, the former TNA MP stated.

High-powered confab want NGO’s out of schools

Politicians, education officers and school principals who met in Talawakele today to discuss the measures that should be taken to safeguard school children in the wake of a bad case of food poisoning which left nearly 500 school-children sick and in need of medical attention on Sunday (16), had decided not to allow any NGO to hold functions in schools in the future.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sri Lanka: Intimidation of dissent continues; Student leader assaulted in Jaffna - NfR

Networking for Rights is deeply concerned that the assault on Jaffna Student Leader, Subramaniam Thevapalasingham is a further erosion of the democratic rights of the people of Sri Lanka.  Thavapalasigham  is reported to have been attacked with iron rods and is presently receiving treatment at the Jaffna Hospital.  Thavapalsingham has sustained injuries to his head.

New registration by police starts in Jaffna


Police are circulating the attached form in Jaffna with instructions to fill and hand over to the Grama Sevaka by tomorrow. The image of the form attached is the one that was delivered at xxxx home in Nallur.

Calls to suspend Sri Lanka from Commonwealth

Peter Lloyd
Less than a fortnight before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (GHOGM) in Perth, there are calls for the Commonwealth to suspend or even throw Sri Lanka out of the organisation. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has confirmed it is considering whether there is sufficient evidence for a war crimes investigation against the country's top diplomat in Australia - former Sri Lankan navy chief Thisara Samarasinghe.

Court dismisses CPA rights petition

 S.S. SELVANAYAGAM 
The Supreme Court refused to grant leave to proceed with the rights petition of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) on the impugned five PTA regulations as a whole.

JOINT ALTERNATIVE REPORT from the Sri Lankan NGO Collective to the Committee Against Torture

''This joint report is submitted to the Committee against Torture (“the Committee”) in response to the Committee’s list of issues to be considered during the examination of the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Sri Lanka (CAT/C/LKA/3-4).  ''

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In 17 years only 3 were convicted for torture

''The point at which the law will actually have an impact is at the criminal justice level and in these contexts, if a prosecution under Sri Lanka's 1994 Anti-Torture Act successfully takes place. However, during the entire seventeen years since the enactment of this law, only a meagre three convictions have been handed down by the High Courts. As a common rule, the alleged perpetrators were neither suspended from their duties nor taken into custody, enabling them to place pressure on and threaten the victims. ''

Bharatha's family slams SLFP

Senior defence officials are supporting Mr Silva even after the shooting, say family members
The ruling party in Sri Lanka should take the responsibility for the recent murder of a presidential advisor, his family members say.

New terms of references for the PSC on political solution

Another important development this week is the government's decision to amend the terms of the reference of the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) (revealed in the Sunday Times of August 28) to address Tamil grievances.

Law of the country has collapsed after 18th Amendment: Ranil

The main opposition UNP is to launch a struggle for the abolition of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and for the establishment of an independent police, public service and an election commission. Opposition Leader and Leader of UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his party would start this struggle from Parliament and then go to the extent of an all-out struggle against this draconian piece of legislation.

Sri Lankan envoy 'war crimes'

Ben Doherty
SRI Lanka's high commissioner to Australia, former navy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, should be investigated for war crimes, a brief before the Australian Federal Police says. The submission, from the International Commission of Jurists' Australian section, has compiled what a source has told The Age is direct and credible evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sri Lanka's Ex-Navy diplomat accused of war-crimes

Citing evidence from Australian Tamil witnesses, the International Commission of Jurists, an international NGO dedicated to ensuring respect for international human rights standards through the law, has submitted a brief before the Australian Federal Police (AFP), to investigate Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia, former navy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, for committing possible war-crimes, The Age and in Sydney Morning Herald reported.

University student leader attacked in Jaffna

Suspected Sri Lanka Army intelligence personnel armed with sharp iron rods followed the Jaffna University Student Union leader K. Thavapalan and attacked him at Kantharmadam in Jaffna seriously wounding the student leader who has been mobilizing students in democratic protests against the grease-devil threat recently.

When The Elected Government Is Not What Rules The Citizen

Kusal Perera
It  is  a  shock that the incident that took place last Saturday happened under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. We have to enforce the law against the ‘barbarians’ who assassinated former parliamentarian and Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and social justice needs to be put in place as a tribute to him.” -  General Secretary of the SLFP and Minister Maithripala Sirisena, in his funeral oration

Government Rejects New Summons On MR MR can be served summons via the local media – US Judge

Indika Sri Aravinda
 The government will not respond to the summons issued on President Mahinda Rajapaksa by a US court even if it is published in the local media, the Attorney General’s department said. Deputy Solicitor General Jayantha Jayasuriya told The Sunday Leader that the US District Court has not issued valid reasons as to why the President should respond to the summons.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Here is the evidence confirming Gota’s implication in Bharatha Lakshman murder: Gota shall resign forthwith

Why is Duminda who shot Baratha not placed under arrest ?
Lanka e news is in receipt of clear, cogent and copious evidence testifying to defense secretary Gotabaya’s involvement in the murder of Bharatha Lakshman who was shot and killed by Duminda Silva recently.

If Duminda Silva escapes justice it will prove Rajapaksa rule has replaced rule of law in Sri Lanka

''Thus, if the police continue to turn a blind eye on Mr. Silva’s role in the Kolonnawa multiple-killings, the inescapable conclusion would be that this miscarriage of justice, this selective application of the law is due to Mr. Rajapaksa’s undue influence on behalf of his protégé.''

Duminda Silva 'not a suspect'

The ruling party parliamentarian Duminda Silva is not a suspect in the murder investigation of a presidential advisor, officials say. Sri Lanka defence spokesman Lakshman Hulugalle told BBC Sandeshaya that the young MP currently recovering after a brain surgery is not a suspect in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder investigation.

An alternative report to the committee against torture

''In this 22 page report the four organisations have commented on the widespread torture practiced in Sri Lanka and the failure of the government to comply with the CAT by its failure to provide for a credible and competent investigating mechanism for the investigation of torture allegations, the government's failure to provide protection to victims by proper legislation relating to protection to the victims and also failures relating to the Attorney General's Department and the judicial process itself. ''

Tamil Tigers Still Active in Europe

MIKE CORDER Associated Press
When Tamil Tigers were routed on the battlefield two years ago, the Sri Lankan government believed it had crushed the 25-year rebellion for a separate Tamil homeland.
But evidence surfacing in a courthouse in the Netherlands shows that the cause of Tamil independence is still alive in Europe,

Canada to press for Sri Lanka rights changes at Commonwealth meet

 Two weeks before a Commonwealth summit that could be marred by divisions on the issue, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pressing forward with demands that Sri Lanka show "progress" on accountability for alleged human-rights violations that occurred at the end of the civil war in 2009 with the Tamil Tigers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Colombo brings Sinhalese to culture prawn in Jaffna marshlands

Sri Lanka’s government occupying Jaffna has taken over 350 acres of coastal marshland along the Jaffna Lagoon in Kaarainakar, Ma’ndaitheevu and Araali for prawn culture laboured by Sinhalese brought from the South. Even though said as developed for freshwater prawn culture, the project will ruin the groundwater table in the above places

Bharatha Lakshman’s murder – only a symptom, the disease is much more acute and dangerous…

Vishnuguptha
“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”- P. J. O’Rourke American political satirist

Massachusetts State Representatives’ letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton urges ‘independent international investigation’ in Sri Lanka

State Representatives of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts today released the letter that they wrote to to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the screening of “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” at the Massachusetts State House last month. The letter urges an ‘independent international investigation’ in Sri Lanka, for alleged violations of ‘international humanitarian law and human rights’.

Police brutality is a way of life in the North and East

''A number of people have died, and scores more badly injured. Some of the assaults, notably in Naavanthurai, were not only brutal but also designed to humiliate and degrade citizens. Recently, we have even witnessed the assault of individuals by police officers within Court premises in Jaffna''

US Court grants permission to serve summons on Rajapakse via Tamilnet

Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge
WASHINGTON DC, The United States District Court a little while ago granted Plaintiffs  Manoharan et al their motion to serve summons on Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse by publication or alternative means. President Rajapakse is being accused of war crimes.

Militarisation of Sri Lanka and its infiltration into Higher Education

Shamala Kumar
Evidence of militarisation is everywhere – most recently in the sphere of higher education.  The armed forces are involved with development projects, in welfare, and in farming. They are even involved in city beautification, the maintenance of playgroups and shops, of course Sports, and now higher education.  Their increased presence is evident in subtle changes in our daily lives.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Committee against Torture - List of issues to be considered during the examination of the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Sri Lanka ( Nov 2011)

(CAT/C/LKA/3-4)
Articles 1 and 4
1. In view of the statement in the appendix to the State party’s periodic report, paragraph 9, that the  definition of torture in the article 12 of the Convention against Torture Act No. 22 of 1994 would “necessarily include any suffering that is caused to any person,” please clarify whether any person has been charged or prosecuted under the Act for inflicting suffering or mental pain. If so, please provide details.

Sri Lanka: Follow-up to the recommendations by the Special Rapporteur on Torture

Follow-up to the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur (Manfred Nowak) in the report of his visit to Sri Lanka from 1 to 8 October 2007
(A/HRC/7/3/Add.6)

Turning Sri Lanka into one gigantic military camp

''Unfortunately, the 18th Amendment put paid to even these feeble attempts at systematic reform of law enforcement processes. What we have now consequently is plain and utter chaos. This is what the politicians want, no doubt. The question however is whether we want this for our society and for our communities?'

Mulish Brother & his fan : Nation's tragic flight

''A simple lesson of the Mulleriyawa incident is that the ideology of arbitrariness and violence of which Duminda Silva and Gotabaya Rajapaksha have become symbols, needs to be defeated if the Sri Lankan nation is to survive.''

No Sign Of Progress In Sight -Lasantha Wickrematunge Murder Investigation

Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
 To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” US President Barrack Obama during his inauguration speech in 2009.

TNA MPs rights application dismissed

Chitra Weerarathne
 The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the fundamental rights violation application, filed by TNA Member of Parliament for the Jaffna District Mavai S. Senathirajah, against the recently gazetted Prevention of Terrorism Act Regulations.

JVP rebels’ bank accounts under probe - Alleged LTTE funds:

Saman Indrajith
 State intelligence services are investigating allegations that the JVP dissidents led by Premkumar Gunaratnam are receiving funds from the LTTE activists overseas, according to sources.

Glowing tributes at Bharatha's funeral and call for new political culture

Presidential Advisor Baratha Lakshman Premachnadra had to face this untimely death because he appeared for truth and justice even during the last moments of his life, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sisisena said paying a glowing tribute to Mr. Premachandra at his funereal in Kolonnawa today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FULL ACCOUNTING TO DEAL WITH WAR CRIMES CHALLENGES - NPC

Today the Sri Lankan government is under international pressure on account of alleged war crimes that were committed in the last phase of the war and to be accountable according to international standards.  Legal cases against Sri Lankan government representatives have been filed in US and other international courts

Now FTZ workers threaten to move ILO against Govt

Pabodha Hettige
 The General Services Union of the Free Trade Zone yesterday threatened to file a petition with the International Labour Organisation if the government does not take immediate steps to compensate the workers who were attacked during the protest on May 30th.

Of guns and ballots - Violence in Sri Lankan politics

A fatal firefight between rival factions of Sri Lanka's ruling party in a Colombo suburb, has trained the spotlight on the island's gun culture in politics.

When provincial politicians undermine the rule of law - CaFFE REPORT

Relative calm prevailed in the 23 Municipal and Urban Councils which went for elections on, apart from the shooting incident in Mulleriyawa, Kolonnawa which took the life of former MP Baratha Lakshman Premachandra.

President Globel Tamil Forum refused entry to India

STATEMENT OF REGRET - GLOBAL TAMIL FORUM
Tamil Community around the world was disheartened and disappointed to know that the seventy seven years old, Rev Father S.J.Emmanuel - President of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was refused entry on arrival in India at the Chennai International Airport on Tuesday, 11 October 2011.

There is no prosecution of the police officers who tortured hundreds of workers in the Free Trade Zone

 Mr. M H A Sameera Sandaruwa (28) of 'Sameera Sevana', Dumkola Watte, Daragala, Waimada in the Badulla District is single and is also a worker at Noratel Lanka Ltd in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Katunaya.
On 30 May 2011 Sameera participated in a trade union action organized by the factory workers. Police officers attached to the Katunayake Police Station arrived at the scene and without warning severely assaulted the workers.

‘A $5-b opportunity' for India, if Sri Lanka wins bid for CWG 2018

Ashwini Phadnis
Sri Lanka will bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, says the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India, Mr Prasad Kariyawasam. This could lead to a $5-billion investment opportunity for Indian firms to exploit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Employing thugs as Presidential advisors

Kshama Ranavana
An advisor to the President is dead and a Member of Parliament is critically injured.  Also amongst the dead and injured are supporters of the Presidential advisor and the parliamentarian.

Doubts Over Govt.’s Sincerity In Finding A Political Settlement

 ■ Govt.-TNA Talks Due To International Pressure
 Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
The government has resumed talks with the TNA to find a political solution to the ethnic issue, but the sincerity in the whole exercise is being doubted by the Tamil political leadership in the country.

Army to monitor activities of VIP thugs: Gota

Amid allegations of increased criminal activities by thugs backed by politicians, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided to use army personnel to keep a tab on such activities.

Sinhalese moving into Tamil areas, militarisation goes ahead, India told

Colombo: Three Tamil politicians on Monday complained to India that the government was settling Sinhalese in Sri Lanka's dominantly Tamil north without resolving the festering "ethnic problem".

Monday, October 10, 2011

Early solution, only answer to Tamils’ problems, Ranjan Mathai told

A Sri Lankan Tamil party delegation today (Oct. 10) impressed upon visiting Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai that finding an early solution to the ethnic question will be the only answer to many serious issues faced by their community.

SL Police intimidated Tamil voters in Kalmunai: TNA

The Sri Lanka Police had unleashed terror on Tamil voters who went to cast their votes and return after exercising their franchise in the Kalmunai Municipal Council election held Saturday, according to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) sources in Kalmunai..

Indian officials want speeding up of Jaffna housing project

In just over a year, Jaffna peninsula has seen the visit of two Indian foreign secretaries to the sites of a housing project by India for the war-affected Tamils, ‘The Hindu’ reports.In more than a year, a mere 52 of the projected 1,000 houses have been built in a project for a total of 50,000 houses.

Insecurity will be the common condition in the Rajapaksa security state

Tisaranee Gunasekara
“Wherever law ends, tyranny begins”. John Locke (Two Treatises of Government)
People’s security (is) no longer a problem”, pronounced Defence Secretary and Presidential-Sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the campaign trail (www.defence.lk – 4.10.2011).

How can the Sri Lankan left be rebuilt or new left built?

Sumanasiri Liyanage
The theme of the well-attended public seminar of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (Revolutionary) held in Kandy last Wednesday read as ‘the second innings of the neo-liberal capitalism and the challenges of the left’. Comrade Pubudu Jagoda, an alumnus of the Moratuwa University and politburo member of the JVP, delivered a well-planned talk on the subject.

Hon. M.P.Duminda suporter shot Bharatha in the head’ says the driver of Bharatha who escaped death

 Hemantha Randunu
The driver of the slain Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, relaying the saga of the Kolonnawa tragedy after narrowly escaping death, said that Duminda Silva got down from the vehicle at the Walpola junction and proceed to assault his boss.

Pay moreattention to campaign expenditure and election regulations - PAFFREL Report

''Political parties should pay more attention to addressing campaign expenditure regulations, and to abide by the laws disclosing assets of elected officials. Political parties, police officers and voters seem to be largely unconcerned about the violations of the prevailing laws and regulations that govern publicity and elections. ''

Sunday, October 9, 2011

TN fishermen assaulted by Lankan navy

RAMESWARAM: Over 15 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were injured after Sri Lankan Navy personnel allegedly assaulted them early today, police said.

Junior officers barred from carrying firearms when meeting their seniors

Gayan Kumara Weerasingha
The Police Department is to issue a communique shortly instructing all junior cadres to refrain from carrying firearms on their person when they meet senior police officers.

EC puts his foot down (to ensure free and fair elections)

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya on a number of occasions had recourse to direct intervention to ensure an atmosphere conducive to holding yesterday’s local government elections in a fair and peaceful manner. In the past at all national and other polls both government and opposition politicians had in carrying out propaganda made it a practice to resort to blatant violations of the elections laws with impunity.

Businessman’s FR petition against unlawful arrest, torture hearing on Nov.1

A fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by a businessman, against his unlawful arrest and torture by the Kadawatha Police, on suspicion of theft, was listed for hearing on November 1.

US endorses immunity to Shavendra

Exclusive
The United States will endorse claims for diplomatic immunity by a Sri Lankan diplomat facing charges of alleged war crimes in a New York Court.

Bharatha killed, Duminda wounded in poll-day gun battle

Dusk-to-dawn curfew clamped in Mulleriyawa; army called in  
Leon Berenger
A presidential advisor was killed and a ruling party strongman parliamentarian was among those seriously injured when violent intra party clashes broke out yesterday during elections for the Kolonnawa Urban Council.

Three killed in Sri Lanka election violence

Charles Haviland
At least three people have been killed and dozens wounded in an outbreak of political violence in Sri Lanka.
In clashes within the governing party, an adviser to the president, a bodyguard and another person were shot dead. Another politician was injured.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

TNA to discuss party concerns with India

Kelum Bandara
Amid charges that the government is not genuinely interested in evolving a political solution to the Tamil question, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it would discuss its political concerns with India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai tomorrow.

Lankan attacks on Indian fishermen act of aggression: Jayalalithaa

CHENNAI: Voicing her serious concern over increasing attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, chief minister Jayalalithaa today said such assaults on Indian citizens should be viewed as "an act of provocation and aggression against India."

Petitions against Army, Police pile up in Jaffna - Grease Yaka Phenomenon

S.S. Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court was inundated with another set of 30 rights violation petitions in addition to the earlier 22 petitions in respect of the alleged ensuing reprisals on the residents by military and police at Navanthurai, Jaffna in the aftermath of the ‘Grease Devil’ phenomenon.

Assault Dr. N. J. Nonis, Registrar of the Sri Lanka Medical Council condemed

Medical Specialists condemn assault
The Councils and the membership of the Sri Lanka Colleges of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Paediatricians and Surgeons and the Ceylon College of Physicians yesterday expressed their deep concern and noted with chagrin the deliberately planned assault on Dr. N. J. Nonis, Registrar of the Sri Lanka Medical Council by unknown persons near his residence on Tuesday night.

Need for Television Regulatory Commission

 Lt Col Chandana Weerakoon MSc
The main objective of a Television Regulatory Commission is to regulate the telecasts and related activities in order to achieve the national interest before discussing the objectives and conduct of the organisation where the basic principles of the media is concerned.

Sri Lanka unveils 5-year action plan to protect human rights

 The Sri Lankan Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, announced on Thursday the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. The five-year plan fulfills Sri Lanka's pledge [BBC report] made in 2008 as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) [official website; UNHRC backgrounder].

Attempt to create unrest in Lanka: Rajapaksa

 Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today warned of an attempt to create religious and ethnic unrest in the country.Rajapaksa warned his cabinet of the "plot" to create unrest in the country, which ended a three-decade ethnic conflict in May 2009 with the defeat of the separatist LTTE

Friday, October 7, 2011

Karu warns of social explosion due to lack of faith in police

Saman Indrajith
UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday warned, in Parliament, that there was room for a social explosion as the public trust in law and order had eroded due to the heavy politicization of the police service.

Resolution of the national question achievable only on the basis of the acceptance of democracy, fundamental human rights, inclusiveness, equality and justice: R. Sampanthan

Statement issued by Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance /Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi on elections scheduled to be held on 8th October 2011 to the Municipal Council, Kalmunai

Three Possible Scenarios After Release of LLRC Report

Kalana Senaratne
Another session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has come to an end.
Sri Lanka has emerged unscathed, even though considerable pressure is being exerted on the Sri Lankan Government, from different actors in different quarters of the world: one, regarding a political solution to the conflict; two, regarding the issue of accountability (investigations).

Suspend illegal transfer, promotion of cops, UNP tells EC Loss of confidence in judicial system reason for killings inside police stations - Ranil

 Zacki Jabbar
Promotions and transfers of policemen, to or from areas where tomorrow’s local government elections are to be held, since the campaign begun, are illegal and should be suspended immediately, the UNP said yesterday.

Western powers, LTTE and NGOs targeting MR – Minister

"The challenges that President Mahinda Rajapaksa faces come from the external forces and not from internal ones. A few powerful countries in the West are determined to punish the Sri Lankan President for eradicating LTTE terrorism despite the pressure applied by them to halt the fighting in the final episode of the battle," said Minister Susil Premajayantha, General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance.

SLMA sends letter to MR

   The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), the apex body of doctors in Sri Lanka yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take necessary action to preserve the integrity of the Sri Lanka Medical Council for the maintenance of discipline and smooth functioning of its regulatory and academic activities in the face of verbal attacks by “senior politicians” over the media.  

BRIEFING NOTE ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN SRI LANKA - Oct 2011


1.       Situation in North and East - absolute militarization
·         Governors for both North and East appointed by the President are former senior military officials
·         Military restricts freedom of association, assembly and movement
·         Military occupies land preventing people from resettling