Saturday, August 31, 2013

Colombo: Opening remarks by the UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay for Human Rights


Opening remarks by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the press conference held in Colombo
Colombo, 31 August 2013
Good morning, and thank you for coming.

As is customary at the end of official missions such as this, I would like to make some observations concerning the human rights situation in the country.

National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the LLRC is completely gender blind and does not pick up a single recommendation with regard to women

(25th - 31st August, 2013)

We, Sri Lankan civil society organisations, welcome the country visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanetham Pillay, in the preparation of an oral update at the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC) and a comprehensive report at the 25th session of the UN HRC, on the implementation of its resolutions on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction - Navi Pillay

Opening remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at a press conference during her mission to Sri Lanka
Good morning, and thank you for coming.
 As is customary at the end of official missions such as this, I would like to makesome observations concerning the human rights situation in the country.

In the quest to find the missing loved ones

Hundreds of people held candles and photographs of loved ones as they marched in Sri Lanka’s capital on Friday demanding that authorities provide information about relatives who were reported missing during the country’s civil war.

Welcome! Our new friend Belarus

Last Sunday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa left the shores of the isle on an official visit, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, who had finally accepted an invitation extended two years ago by the Rajapaksa Administration, arrived in the country. Sri Lankans, who have a fascination for conspiracy theories would call it a snub and was a belittling of the UN Envoy.

TNA-Pillay meeting - Need for implementing MR-Moon post-war agreement stressed

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday told visiting United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay that the post-war agreement, between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNSG Ban Ki-moon, should be implemented in full.

Navi not amused by Mervyn’s marriage proposal

Visiting United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay has reacted angrily to a recent statement attributed to Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva that he was willing to marry her.
 Well informed sources told The Island yesterday that an irritated Pillay had expressed displeasure when the video footage of the minister’s statement was brought to her attention. Having received a complaint in this regard, the government on Thursday expressed regret over Minister Silva’s statement.

TNA will ensure full implementation of 13A

The chief ministerial candidate of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), C.V. Wigneswaran, emphasized the TNA will ensure that all powers vested to the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, will be devolved properly to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pillay told people who spoke to her threatened

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that several people who spoke to her during her visit to the North have been threatened.
TNA Chief Ministerial candidate for the Northern elections C.V. Wigneswaran said that the TNA communicated this to her when they had a meeting at the Cinnamon Lakeside hotel today.

It is very very visible in the North how much Sri Lanka have invested in reconstruction - Navi Pillay

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 MR tells Pillay incidents isolated
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that some incidents raised by her are “isolated incidents” and that the majority of Sri Lankans continue to coexist peacefully in all parts of the island.

President Rajapaksa also told Pillay that there is a belief among many Sri Lankans that the United Nations is biased in the way it deals with countries, and he said he urged those who voiced these concerns to him not to prejudge the report Pillay is due to issue on Sri Lanka next month.

Sri Lankan Cabinet minister questions impartiality of UN rights chief because of her ethnicity

AFP-  A Sri Lankan Cabinet minister questioned the impartiality of the visiting United Nations human rights chief on Thursday, accusing her of supporting ethnic Tamil separatists because of her own Tamil background and having secret talks with activist groups outside of her official program.

Sri. Lanka minister accuses UN rights boss of 'secret meetings'

Pro-government activists led by monks protest outside the UN office in Colombo on August 26, 2013 (AFP/File, Ishara S. Kodikara)
 (AFP)  A senior Sri Lankan minister on Thursday accused the visiting UN human rights chief of holding "secret meetings" with activists during her ongoing fact-finding mission.
Housing minister Wimal Weerawansa said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay "gave the slip to her bodyguards", appointed by the government, to hold unscheduled meetings in the island's former war zone in the east.

Lanka rejects impunity charge

The government says there is no culture of impunity in the country and in instances where evidence is available action to conduct legal proceedings have been instituted  irrespective of the status of those accused, which include politicians, public officials and officers of the law enforcement agencies.

Pathetic state due to political interference: Major effort needed to restore SLAS pride –Ex-PMG

One-time Post Master General Soma Kotakadeniya yesterday alleged that politicians had destroyed the once proud Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS), hence a major effort was needed to restore it.
Mrs. Kotakadeniya claimed that the SLAS was in a pathetic state due to political interference and the failure on the part of SLAS officers to resist successive governments.

Lanka prepares for UPR 2017

The government says it will make all preparations to ensure there is further progress on the human rights front ahead of the next Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka at the UN in Geneva in 2017.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa;s human rights envoy, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said this after meeting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today.

SF flays Pillay for pursing personal agenda; Denied opportunity to meet UNHRC chief

Democratic Party leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka yesterday alleged that visiting United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay was pursuing an agenda of her own. An irate former war winning army commander told The Island that the UN mission in Colombo and the visiting Commissioner had deprived him of an opportunity to make representations, in spite of her being here on a week-long visit. "The UN could have easily accommodated me," the former MP said, alleging Pillay seemed only interested in hearing what her favourites had to say.

Accountability issues: Tambimuttu urges Pillay not to be selective

SLFP Batticaloa District Organiser Arun Tambimuttu yesterday urged visiting United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay not to be selective in examining accountability issues in Sri Lanka.
Thambimuttu said that those who had been demanding an investigation into the alleged war crimes claimed to have been  committed during the final phase of the war in early 2009, had been silent on atrocities committed by various parties, including the Indian army during its deployment here under the Indo-Lanka peace accord.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Government will not listen to UN orders – Minister

The Minister for Irrigation and Water Management Nimal Sripala de Silva has said that the UN High Commisisoner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, could not give orders to Sri Lanka, and even if she did, the government would not comply.

Families of Persons who went Missing After Surrendering to Military file Habeas Corpus Applications in Vavuniya High Court

Families of Missing Persons file Habeus Corpus Application in High Court
• Use of Cluster bombs and chemical weapons alleged
• Indian naval ship fired into civilians in Mullivaikkal
• Christian priest too among the disappeared
• Women young and old stripped naked and abused in refugee camps
• Entire family including 3 small children among missing persons together with parents

Demonstration in Jaffna-Aug 27-pic courtesy of: BBC Tamil
Demonstration in Jaffna-Aug 27-pic courtesy of: BBC Tamil

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sinhala nationlist Ravana Balaya uses children in protest

 Stroy and the photos by  Dinouk Colombage

On Monday (26) the Buddhist monks of the National Organisation for Ravana Power (Ravana Balaya) marched to the UN office in Colombo demanding that UN Human Rights Chief, Navaneetham Pillay, leave the country.

Navi Pillay’s intervention not acceptable - Transport Minister Welgama

Transport Minister Kumara Welgama yesterday said that United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’s intervention in domestic affairs of Sri Lanka was not acceptable.
Minister Welgama said that contrary to reports, the UN official was free to visit any part of the country.

Married Sri Lankan Minister says he is ready to marry HR High Commissioner Navi Pillay and take her around!

Lets Marry - p=Photo created by another minister's website

I am ready to marry Pillay - Mervyn 
The country’s maverick Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva said he was willing to marry visiting UNHRC Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay.

Weliweriya victims recount and relive night of horror at Magisterial inquiry

Victims of last month’s Army shooting and assault in Weliweriya, this week relived their nightlong horror at a Magisterial inquiry.
They recounted their nightmare caught up in the crossfire and also the assaults they were subject to when they took refuge inside the Catholic church.
Policemen bring to courts weapons that were used by soldiers on the day of the attack. Pix by Indika Handuwala

Sri Lanka President slams UN rights body while Nivi Pillay visiting the country
Navi Pillay meeting the families of disappeared in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's president has criticised the UN Human Rights Council as its top official toured the battle-scarred nation to probe alleged war crimes, according to state media Wednesday.

FMM calls on the Government to invite he UN Special Rapportuer on Freedom of Expression & Opinion to visit Sri Lanka in 2014

Frank la Rue - UN Special Rapportuer on Freedom of Expression & Opinion
In a letter handed over to the National Human Rights Commission the Free Media Movement has requested the  government to honor the commitment it made in 2006 to invite the UN Special Rapportuer on Freedom of Expression & Opinion to visit Sri Lanka in 2014, as part of a team of UN Special Rapportuers who have also requested invitations for a country visit

The full letter follows:  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Navi Pillay in Sri Lanka to serve Diaspora - NFF

The National Freedom Front (NFF) today stated that it does not approve of the decision by the government to invite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay to Sri Lanka, on a fact-finding mission.

Navi Pillay came with the report prepared - Minister Manusha

Monitoring MP of the media ministry Manusha Nanayakkara emphasizes that Ms. Navi Pillai has come to Sri Lanka not to prepare a report on the situation in Sri Lanka as she has already made that report.
Govt MPs and ministers express different views on the UN high commissioner's Sri Lankan visit.

Sri Lanka and UNHRC : Inconvenient truths

Dilrukshi Handunnetti
Marie Colvin, the well-known defence correspondent of the UK-based Sunday Times was crossing LTTE-controlled land to enter government territory in April 2001. Unexpectedly, Colvin ended up as a victim of Sri Lanka's protracted war, losing her left eye in a grenade attack.

Why Pillay should raise media freedom

Ceylon Today Editorial 
 The visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, who is in Sri Lanka on a week-long official tour, is expected to meet a motley group of people representing the government, including the Head of the State, the opposition, civil society, Tamil political parties, media and so forth.

Election laws continue to be violated - TISL

Investigations by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) have revealed that certain MPs and candidates of the ruling party are using helicopters, VIP security personnel and even Defender vehicles belonging to the VIP Security Division for election campaign work.

Pillay seemed satisfied with report – Vasu

Minister National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudewa Nanayakkara, today assured United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, that the Select Committee appointed by the government to look into the revision of the 13th Amendment, will not water down the steps taken by his Ministry to uphold the trilingual policy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

TID ordered to probe disappearances

Colombo Additional Magistrate, N. Fernando, today ordered the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) to launch immediate investigations into the disappearance of 2,550 people who had gone missing in the North and East.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Police raids Bathiudeen (MP) residences two days after he demanded that IGP resign over Mosque attack

Industries and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to carry out an investigation into police raids carried out on two of his residences and a circuit bungalow. Mr. Bathiudeen had met the president personally to make the request. Two weeks ago police teams had searched for weapons at the minister’s residences in Mannar and Puttalam and his circuit bungalow in Vavuniya.

Involvement, Interference and Intimidation by Army During Northern Provincial Elections Campaign Causes Serious Concern

M.A.Sumanthiran M.P.
During President Rajapakse’s visit to Japan in March 2013, he expressed his strong commitment to hold an election for the Northern Provincial Council. The Japanese embassy in turn, indicated that it will support the conduct of free and fair elections and further recognized quite rightly, that this election would be a milestone for the Government of Sri Lanka in the process of national reconciliation.

Police Identify All Five Members of Armed Gang That Invaded Bambalapitiya Home of Senior Journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema.

Mandana Ismail Abewickrema speaking to after the horrific incident
Mandana Ismail Abewickrema
The home of a senior Sri Lankan woman Journalist in Bambalapitiya was invaded at night by a gang of five armed men who attempted to abduct her after ransacking the house and robbing valuables.Prompt action by the Police resulted in one of the intruders being killed and two injured. Two other were arrested.Three Policemen also were injured in the nocturnal incident that has shocked the beleaguered Journalist fraternity in Sri Lanka.
Mandana Ismail Abewickrema is the Associate Editor of the English weekly newspaper”The Sunday Leader”. She writes the Political Column of the paper and also conducts interviews with prominent political leaders of the Country. Mandana came into Prominence some weeks ago when she played a constructive role in forming Sri Lanka’s first trade union for Journalists.

UN rights chief should push Sri Lanka on press freedom

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka August 25-31 ahead of next month's regular session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Furious Buddhists Are Making Life Hell for Sri Lanka's Muslims

Anti-Muslim graffiti sprayed on a mosque earlier this year.
Joseph Cox
Muslims are under attack in Sri Lanka. Recent reports indicate that gangs of Buddhists have been roaming the streets, administering bloody mob beatings, and attacking places where Muslims work and worship. Raw pork has been thrown into mosques, the Halal logo has been banned, and the prominent Muslim government critic Azad Sally has been arrested.

Fonterra shuts down in Sri Lanka after ‘threats’ form the ruling party supporters

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative said yesterday it had suspended operations in Sri Lanka after the world's largest dairy exporter faced product bans, court cases and angry demonstrators over its supposedly tainted milk products in the country.

Media rights group calls for probe on Mandana's incident

Mandana ismail 410px 24-08-A leading local media rights group today raised serious concerns over a predawn break-in at the house of a senior female journalist in Colombo and demanded a swift investigation into the incident which is the latest in a string of violent atacks on journalists. In the early hours of Saturday (24) a group of men armed with knives and hand grenades stormed the residence of Mandana Ismail Abeywickrama, the Associate Editor of "The Sunday Leader" and the President of the newly formed Sri Lanka Journalists' Trade Union (SLJTU).

SRI LANKA: New ‘Law and Order Ministry’ is a further step towards militarization

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The establishment of a Law and Order Ministry under the President has been announced. The Secretary to this Ministry, according to reports, is Major General (Retired) Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer. Maj.Gen. Mallawarachichi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army. He later became the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia. He reported to have played a major role in kidnapping Kumaran Pathmanathan of the LTTE from a hotel and taking him to the Airport with the help of the Malaysian security forces.

Only 1% of a total of 3,785 candidates of the forthcoming PC elections have declared their assets and liabilitie

Onus is on the Polls Chief , Editorial, Ceylon Today
On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan chapter of the corruption watchdog, Transparency International, revealed that only a mere one per cent of a total of 3,785 candidates of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections have declared their assets and liabilities.

President to leave for Belarus

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave for Belarus today on a three-day official visit.
During the visit, President Rajapaksa is expected to hold bilateral discussions with President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister, Prof. Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, Anatoly Rubinov and the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Belarus National Assembly, Vladmir Andreichenko.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weliweriya Killings: BASL wants Army probe scrapped

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has expressed strong opposition to the investigations conducted by the Army into the Weliweriya incident on 1 August, where three persons were killed.
They also requested Gampaha Chief Magistrate, Tikiri Jayatilleke, to call off all investigations conducted by the Army, alleging that they are in the blame for the three deaths.

Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara of Bodu Bala Sena gets very Angry at the Mere Mention of Muslims and Islam

Words by Eric Ellis · Images by Paula Bronstein
Sri Lanka’s raffish capital, where we begin our series, is in economic catch-up mode. Colombo is replacing the colonial-era roads and railways built when Churchill was a boy and ‘Ceylon’ was a languid tropical afterthought for the British who ruled the plantation island.
Muslim students from an Islamic school in Colombo watching for the moon – when the first day of Ramadan will begin.

Polls Chief orders removal of illegal campaign offices, propaganda

Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya had ordered the closure of all illegal party offices and the removal of all illegal propaganda materials such as posters, cut-outs and banners in the ten districts where the elections would be held on  Sept. 21, senior SLAS official, now functioning as consultant to the Elections Secretariat, Bandula Kulatunga said yesterday.

Australia’s detention of 46 refugees ‘cruel and degrading,’ UN rights experts find

GENEVA (22 AUGUST 2013) Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognized refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them, a UN Committee has found after examining their cases.

“Crowd Censoring”: Tamil nationalist groups are again displaying an intolerant streak- Editorial, The Hindu

Tamil nationalist groups are again displaying an intolerant streak. They want Madras Café, a film loosely based on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, to be banned because it shows the Tamil Eelam struggle in Sri Lanka in a poor light. Though the Madras High Court has rightly declined to stay the release of the film, some groups seeking to ban the film are readying themselves to create a law and order problem as a form of protest.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sri Lanka groups want UN to inquire about killings

(AP) — Sri Lankan human rights activists said Wednesday they have asked a United Nations official to inquire about the recent killing of unarmed protesters, anti-Muslim violence and alleged army land grabs from victims of the country’s civil war.

UN Human Rights Chief Urged to Check for Chemical Weapons Use in Sri Lanka: TGTE

“UN High Commissioner Pillay begins her week-long visit to Sri Lanka on August 25, 2013”
Other recommendations by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) are:
1) Meet those surrendered to Security Forces, like a group led by Rev. Father Francis Joseph and Ehilian.
2) Secure the release of Tamil Nadu (India) Fishermen imprisoned in Sri Lanka.
3) Meet some of the 90,000 Eelam Tamil War Widows and their daughters, who face abuses by Sri Lankan Security Forces.
4) Station UN Human Rights Monitors in Tamil areas & Send International trial observers to observe the trials of Tamil political prisoners.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Future Course of International Action on Sri Lanka will be Determined by what Navi Pillay reports after her Sri Lankan Trip

Add captionUNHRC session-March 2013-pic: UN
Dharisha Bastians

Louise Arbour, the last UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Sri Lanka, arrived in the country in October 2007, just over a year into the Government’s ‘humanitarian operation’ to liberate the north and east from the Tamil Tigers. Government forces had recently secured the strategic LTTE base in Toppigala, flushing the Tigers completely out of the Eastern Province with that major victory. The Sri Lanka Army then headed by Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was turning its eyes on the LTTE’s major bases of the North, a battle that would last two years more and have lasting effects on the country’s post-conflict narrative.

Cabinet Minister Arumugan Thondaman of CWC Goes on the Rampage at Talawakelle Police Station.

A special police team under the Senior SSP for Nuwara Eliya, M.H.K.B, Mahagedara, has been dispatched to the Talawakelle Police to conduct a detailed investigation into the incident where the Minister of Estates and Infrastructure, Arumugam Thondaman, had allegedly stormed into the police station, abused the officers on duty, and had behaved in a manner that obstructed the police officers from carrying out their duties.

Congress should respond to opinions Madras Cafe has its backing: BJP

Chennai: The controversy surrounding actor John Abraham's bilingual flick 'Madras Cafe' assumed more political overtones on Wednesday, with BJP asking Congress to respond to "opinions" that the film had its backing and sought a national ban against it, warning of "unwanted consequences" subsequent to its release.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Law professor and Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris says killing 3 peaceful protestors is part and parcel of life

Weliweriya, part and parcel of life in SL?
Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs who also (to the eternal shame of his students) was a professor of law and a past Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University surpassed himself last week by his nonchalant announcement that the ‘Weliweriya incidents’ were ‘part and parcel of life’ (see Financial Times, August 8th 2013).

Muslim Congress to quit Government

There is a strong possibility of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leaving the government before the Provincial Council elections are held, political sources revealed.
This situation has risen due to the growing disenchantment of Muslim voters with the SLMC, which they charge is drifting away from the people and becoming a sycophant partner of the government.

Govt. puts on best face ahead of CHOGM, Pillay visit

 Ranga Jayasuriya
With two crucial events in its political calendar, the government is trying to put on its best face to the world. It has vouched to retrain itself as it braces for more troubles.
The two events are the forthcoming visit by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, later this month and the Commonwealth Heads of the Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled for November this year.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sri Lanka army intimidates media over shooting, says rights group

A Sri Lankan media rights group on Sunday accused the military of intimidating journalists who reported a deadly army crackdown on villagers protesting at contaminated water supplies.
The army has been come under pressure after soldiers fired on unarmed locals on August 1 in a village outside Colombo, killing three, as they protested against a factory which they say polluted their ground water.

40,000 killed in last phase of war? Gota challenges UN to produce evidence; Issues to be raised with Navi Pillay

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday challenged the UN to furnish evidence relating to the main war crimes allegation that 40,000 persons allegedly disappeared during the final phase of the war in early 2009. He emphasized that none of those propagating war crimes allegations, including the UN, had so far revealed the basis of their accusations.

Police alert Defence Ministry over Chinese, Taiwanese criminals

Police have alerted the Defence Ministry over an alarming increase in financial crimes involving foreigners, especially by those from China and Taiwan. Authoritative sources told the Sunday Times that Criminal Investigation Department (CID) statistics indicated that 136 foreigners were arrested between January 1, 2010, and July 5, 2013, for their alleged involvement in financial or credit card fraud.

Red alert over rising rape cases

  • Activists warn of lawlessness and social decadence; politicians among main culprits
With a woman being raped every 90 minutes in Sri Lanka, women’s rights activists and academics are expressing serious concern over the rise in grave sex crimes – a disturbing trend that puts the lives of local and even foreign women here on high risk. Their concern came in the wake of several brutal rape cases in recent weeks.
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TNA supporters arrested while pasting posters

A group of five Tamil National Alliance (TNA) supporters who were putting up posters in support of the alliance candidate, M.M. Rathan, in the Vavuniya District, were arrested in Kanakarayankulam. Sources said at the time of the arrest, they had around 700 posters, in bundles, in their possession. They were subsequently produced before the Vavuniya Magistrate who released them on bail, sources said.

Sritharan, TNA MP questioned for fifth time

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Kilinochchi District Parliamentarian, S. Sritharan, was questioned for the fifth time by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in Kilinochchi yesterday.
Sritharan told Ceylon Today that he was questioned by Officer-In-Charge of TID, Prasanna de Alwis, along with two other TID officials, Thilakaratne and Uthayakuma at the TNA’s Kilinochchi office Arivakam, about his recent visit to Canada.

Friday, August 16, 2013

UGC mulls stern action against lecturers attending ‘pro-Eelam’ event; Professor Sanmugadas clarifies to media on London conference

The University Grants Commission says it will take stern action against four Sri Lankan university lecturers who are reported to have participated in an alleged pro-Eelam conference in London organized by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE).

UPFA clan tree in PC Elections

The political arena has got agitated with the topic of government politicos’ relatives who have been given nomination for the Central and North – Western PC elections. We publish here a list of such relatives for the amusement of our viewers.

Rishad Badhiyutheen Sends CCTV Footage to IGP Illangakoon and Demands Probe into Mob Violence Against Mosque in Grandpass

Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has demanded a high level investigation into the alleged failure on the part of the police to disperse mobs responsible for causing damage to a mosque and several houses at Grandpass recently.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sri Lanka leader appoints committee to investigate wartime disappearances ahead of UN update

Sri Lanka’s president on Wednesday appointed a commission to investigate wartime abductions and disappearances ahead of an update to be given to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the country’s progress in investigating alleged war crimes and human rights violations.

Sri Lanka launches new probe into thousands missing in war


August 14, 2013 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's president Wednesday ordered a new investigation into the disappearance of thousands of people in the island's northeast during an ethnic war which ended four years ago.

Sri Lankan opposition activists protest military's killing of 3 civilian protesters

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Opposition and human rights activists in Sri Lanka demonstrated Wednesday to demand that the government punish those responsible for the military's killing of three civilians during a recent protest seeking clean drinking water.

Sri Lanka: Canada urges swift investigation into Grandpass and Weliweriya incidents

Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued a statement on the incidents at Grandpass Mosque and Weliweriya protests in Sri Lanka.
“Canada expresses concern over the attack on Grandpass Mosque in Grandpass, Sri Lanka, on August 10, 2013.

European Union concerned over unrest in Sri Lanka

(Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has joined the U.S. in raising concerns over Sri Lanka's political and religious rights after three people were killed in an army shooting and a Buddhist mob attacked a mosque, the bloc said in a statement on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Attacks on Religious Freedom : Silence and apathy of the Government and the Buddhist Mahanayaka Theros is disheartening

Statement condemning the attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam at Grandpass, Colombo

We the undersigned strongly condemn the violent and unprovoked attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam in Grandpass area on Saturday, August 10, 2013 by an extremist mob injuring 12 people, in the wake of the Eid Festival.
We are outraged over the spate of violent attacks against Christian and Muslim places of worship, and remain deeply concerned about the rise of extremist rhetoric around the island.

Was disappeared (2007) Jaffna Journalist S. Ramachandran killed and buried in Pallappai?

New mass-grave site found in Vadamaraadchi, Jaffna - Tamil Net
The occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Vadamaraadchi in Jaffna has warned the original house-owners of a recently released former SLA camp-site at Pallappai at the heart of Vadamaraadchi, not to dig the wells at the site where 52 houses had been seized by the SL military for more than 14 years since 1999. The main camp of the SLA 524 was situated at Pallappai.

Sri Lanka’s recipe for renewed failure - Saudi Gazette

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

A mistake once committed is rarely repeated by a rational entity.  However such is not the case with the government of Sri Lanka.  It is becoming increasingly obvious that following the 30-year war with the Tamil minority, the Sri Lankan rulers have not learned their lesson.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weliweriya – It is also about service delivery, stupid

On 1 August, a group of innocent citizens demanding water fit for human consumption ended up paying the price for demanding a service – access to clean drinking water.
Three youngsters paid with their lives in the most unfortunate manner and 33 were injured. All because, unarmed but angry, they demanded from the authorities, for a better service delivery.
Much has been said and written about the 'Weliweriya incident.' Most of it has been critical accounts on the conduct of the military in quelling a peaceful protest. There had been public outrage at what happened but finally, it turned out to be a double whammy for the innocent citizen in Rathupaswala in Weliweriya.

Red Alert: Is a Black July being threatened through the state media?

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka  
A spectre is haunting Sri Lanka: the spectre of Cyril Mathew. Are the Tamils of the Western Province regarded as potential hostages in the event of a TNA victory in the Northern Provincial Council and a legitimate assertion of Constitutional rights by that Council? Is a veiled threat being issued through the state media that Tamils in the Western Province will be targeted if the TNA and the Northern Provincial Council do not behave with due obsequiousness?

Mosque Attack Causes Unease in Sri Lanka - The New York Times

Police officers outside a mosque vandalized by Buddhists in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
A local curfew was imposed Sunday night.(Photo: Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan police imposed a curfew on a neighborhood in the capital on Sunday, a day after a Buddhist-led mob vandalized a mosque in an episode that has heightened religious tensions here and prompted a statement of concern by the United States.

Buddhist mob attacks Sri Lankan mosque, 12 inured - Reuters

Colombo: At least 12 people were injured after a Buddhist mob attacked a mosque in Sri Lanka’s capital, the latest in a series of attacks on the minority Muslim community by members of the Buddhist majority.
A mob of Buddhists, who are mainly ethnic Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, threw stones at a three-storey mosque and nearby houses in a central Colombo neighbourhood during evening prayers on Saturday, residents told Reuters.
The mosque that was vandalised in Colombo. AFP
The mosque that was vandalised in Colombo. AFP

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buddhist mob attacks mosque in Sri Lanka - CNN report

Clash stemmed from dispute over new mosque's location

Police lights file
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) - A day after a simmering dispute over the location of a new mosque in Sri Lanka's capital escalated into an attack by a Buddhist mob, the government says the issue has been resolved.
The incident happened Saturday night in Grandpass, a northern sector of Colombo, which is home to a large Muslim population.

CPA complaint Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka (ITN)

12 August 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director filed a complaint (Complaint No: HRC/3083/13) before the Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) this afternoon against the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka (ITN) and its Chairmen. The complaint was on the basis that a news item appearing on the 7:00pm Sinhala language news broadcast of ITN on Sunday 14th July 2013 violates several fundamental rights of both CPA and its Executive Director which are guaranteed under the Constitution to all citizens of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Buddhists attack Colombo mosque - Al Jazeera

Police impose curfew after mob attacks mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions.
Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said.

13 Amendment: The President is willing to give anything to Northern PC only we capture power - Davannda

Provincial Councils can solve all regional issues - Devananda

''Q: What about the Police and Land powers?
All that is included in the 13th Amendment. The President has said that he is willing to give anything in the event that we emerge victorious, as he is concerned that the powers would be misused in the hands of others. Giving land and police powers will not be a problem to the President in the event I win the polls.''

Parliamentarian and General Secretary of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) Douglas Devananda says the implementation of the 13th Amendment holds the solution to the ethnic question, and to issues pertaining to livelihood and land issues in the North.

SriLanka: Ensure Rule of Law and Religious Freedom - 8 Muslim ministers tell Rajapaksha

Police guard destroyed Mosque: closing the stable door after the horse has bolted ( BBC Sandeshaya photo)
State should ensure religious freedom: Muslim Ministers
Muslim ministers, representing the government, yesterday said that the State should ensure religious freedom in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The minister said that they couldn’t understand how inflicting violence on a religious minority could be construed as promoting or protecting another faith.

Sri Lanka lifts curfew as Muslims fear more violence

Mosque attacked in the presence of the police ( BBC Sandeshaya photo)
Amal Jayasinghe | AFP
Sri Lankan police stand guard outside a vandalised mosque in Colombo on August 11, 2013. Police lifted a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Sunday after a Buddhist-led mob attack on a mosque raised religious tensions and left the Muslim minority fearing further violence.

44th CJ Mohan Peiris aborts 5 HC judges going to Dhaka for US sponsored training

JSC, BASL in fresh row; judges can’t go to Dhaka
Five judges of the Court of Appeal have been prevented from attending a judicial training programme organised by the US government in Dhaka, Bangladesh, later this month, officials said yesterday amidst a fresh dispute between the Judicial Services Commision and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why no apology over civilians killed in North and East?

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Spokesperson, Suresh K. Premachandran, who yesterday lauded Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, for apologizing for the death of three civilians in Weliweriya, has questioned as to why the minister or his government hesitate to extend an apology to the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in the North and East.

Just as we are United in our Grief Over Weliweriya we Must be United in our Struggle against Tyranny-Sumanthiran MP

‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent’. – Mahatma Gandhi
Grief is the inevitable consequence of violence. The tragic and inexcusable events of Weliweriya have left its residents with unimaginable grief. Akila Dinesh Jayawardena was a 17-year-old student of Chandrajothi Vidhyalaya, Yakkala. He was killed by a soldier’s bullet as he inched through protesters searching for his mother.

Ministers complain to President : Defender vehicles sans licence plates,driven by armed individuals in Wayamba

As the Provincial Council (PC) election campaigns hit fever pitch, a group of North-Western Province (Wayamba) government ministers have sought a special probe into defender vehicles sans licence plates, which are being used by armed individuals in the area.

Release the police from their political prison - Editorial, Sunday Times

Seers predict that in the future, like in the past, wars will be fought over water. For water is life. In ancient times, the Buddha had to engage in conflict resolution time and again between the many clans in northern India over water issues. Once, he told the Litcchavi clan how to settle a dispute by meeting peacefully, discussing peacefully, and dispersing peacefully.

Flinging the gauntlet down to the Sinhala people

Shoot to kill - real life army drill at Weliweriya
Kishali Pinto Jayawardena
As the full facts of the mayhem at Weliweriya came to light this week, the brutalities inflicted by the army on protestors and bystanders caught in the melee, was horrifyingly inevitable. It was a natural culmination of all that we had allowed to happen in the preceding years through clear complicity in applauding a Government bloated with arrogance and through equally clear omission coupled with a blind refusal to acknowledge the monster for what it has become.

Sri Lanka: Investigate ‘Clean Water’ Protest Deaths ; Independent Inquiry Needed, Not Government Spin - HRW

Poster at Weliweriya blames the army
It’s undisputed that security forces killed three protesters, but the Sri Lankan government’s kneejerk reaction is to deny possible wrongdoing. Instead of promoting the military’s version of events, the government should order an independent investigation and prosecute anyone who violated the law. - HRW

SL military bans devotional song at ancient Saiva temple in Batticaloa

The occupying Sri Lanka Army in the East has banned Saiva devotional songs authored by popular poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts are still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009. The SL military personnel have warned the temple administration of the historic Siva temple Thaan-thoan'ri-eesvarar at Kokkaddichchoalai not to play the popular devotional song "Piddukku ma'n chumantha perumaanaar” on the temple loud-speakers or on at any occasion.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka must be addressed by Sri Lankans

Takeaway illustration for review August 10, 2013 

Sarah Lazarovic for The National
Takeaway illustration for review August 10, 2013 Sarah Lazarovic for The National

When the bloody 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers ended four years ago, most Sri Lankans breathed a sigh of relief and looked forward to a new era of peace and prosperity. Little did they know that "peace" would usher in another conflict potentially far more damaging to the economic and social fabric.

Weliweriya killings: Basil apologies for deaths while Gota defends military action

''Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, called for forgiveness from the public over the attack on the people’s protest in Ratupaswala, Weliweriya demanding clean drinking water.'' - Basil Rajapaksha
"There is a procedure for deployment of security forces in the absence of emergency. And, on any occasion, the mere presence of troops at trouble spots was enough to prevent untoward incidents. Unfortunately, troops reacted when missiles were thrown at them."  - Gotabaya Rajapaksha

Entire Ex-Co of BASL to appear on behalf of CJ 43 .

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) at a special meeting today decided that the entire Executive Committee would appear before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to defend Chief Justice 43, Shirani Bandaranayake who is accused of non- declaration of assets.

UPFA politico, goons grab 100 acres from estate

A UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha member and his cronies have grabbed around 100 acres by force from an estate belonging to Elpitiya Plantations at Habarakada, Thawalama.
The PS member and his supporters having encroached the land during the last couple of days were now occupying it, according to a complaint lodged with the Hiniduma police by the firm.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Despite official repression, Sri Lanka media report attack

Police in hundreds were deployed even to intimidate the funeral  of the killed ( photo wsws)
Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator
Details are emerging of Sri Lanka's effort to control media coverage of an ugly attack on demonstrators by security forces last week. In Rathupaswala village in the town of Weliweriya, outside Colombo, on August 1, soldiers beat and fired on people protesting what they feared was contamination of their drinking water by a nearby factory. Most media accounts say three people died and 50 were wounded (here is AP and AFP coverage). Journalists, reports say, were singled out.

TNA demands probe into land grabs in North

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday demanded that government immediately investigate what it called land grabs by the security force members in the North and East and to redress the grievances of Tamil people.

Diaspora Tamils to tap goodwill of India

Karthick S
CHENNAI: Breaking free from the thinking of pro-Eelam outfits in Tamil Nadu, leaders of the Tamil diaspora have taken an independent line to build bridges with the Indian government rather than confronting the Manmohan Singh regime over its stand on issues concerning Sri Lankan Tamils.

Sri Lanka: Ignoring oppression just not cricket

Ruki Fernando
Boycotting Sri Lanka is not the answer, but South Africa could do more to engage with the issues.
South Africa should play Sri Lanka, as isolation would play into the Sri Lankan government’s agenda. (Getty Images)
In the three months I have been in South Africa, most of the people I've met - the students and professors in the university I'm based at, taxi drivers, people in pubs, passengers in buses and church workers - have heard only one thing about Sri Lanka: cricket. Not about the war, tourist attractions or "Ceylon tea".

Thursday, August 8, 2013

SriLanka: Appeal for safeguarding and strengthening independent dissenting journalism

 As you know by now, we as a group have been for the past two months campaigning to raise 20 million SL rupees (US $ 154,000 apprx.) to keep the “Ravaya” weekend Sinhala newspaper independent, the way it stayed over 25 years and, still better.

A lasting solution to the international criticisms of Sri Lanka’s HR record lies within Sri Lanka and the evolution of a political solution to our ethnic problem

The Importance of a Balanced and Principled Foreign Policy - Friday Forum

The unflattering publicity Sri Lanka has received internationally in the lead up to and after the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March 2013, and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in London in April, is indicative of a significant failure of the Sri Lanka Government to exploit the opportunities of peace and reconciliation opened up by the end of the conflict.

Sri Lanka: Massive rise in pawning for want of money

The amount of money obtained by the public, who throng gold jewellery pawning centres at commercial banks and financial institutes, in the first five months of this year, aggregates to a whopping Rs 633 billion, Parliament was told yesterday.

FUTA demands Army Chief, Defence Secy. resign over Weliweriya incident

University teachers yesterday demanded that Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Rathnayake and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa resign from their posts over ordering the army to fire on innocent civilians who were protesting against the contamination of their well water allegedly by a factory.

15 soldiers armed with assault rifles and poles stormed the church and convent premises and attacked the people hiding there

Weliweriya priest says army went on rampage
Parish priest of Weliweriya, Rev. Fr. Lakpriya Nonis yesterday told The Island that there were gunshots embedded in a concrete post and a wall of his church. Fr. Lakpriya said: "MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle visited the church yesterday (6) and inquired what had actually happened last Thursday. So, we told her how people had been attacked even after they had run into the church and the adjacent convent premises to seek refuge."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

India serves démarche on Sri Lanka over jailed fishermen

This April 12, 2013 photo shows an emotional reunion at a Rameswaram fishing jettly where a batch of fishermen arrived after their release from Sri Lanka. On Wednesday, India formally raised the issue of its fishermen languisihing in Sri Lankan jails.
The Hindu This April 12, 2013 photo shows an emotional reunion at a Rameswaram fishing jettly where a batch of fishermen arrived after their release from Sri Lanka. On Wednesday, India formally raised the issue of its fishermen languisihing in Sri Lankan jails.

Currently there are 114 Indian fishermen and 21 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam was summoned to the South Block on Wednesday and a formal démarche made against the large number of Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan custody for periods up to two months.

All institutions under political influence and threat - President of the BASL

Harassment to 43rd CJ continues
Hulftsdorp is buzzing with activity following the summoning of controversially impeached Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, to Court after the Bribery Commission began investigating her alleged failure to declare assets as statutorily required. The impeachment of Dr. Bandaranayake, which was in defiance of a Supreme Court order, sparked widespread condemnation from the unofficial bar and the international community.

FCO: Alistair Burt urges protection of peaceful protest in Sri Lanka

Press Release Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Alistair Burt seriously concerned at reports of violent disruption of peaceful protests by security forces in Sri Lanka. Speaking today, Alistair Burt said:
“I note with serious concern emerging reports of the violent disruption of peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan security forces in Weliweriya on 1 August, in which at least 3 people died.

Weliweriya killings: CTU, IEEU write to HRCSL

The Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) and the Independent Educational Employees Union (IEEU) yesterday lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the killing of two school children by the Army at Weliweriya last week.

At Least Three More Persons Dead in Hospital but Govt not Releasing full Details of Casualties in Weliweriya Army Attack

Students carry the coffin of their colleague, Akila Dinesh Jayawardena who was shot dead during
an army crackdown against people protesting tainted ground water in the village of Weliweriya
Although Government authorities are downplaying the details about civilian casualties in the Weliweriya violence where soldiers of the 58 division and crack commando regiments launched a barbaric attack on unarmed civilians protesting against pollution of drinking water by emission of acid from a factory manufacturing gloves ,informed sources say the number of deaths and injuries is much higher than what is being officially stated.

Blinded by the Arrogance of Power Govt is Riding for a Fall –The Island

 Bleeding for water – Text of Editorial in “The Island” of August 2, 2013.

Thursday’s brutal crackdown on a group of protesters in Weliweriya has left us in a state of shock and dismay. Armed to the teeth, the police and the army acted as if they were fighting a war of sorts. They first targeted the media personnel on the scene, betraying their true intention in the process; they were not there to prevent violence but to perpetrate it. One protester was killed 30 others were injured.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Journalist victimised for criticising Rajapaksha clan by Derana TV

Kelum dearana 410px 06-08-1An announcer in a famous FM channel in Sri Lanka says that he was given the job via a phone call and was fired via an SMS.

This comment was made by Mr. Kalum Amarasinghe, the recently sacked journalist from FM Derana, to BBC Sandeshaya.

Sri Lanka: Opposition demands foreign probe into protest deaths

Sri Lanka's main opposition party, United National Party (UNP), today called for an international probe into last week's military crackdown on a protest against poor water quality which killed three and injured nearly 50.     "We call for an international investigation, we can't trust a probe headed by a government henchman," said UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake.

People who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church too were attacked by military - Bishop

The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today condemned the attack carried out by “some elements of the forces” on people who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya during the clashes between the army and public in the area last week.

“Ceylon Today'' Retracts Lead Story about Defence Ministry Sending Troops to Weliweriya on the Instructions of BBS Gnanasara Thera

The “Ceylon Today”newspaper has published a news item retracting its earlier news story about the Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thera claiming troops were deployed in Weliweriya by the Defence Ministry on instructions given by him. The newspaper says its news story was based on a “misconstrued translation and regrets any inconvenience caused to the Defence ministry and Bidu Bala Sena.

SC rejects CPA pettion on JHU bill to abolish 13 A; Petitioner's (CPA) name too deleted form the SC determination !

Constitutionality of bill titled ‘The Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution’

6th August 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: A Bill titled “The Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution”, a Private Member’s Bill presented by the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, M.P. of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 18th June 2013. The proposed Bill, if passed by Parliament would have the effect of repealing Chapter XVIIA of the Constitution, which was introduced by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) filed a petition in the Supreme Court on 24th June 2013 challenging the constitutionality of this Bill.

Sri Lankan state is fast becoming a predator rather than a protector of the people

CPA statement on the violence in Weliweriya
6th August 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) notes with the greatest alarm and anxiety the distressing events that transpired at Weliweriya in the Gampaha District of the Western Province last Thursday, 1st August 2013. It is not the first instance in post-war Sri Lanka of unarmed citizens exercising their democratic right to protest being tear-gassed, fired upon and killed by the security forces:

SRI LANKA: Horrible military crimes at Rathupaswala necessitate the arrest of the commanding officers

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The horrible military killings at Ratupaswala are nothing but mean and horrible killings. Nothing in the military terminology or strategic manuals could ever justify the horrible acts that happened at Rathupaswala. If there is some decency left in the military establishment in Sri Lanka, the first step that should be taken is to arrest the commanding officers who were in charge of these brutal acts of murder and the assaults committed at Rathupaswala.

BTF (UK) advice TNA (SriLanka) to build mass base and set out demands

The TNA must be explicit about the dangers posed by the forthcoming NPC Election
Having accepted that the Thirteenth Amendment cannot fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has nevertheless decided to participate in the forthcoming election for the new Northern Provincial Council. In light of this decision, British Tamils Forum seeks reassurance that the TNA is fully aware of the significant risks posed to the Tamil people by its decision to participate and that it has taken all reasonable steps to mitigate these risks.

3 environmental protestors killed in clashes with the Sri Lankan Army

Dammika Perera, a tycoon close to the  regime
Three people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the Sri Lankan army on Thursday. Many more were severely beaten, and journalists attempting to cover the demonstrations were attacked and threatened. Some Sri Lankan sources put the eventual death toll as high as six.

Over the last two weeks people have been gathering in the western town of Weliweriya to demonstrate for clean water. They claim that a local latex factory is polluting their drinking water supplies, and that a court case against the factory has been stalled by Sri Lanka's notoriously political justice system.

Priest, nun were assaulted by the Military

Killing fields  in Weliweriya
A priest and a nun at a church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week, lawyers said today quoting statements they had recorded.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya yesterday and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured.

“The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL told the Colombo Gazette.

No EC so far had the decency to at least acknowledge abuse of state resources and official powers in Elections

How fair are our elections?  .- Editorial Daily Miror
All Elections Commissioners, the incumbent and all his predecessors have assured the country on the eve of every election, local or national, that candidates would not be allowed to misuse state resources and official powers during the particular election. But it is a well-known fact that state resources and official powers vested in various people had been utilised freely and openly, mainly by the candidates of the party in power for their campaigns. Ridiculously though,  no  Commissioner so far had the decency to at least acknowledge, that he had failed to keep his assurance, leave alone repenting for his failure.

Features of democracy shrinking . - Former HC judge Warawewa

Susitha R. Fernando
One of Sri Lanka’s most widely respected and best known judicial personalities, retired High Court Judge W. T. M. P. B. Warawewa was outspoken not only during his judicial career but still speaks out strongly on social justice, judicial independence and democracy. Continuing his role in creating a just and fair society, Justice Warawewa has expressed strong views at several public forums. He recently headed the Public Tribunal to inquire into the huge tariff hike on electricity.

Mystery surrounds abduction of ex-STF Inspector

Mystery surrounds the July 21 broad daylight abduction of a former Inspector attached to the elite Special Task Force (STF), from a barber’s saloon at Pelawatte, Battaramulla.
Police have so far drawn a blank. According to STF Commandant Chandrasiri Ranawana, they have had no contact with the IP, who left the force about five years ago and all investigations into his disappearance were being handled by the police.

Pettah bus time-keeper abducted in white van

 A time-keeper at the Gunasinghapura private bus stand in Pettah was abducted by a group of three men yesterday morning.
Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardana told The Island that the suspects had bundled the victim into a white van and taken him away around 11.50 a.m.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sri Lanka: Investigators of alleged army killings of protesters should be truly independent

Three men demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend in Weliweriya, western Sri Lanka.
Three men demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend in Weliweriya, western Sri Lanka.
© Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
The Sri Lankan army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place, and having them investigate their own alleged abuses is simply ridiculous.
-Polly Truscott, Asia Director at Amnesty International.
The Sri Lankan authorities must not allow the army to investigate itself over allegations of excessive use of force by its members after three protesters demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend, Amnesty International said.

Will the President provide information on Rs 1.8 million bribe case to the Bribery Commission?

A telling indictment on holders of public office , Editorial Ceylon Today

Last week, during an interaction with the Chairmen and Mayors of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) controlled local government bodies, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a damning revelation; he revealed that 238 local government members of the ruling Party have been charged with bribery and corruption. That was surely not something the Head of State can crow about. It was indeed a damning indictment of the deterioration on the integrity of the holders of public office.

The economic problem of watching the watchmen

The perennial problem in both the private sector and government is the problem of "watching the watchmen". In the language of economics, it is a principal-agent problem: how to hold top management (agents) accountable to shareholders (principal). This is captured in the famous Latin phrase: Quiscustodietipsoscustodies?; translated as: "who will watch the watchmen" or "who will monitor the monitors".