Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ethnic tensions between the Tamil and Muslim communities in Mullaiteevu may intensify over the land issues

Fact finding report on the recent tensions between Muslims and Tamils in Mulliyawalai

Muslims and Tamils have returned to the North having experienced immense loss and struggles over the last 30 years. Post-2009 Muslims and Tamils have begun returning to Mullaiteevu and resettlement has been taking place slowly. However the numbers that are attempting to and have returned is much higher than the number displaced 30 years ago. Therefore the land allocated has been insufficient for these communities to resettle. The situation is further complicated by the loss of land documentation and land disputes.

Govt Depends Largely on the Armed Forces and Police to Control the People and Remain in Power

S.L. Gunasekara
Vasudeva Nannayakkara was, for many years, known and looked upon as a ‘paper revolutionary’ who was ever willing to join in any ‘verbal’ attack on a Government in power.
He is, today, an ‘acolyte’/‘hanger on’ of the Rajapaksa family and hence comfortably ensconced in office [at great expense to our long suffering people] as one of that unbelievably large assembly of invertebrate incompetents known as the Cabinet of Ministers.

Northerners rise up against grabbing land for HSZ

 More than 1000 uprooted people gathered yesterday (29) morning in front of the Divisional Secretariat at Thellippazhai, situated near the entrance to the former High Security Zone (HSZ).

Police salute a murder suspect (M.P.) : A symbol of politicised police

A Case for Best Legal Brains - Editorial Daily Mirror 

A picture on Yesterday’s Daily Mirror front page where a police officer was saluting the controversial UPFA parliamentarian Duminda Silva at his residence and the picture’s table head ‘Can you Believe it’ raised grave questions with regard to public confidence in the independence of the police force and the  judiciary. 

Sri Lanka: Report exposes the government’s violent repression of dissent

The Sri Lankan government is intensifying its crackdown on critics.
The Sri Lankan government is intensifying its crackdown on critics.
© AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena
The Sri Lankan government is intensifying its crackdown on critics through threats, harassment, imprisonment and violent attacks, Amnesty International said in a report released today.
The document, Assault on Dissent reveals how the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa is promoting an official attitude that equates criticism with “treason” in a bid to tighten its grip on power.

SRI LANKA: The absence of political will to eliminate thuggery

Basil Fernando
For a law enforcement agency the elimination of thuggery is one of the simplest things to do. For thugs are cowards and they crawl and beg for mercy whenever they find that there is a strong enough will on the part of the law enforcement agencies and the courts to deal with crime. Anybody who has been to a High Court where serious crimes are tried will have plenty of stories to tell as to how so-called 'strong men' who have been involved in crimes begs for mercy. Many of them pay huge sums to their lawyers to ensure that they would be kept out of jail.

Monday, April 29, 2013

President thinks Election Commission not necessary ; Isn't it a constitutional requirement ?

Last week, in one of those regular breakfast meetings with newspaper editors, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had quipped that the setting up of an Election Commission is not necessary, because in his opinion, the Election Commissioner does his job well.

SRI LANKA: Whose remains are in the mass grave at Matale

A skeleton at the Mass grave 
The publically known facts about the mass grave at Matale is that the remains of 154 persons were discovered in this grave, that the remains show injuries which indicate that they were all murdered and that most likely they were assassinated sometime between 1986 and 1991.

Judicial Accountability: The first is that the judiciary should be independent, which means that there should be no interference, by individuals or any other branch of government

Rajiva Wijesinha

The last section I had planned to look at in this series is the Judiciary, though that may be the most important in the current context. The basic suggestions I put forward some weeks back, before the crisis had got so grave, basically addressed problems that were developing precisely because we were confused about two principles that all constitutional dispensations should hold sacred.

SriLanka: Military High Security Zone hotel reserves room welcoming Boston bombers !

Two brothers who bombed Boston marathon 
The UNP team that is touring the north had proved that the Rajapakse regime’s heavy security zone melodrama in the north which is a prohibited zone for those who are in the political opposition respecting Democracy , is in fact a Rajapakse regime national zone that welcomes the Boston bombing terrorists with garlands.

CHOGM :President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership on Sri Lanka’s diplomatic relations with Africa and the Caribbean has paid rich dividends

Sri Lanka’s position understood at C’wealth  - G.L. Peiris
Despite the well planned and persistent attempts, in some quarters, to re-canvass the decision to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November this year, the government has been able to defeat those efforts and it is a matter for satisfaction that justice has been done, Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris said in Hambantota on Saturday.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

6400 Acres of Private Lands Belonging to Tamil People in Valikamam North to be Acquired by Govt for Military Cantonments

People's protest against land grabbing at Valikamam North (photo: TamilNet)
 M.A.Sumanthiran M.P
Last week saw a hugely dangerous move by the government. Section 2 notices under the Land Acquisition Act were pasted on trees in Valikamam North in the Jaffna Peninsula indicating that an extent of approximately 6,400 acres of private lands belonging to several thousand Tamil people would be acquired for Military cantonments.

Kamalesh Sharma is sure of very good results in all the areas of human rights, of rule of law, of governance, and institution building and strengthening in Sri Lanka

CHOGM summit in Colombo as planned- Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma 
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said that Sri Lanka would be hosting the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November, as planned, and that no member government had indicated that it wishes to change the venue.

Promotion for Appeal Court Judge to Supreme court over two senior most Judges: BASL voices concern

Justice Rohini Perera Marasinghe
accepting her appointment
Appeal Court Judge Justice Rohini Perera Marasinghe was sworn in as a Judge of the Supreme Court by the President on Friday (26), to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice S.I. Imam.�Justice Marasinghe is the third most senior judge of the Court of Appeal, preceded by Justice S. Sriskandarajah (President of the Court of Appeal) and Justice Sisira De Abrew.

TNA for a political solution within the framework of a united and undivided Sri Lanka

TNA Leader denies reports of a rift 
TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, has denied reports of a split within the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Speaking at the S.J.V. Chelvanayagam memorial event on Friday (26), he said: "There is much speculation in the media, some of which is unfortunately mischievous, in regard to dissension within the TNA.

Only by Internationalising our predicament we could not possibly bring favourable results; Agitations for internal self determination must proceed simultaneously

Justice C.V.Wigneswaran
Thanthai Chelvanayagam memorial lecture (to mark 36 th aneversary of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam) by Justice C.V.Wigneswaran on 'Whither Sri Lankan Tamils' on 26 th April in 2013 at new Kathiresan hall in Bambalapitiya.
See full speech below:

TELO calls for the re-merger of the North and the East and the evolution of a federal solution

Some TN political parties object to TELO resolution 
Leading Tamil Nadu political parties have raised objections to a resolution adopted by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) at its recent convention calling for a political solution that falls short of a separate state, party officials said yesterday.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Canada attacks 'evil' of Sri Lanka hosting Commonwealth summit

Canadian government attacks Sri Lanka’s accountability record
John Baird, Canada's foreign minister, said he was stunned that Colombo was not facing censure for its behaviour. Photograph: Alex
The Canadian government has launched a blistering attack on Sri Lanka's "appalling" record on democratic accountability as the controversy intensifies over the Commonwealth's decision to allow Colombo to host its biennial heads of government meeting later this year.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lanka opposition wants international observers for polls

Sri Lanka's main opposition party today called for the deployment of international observers to monitor the provincial council elections in September in the Tamil-dominated north.
"There has to be a group of international and Commonwealth election observers at the elections. They need to be deployed from the day the nominations would be closed," Ranil Wickremesinghe, United National Party leader told reporters today in Jaffna.

Recruiting LTTE’s Daya Master as Candidate for Northern Poll Demonstrates Political Bankruptcy of Govt

''In Vavunia UPFA lost 35% -55%, in Mannar, 39% – 59%, in Kilinochchi where Namal Rajapaksa was resident for weeks, the UPFA lost 30% – 68% while in Jaffna the government lost 26% – 71% and in Mulativu they were clobbered 17% – 82%. The great “humanitarian operation with zero civilian casualties” myth broke asunder.  ''

Sri Lanka’s rights violations bring Commonwealth to turning point

Sri Lankan Tamil families hold up photographs of their missing sons during a protest against the Sri Lankan government in Colombo.—Reuters/File Photo
LONDON: When they decided to have a meeting at their party office in the north of the island, the four Sri Lankan MPs probably didn’t expect that it would start raining concrete boulders.
Before they knew it, a mob of about 60 people had surrounded the building. After half an hour of sustained assault, the roof broke and the elected representatives found themselves sheltering in the archways of the doors, as if it were an earthquake. All the while the police looked on, doing nothing.

SRI LANKA: Seven-year-old Pushpakumara’s murder and the link between lawlessness and perversity

Basil Fernando
A seven-year-old child, Pushpakumara Wijekoon from Kegalle, went to school as usual and left around 1 pm.
He walked to the junction where his father usually picked him up on his cycle to bring him home. As the child did not see his father, he started walking back home. The distance was about a mile. His brother, who was sixteen years old, reported to his father at about two that Pushpakumara had not come home. The father rushed home and thereafter they started searching for the young child. As they could not find the child after much searching, they complained to the police. The police searched with their trained dogs. The dogs stopped at an abandoned house and the police entered. There, they found the dead body of the seven-year-old, strangled with his own school tie, and with his clothes removed. The police are now looking for suspects.

Excise Dept. officials ban sale of liquor to women

Members of the Excise Department have reportedly been travelling to supermarkets and taverns around the city seeking to enforce a previously unenforced law, which prevents the sale of liquor to women.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sri Lankan corporate profits soar as workers face poverty

JVP protests against electricity tariff hike
Saman Gunadasa ( WSWS)

Profit results published by Sri Lanka’s corporate sector for the financial year that ended in March 2013 demonstrate that a handful of big businesses are pocketing the country’s wealth while the working people are being forced to bear stringent austerity measures.

EC should ensure free and fair elections: Elections commission is a must - UNP

The Elections Commissioner is responsible to create an atmosphere conducive for free and fair elections and to win the faith of political parties amid massive international pressure on the country, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said today.

No use for an election commission – President

An election commission was not necessary as the functions of the Commissioner of Electricians is quite adequate says President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The President said this in response to a question posed by a journalist at the monthly meeting of media heads held at Temple Trees yesterday (22nd). The journalist asked whether the elections commission would be established before the election to the Northern Provincial Councils is held.

Sri Lanka: Commonwealth Should Relocate November Meeting - HRW

Accountability Failures, Ongoing Abuses Make for an Unworthy Host
''The Commonwealth will rightly face international ridicule if it goes ahead with its summit in Sri Lanka. The CMAG meeting should send a message to the Sri Lankan government that the scale and severity of its abuses violate the Commonwealth’s core values and will not be rewarded.'' - Brad Adams, Asia director

National Audit Bill gathering dust since 2007; PUCSL chief wants ‘CEB monster’ tamed

The much-touted National Audit Bill has been gathering dust for over six years, while public enterprises are plagued by waste, corruption and irregularities despite the existence of the parliamentary watchdog committees, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Scarred by Sri Lankan torture

 ''Kumar's'' scars are real and are only just beginning to heal - the result, he maintains, of four gruesome days of torture in a dark room, somewhere outside Colombo, barely two weeks ago.

''I thought I was going to die,'' he says, before his captors allowed him to dress, then blindfolded him, and dumped him beside a road.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Troubled New Year Begins in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Apr 24 2013 (IPS) - The eve of the much anticipated Sinhala and Tamil New Year, celebrated across the island of Sri Lanka in mid-April to mark the end of the harvest season, was marred by a series of attacks, reminding everyone that “peace” does not mean a lack of violence.

Erasing the cultural leftover of Tamils to convert Sri Lanka into Sinhala country

A recently constructed Buddhist stupa at Kanagarayankulam
Travelling through the Tamil areas in North Sri Lanka, one is shocked to see the changing demography of the land. A land that was once inhabited by Tamils and a land that had a distinct flavor of Tamil culture and heritage is now in the grip of Sinhalese hegemony, seen in the form of Buddhist statues, viharas and stupas dotting the landscape that is also lined by broken Tamil homes and newly built shanties of Tamil refugees.

Muslims in Sri Lanka : an abjectly submissive minority ; but changes are taking place….

Clarifications on Genocide by  Izeth Hussain
I began my article “Genocidal anti-Muslim racism” in the Island of April 1 by remarking that the term “racism” had in recent times suddenly come into vogue, and that there is now recognition among the Sinhalese that there could be racists within their own ranks.

Defense secretary Rajapaksha meets former LTTE media chief Daya Master in Jaffna to discuss Northern Provincial Council polls

Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has met former LTTE media head, V. Dayanithy alias Daya Master and 23 others in Jaffna over the Northern Provincial Council polls to be held later this year, informed sources said.

Abolish 13 Amendment - Minister Weerawansa

Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities and Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF), Wimal Weerawansa, has announced that calling for the repeal of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution will be the main theme of his party's May Day rally this year.

CEB run by a powerful Mafia bent on making personal profit; Internal auditing almost non-existent at CEB – PUCSL Chief 

Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Dr. Jayatissa de Costa, yesterday alleged that internal auditing was almost non-existent at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) though it remained one of the state enterprises under fire for waste, corruption and irregularities.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

6,400 acres of civilian land to be seized for military purposes in Jaffna HSZ

The occupying Colombo, through its Land Acquisition Officer attached to the District Secretariat in Jaffna, has issued a notice dated 27 April 2013, claiming that the owners of lands for 6,381 acres and 38.91 perches in 11 GS divisions in two DS divisions, Valikaamam North (Thellippazhai) and Valikaamam East (Koappaay), have not been identified and that the officials who come under the Sri Lankan Ministry of Land and Land Development are being given necessary rights to enter the lands,

UNP calls for polls commission before the Provincial Council Elections for Northern Province

The United National Party (UNP) has urged the government to establish the Elections Commission according to the 17th amendment prior to the Northern Provincial Council Elections. UNP MP Kau Jayasuriya said that with the absence of an Independent Elections Commission several incidents reported during elections after 2005 had proved that there is a truth in the allegations that none of the elections conducted since then were free and fair.

Sri Lanka: Alistair Burt says GoSL has refused to invite UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression

Photo of Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the BBC World Service's decision to suspend broadcasts in Sri Lanka; and what discussions he has had with the government of Sri Lanka about interference with that service.

Geneva resolution responsible for genocidal militarisation of Tamil country - Tamil Net

The March resolution at UNHRC in Geneva, designed by the USA and watered down by India, is directly responsible for all the current ‘legalisation’ of the genocidal militarisation carried out by the occupying Sinhala State in the country of Eezham Tamils in the island, said alternative Tamil political activists in Jaffna,

Harassment of opposition - CID interrogates Azath Sally .

National United Front General Secretary and former deputy Mayor of Colombo Azath Sally had been interrogated by the CID on yesterday, Mr. Sally said in a media communiqué.
 It is reported that the inquiry was conducted with regard to alleged spreading of racial and religious discord through cell phone short messages.

Churches Fear Sri Lanka Ban on 'Distorting the Original Teachings' of Christianity

Evangelical churches not recognized by government could be deemed cults.
Proposed legislation designed to prevent the spread of cults in Sri Lanka could impact the ministries of evangelical churches in the island nation.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Another assault on Right to Peaceful assembly; Mano Ganeshan attacked. Thondaman's thugs attacked Ganeshan – Vasudeva

It is reported that the Leader of Sri Lanka's Democratic People's Front (DPF) and former parliamentarian Mano Ganesan has been attacked today when he was participating in a demonstration in Kotagala.

Sri Lanka's democratic deficit: We are a hybrid State

Sometimes, the government's spin doctors tend to forget simple geography - such as those basic Grade 5 Geography lessons that South Asia is part of the Asian Continent, but not the continent itself. Last week, they churned out a report that said Sri Lanka had been ranked 3rd in Asia in the Democracy Index, annually prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Our less discerning scribes gullibly parroted the government report which saw it being reproduced by a majority of print and electronic media.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

2,388 Acres of Forest Land in Mannar,Mullautheevu and Vavuniya Districts Being Cleared for Displaced Muslims and Extended Families Returning to North

Dilrukshi Handunnetti
The much-opposed recent move to acquire forestland in three districts in the Northern Province for distribution among Muslim returnees and their extended families is now in full swing, with a total of 2,388 acres of prime forestland already for this purpose.

Mannar Bishop denies ‘separation’ seeks ‘viable political solution’

Bishop of Mannar, Most Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph said he never stood for the separation of the country nor rejected any viable political solution to the national question. The Bishop made this statement in response to the lead story published in The Nation last week titled “Mannar Bishop, TNA Resurrect LTTE’s ISGA Demand”.

Comment on Militarisation in the North is a revelation of military secret - Police tells Suresh Premachandran

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesperson, and Jaffna District MP, Suresh K. Premachandran was questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Friday (19), over a recent comment he made to an Indian newspaper over the military's presence in Jaffna.

Sri Lanka: Three fundamental economic challenges

The three most important challenges facing the economy are the containment of the fiscal deficit, lessening the trade deficit and reducing the public debt: especially its foreign debt component. Unless there is significant progress in reducing these, the resultant economic instability would hamper sustained economic growth.

Sexual harassment of tourists in the south continues unabated

Nadia Fazlulhaq
Police are recording frequent complaints of sexual harassment of tourists in the South, with the latest report of sexual harassment of an Israeli female tourist by a local. On Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s day, a 32-year-old Israeli tourist was sexually harassed while on the beach, when her husband had gone to the nearby beach resort in Mirissa, where they were staying.

What protection does a protestor holding a candle have in Sri Lanka?

BBS Monks led harassments to peaceful Vigil
Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena
Hate pervades the air. It is sadly grotesque that amidst the Avurudu time of reflection and thanksgiving, what prevails is exactly the opposite.
Just this week, in the Ratnapura District, plantation workers of Tamil ethnicity clashed with Sinhalese villagers ironically enough after a Sinhala and Tamil New Year musical show. The clash was apparently provoked by remarks hurled by a few Sinhalese youth at some Tamil girls in the crowd, leading to retaliatory abusive comments by (presumably male) defenders of the girls.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Police reject US allegations of torture of suspects

The police have rejected allegations of torture of detainees raised in a US human rights report released by the State Department. Acting police spokesman Priyashantha Jayakody said that the police undergo training in maintaining human rights when carrying out their duties.

Key political risks to watch in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa looks on during the presentation of the 2012 Central Bank of Sri Lanka annual report, in Colombo April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa looks on during the presentation of the 2012 Central Bank of Sri Lanka annual report, in Colombo April 9, 2013.Credit: Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte
COLOMBO (Reuters) - President Mahinda Rajapaksa is under fire from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has adopted a second United States-sponsored resolution demanding that Sri Lanka ensure government troops who committed war crimes during the final stages of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice.

US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012: Respect for Civil Liberties in dengeour

a. Freedom of Speech and Press - Internet Freedom' Academic Freedom and Cultural Events
b.Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association - Freedom of Assembly; Freedom of Association
c. Freedom of Religion

Dominated by the president’s family Sri Lanka has major Human Rights problems

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012: Sri Lanka EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was reelected to a second six-year term in January 2010, and the parliament, which was elected in April 2010, share constitutional power. The government is dominated by the president’s family; two of the president’s brothers hold key executive branch posts as defense secretary and minister of economic development, while a third brother is the speaker of parliament.

Govt. hitting world headlines for wrong reasons - Editorial Daily Mirror

 Friday, 19 April 2013
During the National New Year when the Sinhala and Tamil communities came together for festivities of deep unity in diversity it was sad to hear of yet another attack on the Jaffna-based Tamil newspaper ‘Uthayan’. This attack, the 16th since 2006, on the leading Tamil newspaper in the North was a clear sign of the lawlessness or total breakdown of the rule of law in the country and the government’s failure to turn the LTTE defeat into lasting peace, reconciliation and justice for the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sinhala Mob Attacks Tamils at “Thondamanpura” Housing Scheme in Ratnapura District

A mob consisting of around 30 Sinhala youths launched an attack on a Tamil housing colony of Plantation workers at Alupola estate of Ratnapura district in Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa Province. At least six persons were reportedly injured in the incident when threatened Tamils resisted the aggressors by engaging in counter violence.

TNA Parliamentarians Sampanthan and Sumanthiran Exposed Muslim MPs political bankruptcy

Latheef Farook
Political bankruptcy of Muslim parliamentarians was exposed by the Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan and the TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran when they raised the issue of growing disastrous hate Muslim campaign in the parliament.
R Sampanthan MP and M. A. Sumanthiran MP meeting (Jan 2013) with an Australian delegation lead by Scott Morrison MP (Member of Parliament for Cook in NSW)-pic courtesy of: Scott Morrison's Flickr page
R Sampanthan MP and M. A. Sumanthiran MP meeting (Jan 2013) with an Australian delegation lead by Scott Morrison MP (Member of Parliament for Cook in NSW)-pic courtesy of: Scott Morrison’s Flickr page

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sri Lanka ranked 89 in the Democracy Index for 2012

Sri Lanka is ranked third among South Asian countries on the democracy index for 2012 below India and Bangladesh.
 The Democracy Index 2012 report compiled by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit has declared Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal as “hybrid regimes” saying that elections in these countries have substantial irregularities that often prevent them from being both free and fair, according to the report.

Commonwealth lawyers call for suspention of Sri Lanka form the Commonwealth

Lawyers of the Commonwealth today passed a resolution on Sri Lanka at a special plenary session during the Commonwealth Law Conference in South Africa.
The resolution was submitted by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA).

Ex-CJ’s passport IMPOUNDED

As reported by the Government mouth peice Celylon Daily News:
* To foil flight to escape bribery probe
* Used time buying tactics when called for submissions
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption impounded the passport of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to prevent her from escaping to a foreign country until the probe into the allegations of bribery and corruption against her is concluded.

Instead of improving Human Rights GoSL plans to lobby and propaganda in US to face the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka

The Government of Sri Lanka has launched a SLR 100 million campaign in the US in order to counter the US backed UNHRC resolution which was adopted by 23rd session in March 2013 and to prepare favourable situation  for the 25th session of UNHRC in March 2014, when Sri Lanka situation will be reviewed. .

Ruling party politician Gampaha Mayor goes berserk

Onpoliticl platform
Gampaha Mayor, Erange Senanayake, who was arrested on the charge of forcing the Gampaha Police to release a suspect drunk driver from police custody, was released on two surety bails of Rs 150,000 and a cash bail of Rs 15,000 by the Gampaha Courts, yesterday.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Politics of Disappearance: An Update from Northern Sri Lanka

The Social ArchitectsTough 

Ground Realities [1]
The conclusion of war has not heralded a return to peace in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. Community members are still struggling with a myriad of problems related to human rights, militarization, sexual violence, alcoholism, unemployment, displacement and a lack of media freedom, among other issues. Unfortunately, community members can’t even express themselves freely about the missing or the disappeared; state security personnel maintain a firm grip on all aspects of civilian life in the war-torn North. In some instances, their freedom of movement has also been restricted. It looks like the situation is getting worse.

Muslim Owned “Lucky Emporium” Textile Store in Gampola Attacked in Broad Daylight by Hoodlums

Reports from Sri Lanka state that a Muslim Owned Textile store in the Central Province town of Gampola has been attacked in broad daylight on Tuesday April 16th 2013.

A gang of hoodlums numbering about a dozen launched an attack against the “Lucky Emporium”textile store situated on Ambagamuwa road in Gampola in the Kandy district in the afternoon of April 16th.

Law Society of England and Wale supports CLA call for suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth

The Law Society of England and Wales today added its voice to those calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth, following reports of serious breaches of the rule of law and judicial independence.

Mahinda Rajapaksha's opposition to the Indo-Lanka Accord

India entertains misgivings about Mahinda Rajapaksa's promised election to the Northern Provincial Council in September this year. At the same time, it is also pinning its hopes on a possible Tamil National Alliance (TNA) victory, if the elections are held, hopeful that such a victory would garner the crucial Tamil Nadu votes, which in turn would ensure an electoral victory for the Congress Party in the 2014 Indian elections.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Are you listening?


After nearly 7 years of postgraduate education and independent research experience abroad, I returned to Sri Lanka in mid 2003, to work in my mother country Sri Lanka that gave me free education all the way upto university level. When I left Johns Hopkins University in USA, some of my friends cautioned me of the danger I might face in a possible breakout of the war in Sri Lanka.

TNA says it did not request a Interrim Adminstration

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday said it had not asked for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Northern Province till the provincial polls were held.
This follows news reports that the TNA, with Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and civil society members, had asked a visiting delegation of Indian Members of Parliament to press the Government of Sri Lanka to establish an ISGA.

What is the position of the TNA with regard to its President Mr Premachandran’s statement of interim adminstration?

Meeting in Jaffna

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka
It was doubtless in the spirit of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year that the Tamil (ultra?) nationalists presented the Sinhala hawks the gift of especially moronic remarks to the visiting Indian parliamentary delegation.
Here we are, with the 13th Amendment and provincial level devolution hanging by a thread, the most important state official in the island advocating its abolition

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Uthayan Attack: Proprietor E. Saravanapavan requests Cabinet spokesman to refrain from giving false news

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and Proprietor of Uthayan newspaper, E. Saravanapavan, yesterday called on the Government's Media Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, to refrain from giving false news to the media. He was referring to Rambukwella's comment that the damage to the Uthaytan office was insignificant, and that the media office is continuing to print as usual.

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2012 remained of serious concern - FCO

Sri Lanka
The human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2012 remained of serious concern, with a number of negative developments, including with regard to freedom of expression and media and judicial independence.  Further progress was made on reintegration of ex-combatants and resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Police start tracking tourists in Sri Lanka; looks like surveillance - a hotel executive

AFP- Sri Lanka's police have begun keeping track of foreign tourists to "ensure their own safety", officials announced on Monday.
 Hotels and guest houses have been told to submit weekly reports of their foreign guests as part of a new security plan for tourists, police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said.

The rise of red-robed Islamaphobia in Sri Lanka

Lewis Garland
A year ago this week, on 20 April 2012, a 2,000-strong mob led by Buddhists monks stormed a mosque in Dambulla, central Sri Lanka, during Friday Prayers. They damaged both the building and property within it, including religious artefacts and texts. The Mosque had already been fire-bombed the previous evening.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Attackon Uthayan aimed at creating fear psychosis before the elction - TNA

 Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party accused the government yesterday of attacking the biggest opposition newspaper in an attempt to silence its political rivals ahead of key local council elections.
 The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which represents minority ethnic Tamils, said Saturday’s torching of the Uthayan newspaper presses added to a “fear psychosis” among the population in the northern district of Jaffna

Does Ven. Sobhitha’s proposal have legs?

 In my last week’s column I wrote about the Executive Presidency and how its powers have been used and abused by almost all holders of that office leading up to the present President. I also expressed my reservations about the traces of ‘affirmative action’ that the proposed amendment to the Constitution that intends to replace the Executive Presidency is suggesting. I do not wish to dwell on it any further, but wish to state that if no other compromising formula is spelt out and available,

Sri Lanka faces U.S. aid cut: The military got involved in and so we were not able to pursue those programs

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a 20 per cent cut in the American aid to Colombo, a move reflecting the unease in their ties over issues related to human rights, reconstruction and political integration in Sri Lanka after the end of the civil war.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Matale Mass Grave: Skeletons in the closet

N.Sumanthiran, M.P.
The discovery of the skeletal remains of what is reported to be more than a hundred people has dominated the press for some time. It is now clear that the mass graves were of victims of summary executions during the second Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) insurrection. It is also clear that the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe these crimes – which are demonstrable crimes against humanity – is to protect those responsible for these crimes to begin with.

TNA rubbishes army inquiry report

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has categorically dismissed the findings of the first phase of the inquiry into the allegations against the Army as meaningless charging that the Army has used the six-member panel to hide the accusations that surfaced against it in the final stage of the war in Vanni in 2009.

Selective justice for Uthayan

Ranga Jayasuriya
 Last year, there had been 19 killings in Jaffna, but, police were keen about only one murder (of a suspected military informant),” recalls V. Premanath, Editor of Uthayan.
When it came to that particular case, police really meant business; they arrested four men and obtained a court order for their prolonged detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act – though the case was remotely related to terrorism.

Uthayan attack investigated within 5 hours and Govt has found out it was a inside job! - TNA MP

E. Saravanapavan
TNA MP and owner of Uthayan newspaper, E. Saravanapavan today rejected accusation claiming the torching of the newspaper’s main office in Jaffna was an ‘inside job’ staged to ‘tarnish the image of the government’.
Three gunmen stormed into the newspaper office this morning, threatened the employees and fired four shots, one narrowly missed a worker’s head.

Protecting violent protesters and dispersing peaceful protesters: New role for Police and some Buddhists in Sri Lanka?

Police in  performing their new duty
On 12th April, around 7pm, I was amongst a group of people gathered on the pavement, outside the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building, situated at 32, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This is the address of the Bodu Bala Sena, which has been accused of inciting and unleashing violence against minority religious communities, particularly Muslims and Christians.

Sri Lankan correspondent explains why refugees are fleeing to Australia

 Mike Head  
The WSWS spoke recently to a Sri Lankan correspondent, S. Jayanth, about the social and economic conditions that have driven increasing numbers of poor and oppressed people to flee to Australia since the end of the country’s communal war in 2009, when thousands of Tamils were killed by the Sri Lankan military in the final months of the conflict. The interview also covered the plight of those who have been forcibly returned to Sri Lanka by the Australian government .

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Respect the Right of the Tamil People to Exercise their Franchise in a Free and Fair Election - NPC

The burning of the printing press of the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna comes shortly after an attack on its distribution point in Kilinochchi.  These targeted acts of violence perpetrated on the largest circulation newspaper in the Northern Province have taken place despite the very large presence of security forces.  They also follow another violent attack on a meeting of the largest opposition Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance, in Kilinochchi where the security forces present on the scene remained inactive.

Sheep No More…- A Personal Response to the quashing of the first anti BBS protest on Havelock Road

A police thug harass innocent youth at the vigil - Screen shot of MTV News

(A Personal Response to the quashing of the first anti BBS protest on Havelock Road)
This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom in our land.

SriLanka: NfR condemns the armed and arson attack on Uthayan news paper office, Jaffna

 Net working for rights, a network for media freedom and human rights in Sri Lanka condemns in strongest terms the dastardly armed and arson attack on Uthayan news paper in Jaffna, which took place at dawn today.  This is a yet another major blow to independent news paper culture in Jaffna and freedom of expression rights in Sri Lanka.

Police, BBS block peaceful vigil

The Bodu Bala Sena, with the assistance of the police, prevented a peaceful candle lit vigil from taking place outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters in Thunmulla late this (12.04.13)evening. A small crowd under the banner ‘Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena’ stood outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters and attempted to stage the vigil calling for an end to hate speeches.

Uthayan Newspaper in Jaffna: Dissent Under Siege

◾Govt won the war, but not the hearts of Tamil community – Saravanapavan
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” – Voltaire
Since its inception in 1985, the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna has come under attack on many occasions, which had shown an increase during and after the war in the North.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Sri Lanka war
Image courtesy RNW

Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility.
While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court of Inquiry’s findings.

Asian jurists seriously alarmed by the rapid collapse of the rule of law in Sri Lanka and the loss of the core values of the separation of powers

ASIA: A statement by Asian jurists on the impeachment of the Chief Justice and the collapse of rule of law in Sri Lanka

A statement by Asian Jurists on the Impeachment of the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, and about the threatened rule of law in Sri Lanka. The statement is issued by the jurists who attended a consultation organised by the Lawyers' Collective of Sri Lanka and the Asian Human Rights Commission, on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in Asia,

Ranil blames SF Commander, Jaffna for attacks on a political rally

UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe was behind the attacks on a political rally held recently in Jaffna.The Opposition Leader said that he himself had attended the rally and some people had attempted to disrupt it. The personnel who came to disrupt the rally were military men in civvies.

Sri Lanka questions UN sponsored International Criminal Tribunals and repeat its call for more time and space to provide justice and reconciliation

Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona
"Role of International Criminal Justice in Reconciliation" By Dr. Palitha Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

“International criminal justice, as it is widely understood today, is very much centered on a Western historical and cultural mind set. It pays only lip service to the cultural backgrounds of the much of the world. Accountability, particularly retributive justice, appears to be the first choice, in general, to facilitate reconciliation.  There are other paths to this laudable goal. To suggest that there is only way to achieve reconciliation or to advocate a one size fits all approach is to neglect the traditions and experience familiar to the rest of the world.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bribery Chief presiding over private arbitration put in issue in High Court!

The Chairman of the Bribery Commission
Legal circles already in great turmoil over the impeachment of the Chief Justice are expressing the stern view that the Bribery Chief should also be removed for inappropriate unbecoming conduct as the holder of the highest office as Bribery Commissioner, whose conduct should be above board leaving no room for any perception of suspicion, akin to Caesar’s wife.

For fun! a tribute to President Rajapaksha

Sri Lanka Brief reproduces below a document that was distributed among the invited guests at the official opening of Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport: Now, It is conserve & steady being addition of Sri Lanka amongst to the Progressive State in the World.  Read it for fun. 

The never say die spirit of Jaffna media

Uthayan, an old issue     
Photo: Kannan Arunasalam

The Jaffna Peninsula is unique as far as regional media activities are concerned. Away from Colombo, this is the only region in the country where the 'fourth estate' thrives. Remarkably, not only four regional newspapers are published here, the country's first regional television station, Dish Asia Network (DAN), which caters to the region as well as abroad via satellite, also has its main operations here.

Army court clears troops; “Zero Civilian Casualty” practice re comfirmed

LLRC Observations Cleared; Army Commander Hands Over Court of Inquiry Report to Secretary Defence

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by His Excellency the President had made some observations pertaining to the Army and allegations made by Channel 4.
Thereafter in terms of Regulation 4 of the Courts of Inquiry Regulations 1952, the Commander of the Army convened a Court of Inquiry (C of I) comprising of the under-mentioned officers to investigate and submit a report on the said observations made by the LLRC.

Matale mass grave: No 'humbug' commissions, what is needed is a special court – JVP

President's humbug commission would not be allowed to conceal mass murders at Matale, despite various commissions have been appointed, people have not heard of any reports of those commissions nor anyone punished for their crimes and the party would never believe justice would be done by such commissions that have been cast to the garbage of history states the JVP. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Govt. won’t comply with UNHRC resolution: GL .

The Government yesterday reaffirmed in Parliament that it did not concur with the US-sponsored resolution adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions on March 22.
 Responding to a statement by Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said therefore the Government would not hold talks with anyone on the matters contained in the resolution.

Murdered then tossed into a mass grave: Sri Lanka unearths 150 decades-old skeletons and promises to uncover the truth

Voice of the dead: A Sri Lankan worker unearths skeletons at a mass grave found in a hospital construction site. The president has announced an investigation into the site
  • President appoints commission to seek answers to grisly find
  • The bodies date back to a Marxist uprising in the 1980s
  • Presidential commission will run alongside ongoing police investigation

NMSJ Constitutional Reform Proposals : welcome initiative but lacks a committment to 13 A /devolution

Laksiri Fernando
It is undoubtedly a welcome initiative by the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) to come up with a set of proposals to reform the constitutional framework highlighting the need to abolish the much hated executive presidential system as a key change. The relevance of the proposal/s and the initiative is underscored by the constitutional crisis that the country had to traumatically undergo during the impeachment saga, which is also not yet over, and by the fact that the present initiative has come from a credible civil society organization led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, unlike in the past.

Sri Lanka: Next time we will renew our consideration of all mechanisms available, both in the Human Rights Council and beyond - Michele J. Sison, AMB, USA

Ambassador Sison’s Remarks:“US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka” to the Foreign Correspondents Association

Thank you for inviting me to speak tonight.  It is a pleasure being here, and also a pleasure to have the opportunity to show my support for the role of the media here in Sri Lanka at a Foreign Correspondents Association meeting.
I have been asked to speak about the next steps for U.S. engagement with Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GoSL refuses to establish a credible and independent mechanism;Inquiries into any allegations will be held through the judiciary and military tribunals only

''The Government of Sri Lanka is willing to conduct inquiries into any allegations, if duly presented to authorities in Sri Lanka, through the judiciary and military tribunals, in line with practice followed by all other democratic nations.''
Statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka

What it feels like to be a Tamil refugee in Tamil Nadu

File photo of the refugee camp for Sri Lanka Tamils at Kullanchavadi inTamil Nadu, revfealing lack of basic facilities. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
File photo of the refugee camp for Sri Lanka Tamils at Kullanchavadi inTamil Nadu, revfealing lack of basic facilities. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
“I do not want my child to be born and raised as a refugee,” says Padma, resting her palm on her five-month pregnant stomach. She arrived in India as a little girl in 1990. The only transition since then is that she had moved out of a refugee camp to live outside in a house as a “veli pathivu” (non-camp refugee). She is one of the two pregnant women Tamil refugees, who were ‘rescued’ from the stranded boat off Velankanni coast on Saturday evening.

Non implementation of law and order is worrying since the government is more than capable of restoring order

Bishop Duleep de Chickera
SRI LANKA: Inter-religious integration—Inclusion not intrusion
A Reflection by Bishop Duleep de Chickera
Over the past months Sri Lankans have been educated on two Arabic words: halal and haram (that which is permissible and not permissible). Unfortunately the circumstances of learning have been an unprecedented antagonism towards the Muslim community much deeper than the halal issue. This trend must be addressed without delay by the government and all religions before it spirals into a much wider conflict, which the country can ill afford.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The JSC headed by Mohan Peiris transferred nearly 100 district judges and magistrates despite pleas..

BASL launches brave struggle against attack on Judiciary - Editorial   Daily Mirror
Though the politicisation of the Supreme Court and Judiciary began in 1996 with the appointment of Sarath N. Silva as the Chief Justice, a full-scale attack on the Independentce of the Judiciary and the consequent breakdown of the rule of law apparantly began in December last year  with the motion to impeach CJ 43, Shirani Bandaranayake.

Creating Trouble To anvermanatunga.com Blog ( Muslim writings) In Sri Lanka

Error: Requested url content cannot be accessed. This website is blocked until further notice either pursuant to court order or directions of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka..’
Anver Manatunga
I am, Anver Manatunga, a religious preacher by profession. I am involved in preaching Islam in Sri Lanka and many other countries in the world. In addition to this, I am managing a web site www.anvermanatunga.com in Sinhala to present my views to the people.

Sri Lanka :Is this presidential commission on Matale mass grave worth its salt?

True to Sri Lankan style, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a 'presidential commission' to conduct an inquiry into the Matale mass grave.The mandate of the proposed commission is to be finalized in two days, Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake, said, confiding to our correspondent that he too is awaiting further instruction with regard to the latest presidential decision. Indications are that the decision to appoint a commission was made in a hurry, in an apparent move to wade off an international scrutiny on the issue which could even risk an international tribunal on the matter, such as the one on the Rwandan Genocide or on the Democratic Republic of Congo.