Monday, September 30, 2013

UNHRC unanimously adopted a resolution to establish a fund for the participation of civil society at various fora

Action on Decision on the Establishment of a Special Fund for the Participation of Civil Society at Various Fora

In a decision (A/HRC/24/L.16) on the establishment of a Special Fund for the participation of civil society at various fora, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Secretary-General to establish a Special Fund for the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders at the Social Forum, Forum on Minority Issues, and Forum on Business and Human Rights, to be administered by the Office of the High Commissioner.

Beyond Sri Lankan provincial elections

Seema Sengupta
As a large majority of the sizable 715,000 eligible voters from Sri Lanka’s troubled north went into makeshift polling booths to cast their preferences for electing a 38 member provincial council on September 21, India’s influence was written all over.

The Commonwealth Summit in Colombo should not be boycotted; all should go there and read the riot act to Rajapakse

The war in Sri Lanka is not over by Shivam Vij

Shivam Vij

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the recent Northern Provincial Council polls in Sri Lanka would not have been held had it not been for the immense pressure that Colombo faced from New Delhi. But for international pressure, Colombo was not going to hold these elections. Despite numerous incidents of voter intimidation, the polls must have been free and fair if 60 per cent voters cast their votes, making the opposition, Tamil National Alliance, win 30 out of 38 seats.

Polls Chief powerless - Former Chief Elections Commissioner of India

Election law violations are rampant
Former Chief Elections Commissioner of India, N. Gopalaswami, who headed the Mission of International Election Observers in the recently held provincial elections said, Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner is 'powerless'.

Sri Lanka says no to provincial councils on land, police powers

Sri Lankan provincial councils, including the Tamil-dominated Northern, will not have discretion over land and police matters and they will have to operate within the existing limits of power, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

Tamils have started dreaming about Tamil Eelam again because of the support from the Western countries for their cause

 NPC election: Results in retrospect  by Udaya Gammanpila (JHU)

The much anticipated Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election is now over.  People have different opinions about the results, looking at them from different perspectives.  The most salient feature of the election results is the landslide victory recorded by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wigneswaran is a fascist and should be arrested - Minister Ranawaka

Wigneswaran at Nallur Kovil
Champika says Wigneswaran should be arrested for violating laws 
Secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Minister Champika Ranawaka, said if the Chief Minister elect of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, acts in violation of judicial orders and attempts to call for international intervention in national affairs, he should be arrested by the law enforcement authorities.

Sri Lanka receives broad cross-regional support in the HRC on substantive progress in the reconciliation process - SL mission

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva

 Sri Lanka received strong cross-regional support in the Human Rights Council from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America on Thursday ( 26 September 2013) which uniformly welcomed and commended the country’s significant progress achieved in the reconciliation process.

Sri Lanka: If LLRC recommendations are not carried out by March next year then the council should consider credible international investigations

Pillay interviewed by ABC journalist
''And this is where the human rights council comes in, they have urged Sri Lanka to implement their own recommendations and I then reported to the council that that has not happened. Now, the LLRC recommendations fall short of our expectations on what should be done for proper accountability.''

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, joins Lateline live from New York to discuss her recent week-long fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pillaiyan wants police, land powers for North

Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, said the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) should be vested with police and land powers.
Pillaiyan, expressing his views over the outcome of the NPC polls, said regardless of who came to power in the North, the police and land powers allocated under the 13th Amendment should be devolved to the Northern Province.

Bribery and corruption: Reveal the names, Minister Sirisena

Minister says he Tobaco industry tried to bribe
Editorial Ceylon Today 
The battle against the butt it appears has now entered the realms of whodunit, with the Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena, introducing a subornment element to the saga of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets. Days after the Supreme Court issued a stay order halting the implementation of a special gazette notification, which would have made it mandatory for cigarette-manufacturing companies to print pictorial warnings covering 80% of the principal display area of each packet of cigarettes, he dropped a bombshell, alleging that the ‘tobacco industry’ tried to bribe him into blocking the said gazette notification.

Commonwealth giving Sri Lanka carte blanche for human rights abuses - AI

Sri Lanka’s disturbing human rights record means it should be barred from hosting a key Commonwealth summit in November or chairing the organization, Amnesty International said ahead of a key meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers today.

Navi Pillay's oral update, a gross betrayal of Tamils: Prof Ramasamy

[TamilNet, ]
The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navanetham Pillay, in her latest oral update to the UN Human Rights Council is more concerned with whitewashing the Sri Lankan government than looking at the tragic situation of Tamils, writes Malaysia’s Penang State Deputy Chief Minister Professor P. Ramasamy, in an article sent to TamilNet on Thursday.

Sri Lanka president uses his time in U.N. spotlight to lash out

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka, delivers his speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. In an interview later at his hotel, he deflected criticism of his government’s rights record and said the U.N. and Western powers seemed bent on harassing Sri Lanka. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press / September 27, 2013)
Mahinda Rajapaksa, under fire over human rights in Sri Lanka, says at the U.N. General Assembly that the U.N. is being manipulated.
Shashank Bengali
UNITED NATIONS — From Moammar Kadafi's baffling fantasies to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's room-emptying rants, almost every confab of world leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly includes speeches that make people squirm in their chairs.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sri Lanka: Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances does not meaningfully address the phenomenon of enforced disappearances

Pooja Patel , FORUM-ASIA
Thank you, Mr. President. FORUM-ASIA appreciates the High Commissioner’s updates to the Council on her mission to Sri Lanka, as well as her serious efforts to meet with a broad section of victims, civil society representatives, local authorities and opposition politicians, as requested in our letter to her prior to the mission.(1)

The people need an independent international investigation into all violations of international human rights law

Nimalka Fernando
Nimalka Fernando ( IMADR)
Thank you Mr. President,
IMADR welcomes the visit of High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and her oral update thereon conducted under item 2. We also would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Madam High Commissioner for providing precious time in the busy schedule to listen to a variety of civil society actors during her visit. In our dialogue with the Madam High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, we have expressed our concerns over the continuing violence and increasing religious intolerance.

Tamils desire for autonomy: the unavoidable question at the heart of Sri Lankan politics

Tamils vote for autonomy ( photo Hindustan Times)
Bob Rae 

Vote reveals Sri Lanka’s unavoidable truth: Other voices must be heard

The results are in for the provincial election in Sri Lanka’s northern most province, the area around Jaffna, and they are clear as a bell: nearly 80 per cent of voters, despite much evidence of harassment, cast their ballots for the Tamil National Alliance.

Confrontation of Two Nationalisms; Another Peace Process May Needed

Two leaders of confronting nationalisms: Rajapaksha and Sampanthan
 Laksir Fernando
 If political realism is any indication, Sri Lanka again is in trouble waters after the three PC elections and the polarization between the two nationalisms, Sinhala and Tamil, is higher than what it was before the commencement of the war. If the NPC election was held in 2009, soon after the end of the war, the situation could have been averted.

SL rejects Pillay’s assertion: Sri Lanka needs to be encouraged, not impeded.

ravinath ar
AMB Ravinatha
   While strongly repudiating UN Human Rights Chief Navinethem Pillay’s assertion that if certain concerns are not comprehensively addressed, she believes ‘the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms’, Sri Lanka said that she has no mandate to make such a claim.
In response to Pillay’s remarks, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha said, “having brought normalcy to the lives of the civilian population, GOSL has also taken positive steps to address issues of accountability.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tamils are not a democratic community; they don't have an ideology and vote for phone calls - Minister

JHU questions Northern Tamils

Minister Ranawaka:
Tamils are not a democratic community

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) claims the Tamils in the North did not vote out of their own free will at the provincial council elections.

JHU MP and government minister Champika Ranawaka said that the perception the Tamils did not get misled and voted democratically is misleading.

He claims the Tamils in the North who were once directed by the gun of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran had now been led by telephone calls they received from LTTE supporters overseas.

UN system failed during final days of Lankan ethnic war: Ban

Tamil civilians plead with UN officials not to leave Vanni in September 2008. Photograph from TamilNet.
In a rare admission of "systemic failure" of the UN, its chief has said the world body had failed during the final stages of Sri Lanka's ethnic war in 2009 that saw military defeat of the LTTE.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also blamed member countries for not providing the UN with support to meet the tasks set by themselves.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oral report to UNHRC: Pillay sets deadline for Lanka

Add caption
September 25, 2013
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today set a deadline for the government to address human rights concerns by March 2014 in the absence of which she believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms.
In a statement on Sri Lanka, which was delivered to the UN Human Rights Council by the Deputy High Commissioner Flavia Pansieri, Pillay said that she has not detected any new or comprehensive effort to independently or credibly investigate the allegations which have been of concern to the Human Rights Council.

India welcomes polls to 3 Sri Lankan provincial councils and look forward to 13 A implementation

TNA CM candidate C.V. Vigneswaran
NEW DELHI: Welcoming elections to three Sri Lankan provincial councils, including the Northern, India today said the government there has honoured its commitment while asserting that it was looking forward to implementation of other important commitments such as 13th amendment of the Constitution.

World needs no policing - President Rajapaksa tells UN

By United Nations News
Citing his efforts to ensure that economic growth benefits all segments of society in his own country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today called on the United Nations to study the international community’s failure to improve the lot of the impoverished worldwide.

Welcoming the Verdict of the Tamil People

Jaffna after elections;  AFP photo
Kalana Senaratne   
The TNA has swept the polls in the North. More importantly, the Tamil people have voted courageously, convincingly, and clearly. It was an expected outcome, but as President Rajapaksa took off to New York, he would have known that numbers and statistics on paper, more than just mind-made presumptions, can have a very coruscating impact, that the numbers in this case do not lie; not in the ‘South’, and never in the ‘North’.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Police investigation on journalist Mandana's "house robbers" on standstill

mandana 410px 31-08-13
Mandana Ismail had to fled the country
Investigations regarding the armed gang of thugs who recently broke into the house of Sunday Leader Co-Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema’s house in pursuit of certain documents, have currently come in a standstill, Police sources say.
Ms. Abeywickrema had informed the Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order retired Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi in writing, about the surprisingly slow pace of the police investigations regarding the matter.

Out of the 23 close relatives of senior politicians, who were in the fray at Saturday’s polls, contested on either UPFA or UNP tickets, 19 were elected.

Lands Development Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon’s son Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon secured the highest number of votes from the Matale District while the Minister’s cousin, Thilina Bandara Tennakoon, was elected from the Kandy District.

Sri Lanka NPC election: Public resources misused; Military interfered, Media self-censored - Commonwealth election monitors

Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in 2010, undermined the constitutional and legal framework for a credible and competitive election

 September 23, 2013
Commonwealth election monitors headed by former Vice President of Kenya Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, today said that the media environment in Sri Lanka appeared constricted.

In a statement on its preliminary findings on Saturday’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, the Commonwealth election monitors said that it was reported to them that several media outlets were self-censoring when it came to in-depth or sensitive reporting on the elections.

First take on Northern Provincial Council elections

 Col. R. Hariharan
About 78.5 percent of 4.25 lakh people of Northern Province who voted in the Provincial Council elections on September 21, 2013 have given the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) a thumping victory. The TNA won 30 seats including 2 bonus seats in the 38-member council while the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) secured 7 seats and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) won 1 seat.

Sri Lanka: A bombshell in the Northern Province; What next? What after that?

 Vigneswaran , Sampanthan and Senathirahja ( Photo by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai-via flickr/passionParade)
 Dr.Kumar David
 Provincial Council (PC) elections were held in three provinces in Lanka on 21 September – the Northern (NP), North Western (NWP) and the Central (CP) Provinces went to the polls and as expected the Rajapakse government won fairly handsomely in the Sinhalese majority NWP and the CP securing about 60% of the vote. The bombshell was the NP where the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was expected to win but the outcome turned out to be a titanic landslide.

Food insecurity, debt rise in Sri Lanka’s north

Many families struggle to put food on the tableAdd caption;Photo: Contributor/IRIN
 COLOMBO, 23 September 2013 (IRIN) - In two northern districts of Sri Lanka, now slowly recovering from decades of conflict, almost seven out of 10 households are “food insecure”, according to a recent survey.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Foreign election monitors dismayed at army role

'The army was also involved in the election in other ways' - N. Gopalaswami   

Foreign election monitors from the South Asian region today expressed dismay over the alleged role played by the army during the provincial council election in the North.
Addressing the media today the monitors, who were invited to Sri Lanka by the Department of Elections, also raised concerns over the alleged role of the army in the attack on the house of a candidate of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) a day ahead of the polls.

Analysis: Tamils take control in provincial election landslide

Chief Minister-elect for Sri Lanka's northern provincial government, retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, flashes a victory sign following a media briefing in Jaffna Sunday. Pic: AP
By Gibson Bateman and Rathika Innasimuttu
In a significant vote this weekend, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 30 out of 38 seats in Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council. The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won a mere seven seats. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) captured one seat.
To fully comprehend what’s just happened, it’s helpful to put these numbers in perspective.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

TNA for right to self-determination, rejects 13th Amendment/unitary constitution and wants Int. investigation for war crimes

In the final run up to the election, candidates of the TNA across the five districts have come together on three key points of their electoral campaign -reaffirming their belief in the Tamil nation’s right to self-determination, rejecting the 13th Amendment or the unitary Sri Lankan constitution as a point that can lead to a political solution, and reiterating the need for an international investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Elections in Sri Lanka: Northern comfort

FIRECRACKERS at dawn and a few weary smiles. As Jaffna’s palm trees swayed in the wind, northern Tamils in Sri Lanka were celebrating cautiously on September 22nd. Their favoured party all but swept the board in provincial elections the day before. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) scooped up 30 of 36 contested seats. Municipal and other local elections have been held here since 2009, when Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war ended. But this was the biggest poll, a test of northern Tamils’ perception of their place in the country. The ruling party of Sri Lanka was heavily defeated.

The TNA Tsunami: Re-Balancing The Equation

Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil man shows his inked finger after casting vote  ( AP photo)
The TNA victory has shown that Sri Lanka remains a functioning democracy; that it functions when there is competition; and that with or without the 17th amendment and even under the tightest military supervision, the government can be electorally defeated.
Having won the war, the Government has lost the peace in the North (and earlier, parts of the East), while it continues to lead impressively in post-war politics in the more populous two- thirds of the island.

TNA's victory shows the defeat of the rebels in 2009 did nothing to dampen calls for autonomy among Tamils

Tamil National Alliance wins landslide victory in first local elections since civil war

A woman leaves a polling booth after casting her vote in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on 21 September, 2013
Photo: Voter turnout was reported to be around
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has won the first local election to be held in the country's north in the wake of decades of civil war.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has secured 30 seats in the 38-member Northern Provincial Council.
A coalition of parties representing president Mahinda Rajapaksa won seven seats, while a Muslim party won one.
The vote comes four years after the army defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's civil war.
Defeat for the government, the most humiliating set-back for Mr Rajapaksa since he assumed office in 2005, is largely symbolic.

Central, NWP in UPFA hands;TNA sweeps the NPC polls;DP now the “third force”; UNP vote base reduced to 20%

Ruling UPFA  won Central and North Western Provinces handsomely while main opposition UNP reduced to 20 -30% votes, TNA obtained 3/4th of seats in the Northern Provincial council, Former Army Commander Saratha Fonseka's party became third political force in the South pushing the Sinhala Nationalist JVP to Forth place.

Sri Lana: Pillay did not take into account compelling evidence provided to her - Minister G.L Peiris

 No other post- conflict country had to cope with the intense pressure Sri Lanka has been subjected to, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L Peiris said. He said this was due to the financial clout of the diaspora which has influence, and access to a vast amount of monetary resources that the LTTE had accumulated. Prof. Peiris said in an interview with the Times of India, that he felt some recent observations by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, following a visit to Sri Lanka are biased and do not reflect reality.

Husband#s consent necessary: Supreme Court refuses appeal of migrant worker

The Supreme Court has refused ‘leave to proceed’ by a migrant worker against a new rule where women seeking to work overseas as domestic workers are permitted based on the consent of their husbands.
When the fundamental rights petition came up recently, the court headed by Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, took the position that the rule was not gender discriminatory nor violated an individual’s human rights.

Sri Lanka NPC elections: intimidations and violations continue

CMEV: Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 9

21st September 2013: Conclusion of Polls 4pm
The North Provincial Council Elections saw a relatively high turnout as compared to previous elections. While the number of incidents recorded on election day was not of a high frequency, polling day and the campaign period saw a series of electoral malpractices and violations which seriously undermined the free and fair nature of the electoral process.

Al Jazeera blocked in Lanka over election broadcast

Al Jazeera television has been temporarily blocked in Sri Lanka over its election coverage today.
Dialog Television is the main re-broadcaster of Al Jazeera television in Sri Lanka.
Sources said that the Doha based TV station was blocked today by Dialog Television following one of its reports on the Northern polls.

TNA's challenge is not winning the North, but to govern it

Ethnic Tamils wait in line to cast their votes at a polling station during the first provincial polls in 25 years in Jaffna, a former war zone in northern Sri Lanka about 400 kilometres (249 miles) north of Colombo, September 21,2013. REUTERS-Dinuka Liyanawatte
Voting in the North ( Reuters photo)
Ranga Jayasuriya
One does not need to be a political scientist to foretell that the Provincial Council election to be held tomorrow is a one-horse race, in all three provinces.

The government's victory in the Central and North-Western Provinces is a foregone conclusion. Perhaps, the only likely upset in the whole election is that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is destined to win the North, would emerge the winner with a slimmer margin, which would challenge the TNA's claim as the principal interlocutor of the Tamils.

In Memory of Lasantha: Media censorship is part of a bigger strategy

The following is the full text of the speech given by senior journalist JS Tissainayagam at Lasantha Wickramatunge Memorial Event in Toronto today (21), organised by the Sri Lankans Without Borders and South Asian Journalists Association. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: good afternoon. I’m happy to be here with you and speak at this event. I would like to thank the organisers for putting together the Lasantha Wickrematunge Memorial Lecture.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

SriLanka NPC election: Assault, intimidation of voters, campaigning near polling station etc

Posters up today in Jaffna by pro Govt forces: "Are you voting for the TNA? Are you ready to go back to war?"

Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 8

21st September 2013: 12 pm: CMEV has received complaints of a number of incidents on election day since polls opened at 7 am, including an assault, intimidation of voters, campaigning near polling stations and distribution of food items while canvassing. As of twelve noon there had been a moderate turnout in urban areas in Jaffna.

Sri Lanka- NPC election: violations and violence

Add caption

CNEV: Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 7

On 20th September 2013 / 08.10h/ Northern Province/ Mannar District/ Mannar Electorate/ Pesalai UPFA party office
As reported by CMEV monitor in the area, UPFA Mannar District candidate No 6, Mr. Robert Pieris, organized dry rations to be distributed on the night of 20th September 2013.

UN rights chief accuses SL of slander campaign .

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The United Nations' rights Chief Navi Pillay, who is investigating allegations of war crimes by Sri Lanka, is the target of a smear campaign by Colombo, her office said Friday.
Pillay's spokesman Rupert Colville said there had been no letup in the “extraordinary array of distortion and abuse” the UN high commissioner for human rights faced from Sri Lankan officials during a fact-finding mission there last month.

Amid Violence, Returning to Elections in Sri Lanka After a Void

Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times;Campaign posters in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on Thursday. The first provincial council elections since 1988 are being held Saturday in the Tamil-dominated north.

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — The thugs first appeared around 11:20 on Thursday night, a dozen or so men lurking outside her house. Two wore army uniforms. 

Bid to scare voters foiled; No secret cameras, confidentiality guaranteed - Polls chief

Polls chief Mahinda Deshapriya has intervened to guarantee the confidentiality of voters’ identity following threats that they would be under surveillance within polling booths, hence their preference could be established.
Deshapriya rejected claims that hidden cameras would be allowed in polling booths to identify those voting for a particular party. Addressing the final media briefing, at the Elections Secretariat, Rajagiriya, yesterday, Deshapriya warned his staff would confiscate camera phones in case voters used them within polling booths.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Elections Observation Missions request EC to counter false propaganda re secrecy of the vote

Chief Election Commissioner  of India S.Y. Quraishi interacts with Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, Sri Lanka (right) File Photo

''We call on you to make a public statement to the effect that ballots are specifically designed to prevent anyone from linking a specific voter to a ballot and that there is no possible way for another person to decipher to which political party and candidate(s) a particular person cast his/her ballot''

Joint Statement issued by Main Elections Observation Missions in Sri Lanka

SriLanka PC elections: Ruling UPFA misuse state resources and voter intimidation on the rise in Mullaitivu

Police vehicle parked at the UPFA office and policeman outside meeting at UPFA office in Mullaitivu
Police vehicle parked at the UPFA office and policeman outside meeting at UPFA office in Mullaitivu

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence /Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka
Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Mullaitivu District Situation Report

20th September 2013
There is widespread disillusionment with the election process, which may lead to low voter turnout. Unacceptably long distances to polling center’s will deter others, since even where buses are being provided these services will be minimal and are not free.

SriLanka PC elections: CMEV reports more violence and intimidation against TNA

Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 5

On 19th September 2013, Kollankalati, Kankasanthurai Electorate, Northern Province
CMEV Field Monitor reported that the majority of villagers in Kollankalatti are in fear on account of unidentified groups roaming the village. He reported that sections of the community were considering not voting.

SL military attacks Ananthi's residence in Jaffna, 8 wounded

Ananthi's residence
Attackers set fire to her belongings

[TamilNet, ]
Eight persons, including an election monitor, Lawyer Sugas of PAFFREL, were brutally attacked by the occupying SL military in Jaffna, which besieged the residence of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) woman candidate Ms Ananthi Sasistharan at Araali in Jaffna in the early hours of Friday. Ms Ananthi narrowly escaped from the assault as her supporters had managed to send her away over the wall of the residence as the military rounded up her residence.

Attack Launched After Midnight on TNA Woman Candidate Ananthi Sasitharan’s Residence at Chulipuram

The residence of Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan who is contesting the forthcoming Northern provincial council elections on the Tamil National Alliance list under the house symbol was attacked shortly after midnight on Friday September 20th 2013.
Be to Become
Be to Become: Tamil National Alliance’s Jaffna District candidate Ananthy Sasitharan’s paraphernalia-pic by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai~via flickr/PassionParade

Sri Lankan polls monitor, party workers, attacked in north

Polling officers carrying ballot boxes walk with police officers as they prepare to go to their polling centres ahead of first provincial polls in 25 years in Jaffna, a former war zone in northern Sri Lanka, about 400 kilometres (249 miles) north of Colombo September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Dinuka LiyanawatteView Photo.
By Shihar Aneez
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - A member of a Sri Lankan election monitoring group was attacked along with nine supporters of an ethnic minority Tamil political party by a group of gunmen who the victims said on Friday were clad in military uniform.

Sri Lankan pastor beaten unconscious by mob; 3 attacks on churches within a week

By: Release International
A mob destroyed a Christian group's musical instruments and beat their pastor unconscious during a raid on a prayer meeting – one of several recent attacks on Sri Lankan churches.
Three Buddhist monks led about 30 people in the assault on Jeevana Diya Church in Meegoda, Colombo district, on September 8, demanding that they stop meeting in ‘this Buddhist village'. The pastor and his mother, attacked as she tried to defend her son, had to be hospitalised.

Sri Lanka asks detractors at HRC not to discredit the Northern PC election process or prejudge its outcome and impact

Exercising a 'right of reply' with regard to references made to Sri Lanka by Germany, the US and Ireland under Agenda Item 4 - General Debate at the ongoing 24th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Sri Lanka delegation on Thursday (19 September 2013) said, it seemed ironic that at a time when for the first time since the introduction of the Provincial Council system in 1987 elections to the Northern Provincial Council are to be held later this week, that Germany should choose to discredit the process and prejudge its outcome and impact.

Sri Lanka placed among 14 worst countries at high risk of corruption in arms procurement

A study conducted by the Transparency International UK's Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) has placed Sri Lanka among the 14 worst countries that are seriously at high risk of corruption in their ministry of defense and armed forces.
The study is based on the first ever Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) published by the (TI-DSP) in January 2013.

OHCHR offcie respond to GoSL distortion: High Commissioner questioned about the Buddhist Flag not the D.S. statue

Buddhist Flag at Independence square
UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva states that although at a discussion about peace and reconciliation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay had raised questions regarding the Buddhist flag hoisted at the Independence Square, she had made no statement with regards to the statue of late PM D. S. Senanayake.

Election Commissioner blamed for KP's press conference

KP addressing media
K P press 410px 19-09-13United National Party (UNP) has made a written request from the Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to hold an immediate inquiry regarding the press conference held by Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP yesterday (18) in Kilinochchi with the help of the Army.

Vote in Sri Lanka's north stirs Tamil calls for army to get out

Reuters: Election posters in Jaffna
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Voters in northern Sri Lanka go to the polls on Saturday in a provincial election that threatens to stir up old animosity between the government and ethnic minority Tamils.
Defeat for the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be largely symbolic, but victory for the main Tamil party could reignite calls for autonomy.

Military involvement shrouds Sri Lanka election

Sri Lankan army troopers patrol in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of the capital Colombo on September 18, 2013. Sri Lanka is holding the first ever provincial council election, scheduled for September 21. (Photo: AFP)
After nearly three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka is set to hold elections in the island's former war zone. But experts doubt whether the poll, already marred by allegations of intimidation, will ease ethnic tensions.

Upcoming elections in Sri Lanka an opportunity for reconciliation – UN chief

A polling area in the the north of Sri Lanka when local elections were held in July 2010. Photo: IRIN
19 September 2013 – The forthcoming provincial elections in Sri Lanka are an important opportunity for reconciliation in the country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling on all parties to take part in the electoral process in a peaceful manner.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Senior Jesuit priest in East harassed after meeting Navi Pillay

Fr Yogeswaran harassed in Trincomalee
Posters against Fr. Yogeswaran
60-year-old Jesuit Priest Fr Veeresan Yogeswaran, who is one of the leading human rights activists in the East, is at the receiving end of the SL government's ire after his meeting with UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanetham Pillay during her recent visit to the island. Pamphlets decrying Fr Yogeswaran, printed in Sinhala and in erroneous Tamil – evidently not written by a Tamil – have been published in Trincomalee, some of which have been left outside his residence.

Civil Society censures wrong politics of TNA but urges people to vote for it

The Tamil civil society in the North, comprising of religious dignitaries, including the Mannaar Bishop, academics, doctors, student leaders and trade union activists, on Wednesday came with an open appeal urging the Tamil people to use the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections to reject those who have been opposed to Tamil national aspirations and to vote for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

NPC won’t have special powers; No one could go against the Constitution – Vasu

Vasu at Nallur
Democratic Left Front (DLF) leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara recently ruled out the possibility of a federal solution to the national issue. Addressing the media at Nallur, Jaffna, Minister Nanayakkara pointed out that people would have to accept Provincial Councils as any attempt to go beyond that would cause a catastrophe. Senior Minister DEW Gunasekera was present.( Pic courtesy National languages Ministry)