Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cost of short new expressway is more than budgetary allocation for Education, Agriculture, Higher Education, Power and Energy, Environment, ,Social Services +++

Children of a Lesser God by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“…justice by its very nature has to have a universal reach, rather than being applicable to the problems and predicaments of some people but not of others”.
Amartya Sen (The Idea of Justice)

Rs.1.8 billion was spent on building one kilometre of the Katunayake-Colombo expressway.

That was more than the 2014 Budgetary allocation for Child Development and Women’s Affairs (Rs.1.24 billion), Culture and Arts (Rs.1.48 billion), Telecommunication and Industrialisation Technology (Rs.0.957 billion), Wildlife Resources and Conservation (Rs.1.31 billion), National Heritage (Rs.1.26 billion) or Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare (Rs.0.58 billion).

Ten steps you can take right now against Internet surveillance

Electronic Frontier Foundation
One of the trends we've seen is how, as word of the United States' National Security Agency (NSA's) spying has spread, more and more ordinary people want to know how (or if) they can defend themselves from surveillance online. But where to start?

UK for probe on sexual violence

The British government says it will press the Sri Lankan Government to investigate all human rights abuses, including the shocking allegations of acts of sexual violence committed during and after the conflict.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says he and Prime Minister David Cameron will urge the government to allow free expression and to stop intimidation of journalists and also bring about reconciliation and political reform.

Sri Lanka to deport 2 international media activists

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan officials say they will deport two international media rights activists for participating in a meeting on press freedom while visiting the country on tourist visas.
Immigration chief Chulananda Perera said the activists from the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists were found attending the meeting in Colombo on Wednesday.

TNA urges Army to stop demolition of houses immediately

Military destroying the houses
A group of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians and Northern Provincial Councillors have visited Valikamam North and urged the Army to immediately halt the demolition of the private residences in the area.

Sri Lanka: RSF calls on UNHRC to ensure the safety of FMM and IFJ personal

To the attention of : Ajith Sunghay
Human Rights Officer , Asia-Pacific
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dear Mr Sunghay,

A raid on a workshop co-organized by the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) was conducted on Wednesday and have lead to the arrest of FMM and IFJ members, among them Jacqueline Park, by officers from the Emigration and Immigration Department.  Members of the  Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist organisation Bodu Bala Sena, also present, have threatened the owners of the venue, the Hotel Renuka, where the workshop is conducted, not to allow FMM and IFJ to conduct the workshop on Thursday. They have threatened the owners to be present at the venue in the morning to force the cancellation of the workshop.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Northern Provincial Council Elections did not fully meet key benchmarks for democratic elections.- Commonwealth mission

Northern Provincial Council Elections
Voters in Jaffna ; Photo - The Republic Square

Conclusions and Recommendations

 The 21 September 2013 elections were landmark elections, the first Northern Provincial Council Elections held since the end of the civil conflict in May 2009, and since the Provincial Council system was established. We are conscious that the Northern Province is emerging from nearly three decades of civil conflict which claimed many thousands of lives and resulted in widespread damage to infrastructure, livelihoods and displacement of the population.

Watchdog slams Sri Lanka navy chief heading ship firm

An anti-corruption watchdog Wednesday criticised the appointment of Sri Lanka's navy chief as head of the country's shipping company, calling it a further sign of the military's growing influence.
Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage took over as chairman of the state-run Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) on Tuesday which he will run along with the navy, the navy said in a statement.

Women Battle On After Lanka War

Women in Alankulam village in the northern Mullaittivu district help dig a community well. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS.
Women in Alankulam village in the northern Mullaittivu district help dig a community well. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS.
BATTICALOA/KILLINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, Oct 30 2013 (IPS) - The battle might have been over four long years ago, but for the women in Sri Lanka’s former conflict zones in the northern and eastern provinces, the war continues.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dambulla Hindu Temple destroyed

Dr. N Kumaraguruparan

A 30 year old Hindu Temple located in Dambulla has been demolished by the authorities despite appeals made against it, the Democratic Peoples’ Front said today.
Western Provincial Council member and deputy leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Front Dr. N Kumaraguruparan said that the Dambulle Badhrakaali Amman Kovil was demolished last night.
Kumaraguruparan said that both he and Parliamentarian R .Yogarajan had made personal appeals to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to prevent moves to demolish the Hindu Temple.
Monks in the area had on previous occasions protested against the Hindu Temple and a Mosque and wanted both places of worship demolished.

Singh’s CHOGM Dilemma

White Van Stories: Documentary on Sri Lanka set for international release

White Van Stories: A documentary on disappearances in Sri Lanka
Critically acclaimed Indian filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s White Van Stories, a documentary on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka with never-seen-before footage, is set for an international release.

Monday, October 28, 2013

UN rapp slams Lankan prisons


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo says in some Sri Lankan prisons, cells are infested with rats; beds, mats and pillows are often lacking; and no fans are provided even when temperatures climb to dangerous levels.

Manjoo has said this in a report on the ‘Causes, Conditions and Consequences of Women’s Incarceration’ submitted to the UN General Assembly, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said today.

Drone attacks: UN rights experts express concern about the potential illegal use of armed drones

NEW YORK (25 October 2013) – Two United Nations human rights experts today expressed concern about the potential illegal use of armed drones. In two separate reports to the UN General Assembly, the experts called upon States to be transparent in their use of drones as weapons, to investigate allegations of violations of the right to life through drone killings, and to respect all applicable international law standards.

Global Slavery Index: Pakistan No 3; India No 4;Nepal No 5; Sri Lanka No118

Modern slavery: a matter of poverty, the rule of law and the indifference of the national government
Liliana Corrieri
Pakistan ranks third in the Global Slavery Index. It is estimated that there are 2,000,000 – 2,200,000 people involved in various forms of modern slavery in Pakistan. Pakistan counts a population of 179, 000,000 people and with the increasing birth rate the number of enslaved people will consequently escalate.

An expressway paved with gold

Rajapaksha driving on the high way
(LBO) Sri Lanka opened its second expressway Sunday linking the capital with the country's main international airport with some 250 million dollars borrowed from China.
The 25.8-kilometre four-lane road is expected to reduce travel time by more than half, but the for Sri Lankan tax payers it would be a long haul to repay the loan and finance the estimated $292 cost of the project.

23rd Anniversary Of Northern Muslim Exodus In Sri Lanka


Sri Lankan Muslims of Northern Province still vividly remember those dark days in their life. It was at the end of October 1990 that Muslims of Northern provinces were abruptly asked to leave their own homes and properties within the time limits of few hours. They were also asked not to take any valuable items with them. They were not allowed to take even their hard earned money or jewelleries. They were not allowed to sell their properties and belongings to anyone. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mahinda Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka's saviour or war criminal?

Mahinda Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka's saviour or war criminal?
Rajapaksa, a small-town lawyer without a university degree, is thus very different,
As host of next month's Commonwealth heads of state meeting, the president's human rights record is under close scrutiny. For some he's a robust leader dealing with the bitter legacy of civil war.
As host of next month's Commonwealth heads of state meeting, the president's human rights record is under close scrutiny. For some he's a robust leader dealing with the bitter legacy of civil war. For others he's a brutal despot

Tamils have to live with Sinhala police in North says Police chief

Responding to comments made by the Northern Chief Minister that Tamil-speaking policemen should be recruited to serve the people in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province, Sri Lanka’s Police Chief today stated that different police forces cannot be created to suite a certain race. The Sinhala speaking police officers are working in Jaffna and the Tamil community who cannot understand Sinhalese have to live with it as this is the law of the Sri Lanka.

Khurshid will attend CHOGM

Salman Khurshid
 External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will represent India at the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) summit, though the Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging boycott of the meeting because of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
In a television interview, Mr. Khurshid confirmed his participation in next month’s meeting; but there is still a question mark over who among the three VVIPs will attend the summit: President Pranab Mukherjee; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; or Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Or whether Mr. Khurshid himself will lead the Indian delegation.

So now we know the truth about eu gsp plus

This week, the Government of Sri Lanka admitted for the first time, the financial losses that the country has been subjected to as a result of losing the European Union (EU) GSP Plus facility in 2010. At the time that we bartered away this facility, what was told to us was quite a different story. Shrugging off prophecies of severe impact on the apparel industry, ministerial spokesmen boasted that Sri Lanka did not actually need this facility and that its removal would not cause major financial impact.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Global Gender Gap report 2013 : Sri Lanka dropped to 55 from 39th place in 2012

Group of Sri Lanka women (
SL ranked 55th in Global Gender Gap report

Sri Lanka is ranked 55th among 136 countries across the world in terms of gender gap, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013 released by the World Economic Forum on Friday.

Malaysian opposition wants Govt to boycott CHOGM

Lim Guan Eng
DAP wants Malaysia to join Canada and India in boycotting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in protest of Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses.
“Malaysia must boycott this as a humanitarian protest against The recalcitrant Sri Lankan government’s stubborn refusal to account for the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamils during the closing stages of the Sri Lankan civil war.”

Genocide Replaces Separatism in Tamil Diaspora Vocabulary

This article is the second of a two-part series on the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the years since the civil war ended in 2009.
Tamils protest Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2013. Credit: Samuel Oakford/IPS
Tamils protest Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2013. Credit: Samuel Oakford/IPS
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 26 2013 (IPS) - Sri Lankan Tamil hopes for a separate state – Tamil Eelam – in the north and east of the island were dashed when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were summarily defeated in May 2009 by government forces.

Four Years after a Tamil Defeat, the Diaspora Regroups

This article is the first of a two-part series on the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the years since the civil war ended in 2009. The second installment will examine allegations of war crimes and genocide and the legacy of the LTTE in the reconciliation process.
Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, an attorney and prime minister in exile of the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, in his New York City office. Credit: Samuel Oakford/IPS
Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, an attorney and prime minister in exile of the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, in his New York City office. Credit: Samuel Oakford/IPS
NEW YORK, Oct 25 2013 (IPS) - Seated at a desk piled high with court documents and yellowed newspapers, Visvanathan Rudrakumaran remembers leaving Sri Lanka and coming to New York for the first time, three decades ago.

TNA tells CM to boycott CHOGM


The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has told Northern Province Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Constituent parties of the TNA had reached a conclusion that the party must boycott the summit and the stand has been officially communicated to Wigneswaran.
A three hour discussion was held between the constituent parties of the TNA last evening where the future of the Northern Provincial Council and other political issues were discussed.

NPC ready to exercise police, land powers; Military governor should be replaced - CM Wigneswaran tells inaugural session

Military governor must go
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran told the inaugural meeting of the recently elected Council that he was ready to exercise police and land powers granted to the PCs by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution

The Northern Provincial Council began its session in a building at Kaithady in Jaffna after a grand ceremony conducted in accordance with Hindu cultural rituals.

Indian SC seeks Centre’s reply to pleas to protect fishermen in Sri Lankan jails

A bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam sought to know from the governments on how to resolve the issue through diplomatic and political channels.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam sought to know from the governments on how to resolve the issue through diplomatic and political channels.

We want to know whether it is possible for fishermen to know where to stop: Bench

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre seeking its response on two writ petitions filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Member of Parliament A.K.S. Vijayan and All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP M. Thambithurai for a direction to the Indian authorities to take necessary diplomatic steps to secure the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails and also to prevent the fishermen from being attacked on high seas while venturing out for fishing. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gota tells Wigneswaran You can't order Police ; Wigneswaran begs to differ

Gota tells Wigneswaran You can't order Police 

Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, clearly stated that maintaining law and order in the Northern Province is the responsibility of the Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, but added that the Chief Minister has no power to issue orders to the police. He said the Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, has to establish peace and unity instead of making meaningless statements.

Sri Lanka cabinet approves Witness and Victim Protection Bill

Oct 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Cabinet has given its approval for the Witness and Victim Protection Bill proposed by Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem to proceed further.
The Bill will now be referred to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Legislation for its recommendations before it is presented to Parliament.

Cameron, Suu Kyi agree on Lanka

Engage all sides

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Burmese opposition leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi have both agreed that engaging Sri Lanka is the right way to go on the human rights issue.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who met Cameron in London on Wednesday, said that if he goes to Sri Lanka he should “engage with all those who are involved, all other stakeholders and not just the government”.
Cameron responded: “Very wise words. I will be going to the north of the country as well and I think what Aung San Suu Kyi has said is absolutely right.”

Boycott CHOGM meet: T.N. Assembly

Only a boycott would bring about a genuine change in Colombo’s attitude to the Tamils on the island, the House resolution said.

Accusing the Union government of not showing even a modicum of respect to Tamils’ sentiments on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday called for a “total boycott” of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka in November.
This resolution, moved by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, was unanimously adopted.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Supreme Court rejects Commonwealth assistance in ousted CJ case

Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.
Impeachment of Chief Justice:SC denies foreign lawyers, HR group permission to appear

The Supreme Court yesterday refused applications by the Commonwealth Bar Association and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales. They had sought to appear as amici curiae to inform Court on the Constitutional Act of 2005 of the UK, which refers to the removal of judges.

Sri Lanka's unanswered questions over human rights

Fergal Keane talking to threatened woman in North of Sri Lanka
Watch the video here
The BBC has spoken to people in Sri Lanka who say they have been threatened with rape and tortured at the hands of officials.
The group Human Rights Watch says rape and sexual violence are widely used against detainees, something the government denies.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sri Lanka meet: TNA leader Sampanthan urges India to consider opinion of Tamil Nadu leaders

Sampanthan ( File photo)
CHENNAI: Sri Lanka's Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader and senior MP R Sampanthan on Tuesday said the Indian government should seriously consider the opinion of the leaders in Tamil Nadu over the country’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in his country in November.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sri Lanka: The neo-Fascist State racists will go all out to prevent GoSL - TNA co-operation

Reflections On State Racism  by Izeth Hussain

For some time I have been using the term "State racism" and I have even used it for the headings of two recent articles. It is an unfamiliar formulation, unlike "State terrorism", and it obviously amounts to a neologism that requires explanation. I will not try to provide a definition because practically all definitions are open to contestation, and there is hardly ever any finality about them even after a hundred definitions as is the case with "terrorism".

Sri Lankan refugees at risk under return policy: Australian HRC

Asylum seekers from Sri Lanka risk being returned to potentially harmful situations under the government's enhanced screening process, the Australian Human Rights Commission says.
It's also warning that proposed changes to the refugee determination process to reduce avenues for appeal could see refugees return to danger.

Sri Lanka: Resolve the basic unresolved issues of Tamils instead of external development - Jaffna Catholics

''We want the Government to come forward with a solution or proposal package to settle the festering ethnic problem. Prior to this the Government will have to show some substantial and genuine positive signs by resolving the basic unresolved issues. The following are some of the main issues to be addressed:''

Full text of the letter follows:

External development cannot substitute the settling of the basic unresolved issues of the people in the North and East

India’s Opposition PM candidate wants India to protect Tamils from Sri Lanka

Narendra Modi: Tough line
As India begins to see the election fever , India’s Opposition Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi told to the audience in Chennai that Indian government has to show its muscles in protecting Indian origin nations around the world especially protect the Tamils from Sri Lankan oppressors .

Sri Lankan Government would do well to seriously consider the significance of Canada’s CHOGM decision

M.A. Sumanthiran MP
Much has been said concerning Sri Lanka hosting the approaching Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). A significant part of the discussion has been with regard to Canada’s decision to boycott CHOGM.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mannar Bishop plays peacemaker ; calls for accountability of146,679 Tamils gone missing in the stats?

Bishop with the President ( File photo)

Easwaran Rutnam
It was an issue which threatened to boil over. An issue which from a sign of hope was about to turn tables. But in walked the peace maker who stressed on bringing in sanity before self.

Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph, last week prevented what seemed destined to be a serious rift in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
The TNA had only recently secured a resounding victory at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections giving hope, not just to the Tamils but also the international community, including India.
However those hopes were almost dashed after nine elected TNA members of the Council refused to take oaths before Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

For the 2nd time in this year group of monks are launching the anti-Halal campaign aimed against Muslim sentiments

Cry Halal! And let slip bigotry by Don Manu

This Tuesday morning at the supposedly auspicious time of 8.30, a group of monks will leave Colombo in a motorcade to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Their stated aim is to first obtain the blessings of the Sri Dalada for their vicious mission to fan religious and communal fires again. Then Cry Halal! And let slip the rabid beasts of bigotry.

CHOGM & Khuram Shaik case: It’s Sri Lanka’s justice system, not just one case

 The predictability of it all would be laughable if it was not so deplorable. In a perfect world, the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) would never have been held in Sri Lanka which, under this Presidency, symbolizes a complete negation of all the values that the Commonwealth stood for.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sons of disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda speak of DISAPPEARANCES ( video)

To watch the video click here

We do this for our farther, if you are taken in a white van you don't live, you don't die, you just disappear!

Sri Lanka: a country ruled as a family business by four brothers

Left: Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Right: President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Left: Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Right: President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: GETTY IMAGES/REUTERS
The four Rajapaksa brothers rule Sri Lanka, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the top  
Sri Lanka is a country ruled by four brothers who have turned their country’s government into a family business. At the apex sits President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who won office in 2005 and was re-elected in 2010 after victory in the civil war.

Commonwealth must stop Sri Lanka stifling human rights efforts - AI

Diplomats from Commonwealth countries meeting in London today must push Sri Lanka to end its continuing crackdown on human rights defenders, Amnesty International said.

The Commonwealth Committee of the Whole is meeting 17-18 October to prepare for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo in November.

Sri Lanka: Environmental protester remanded of fack charges; Fear grips Dorape

DSI piket 410px 19-10-13
24 died of cancer in our village
Fear has gripped residents of Dorape after a man who protested against the poisonous gas emissions from the SRRI rubber factory attached to DSI group, has been arrested by the counter terrorism unit of the Sri Lankan Police last morning (18), the BBC Sandeshaya reports.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Scandal of Sri Lanka’s disappeared

David Blair

A controversial Commonwealth summit takes place in Sri Lanka next month. The country has more outstanding cases of disappeared people than anywhere else in the world, apart from Iraq. The Telegraph investigates

GoSL wanted US to release top LTTE terrorist operative

Earlier the Sri Lankan government asked the United States to abandon the prosecution of one of those Canadian charged with buying equipment and laundering money for the separatist LTTEs.
The extraordinary request, in a letter sent to the U.S. State Department, concerns Suresh Sriskandarajah, 32, who was extradited to the US in December to stand trial on terrorism charges.

UK parliament report slams Lanka, says HR situation hasn't improved

UK parliament
The British House of Commons

The British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, has in a very critical report, noted that there is scant evidence of progress in political and human rights in Sri Lanka.
Made up of House of Commons legislators, the report notes that as Prime Minister David Cameron remains committed to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, he should obtain assurances from the Sri Lankan Government that people who approach him to talk about human rights while he is in Sri Lanka to attend the summit do not face reprisals or harassment by security forces.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sri Lanka: Annual tax concessions to global gaming giant, James Packer, will be more than the annual health and education budgets

Dr. Harsha de Silva
Packer’s package bigger than health budget 
The annual tax concessions running into more than Rs 120 billion that the government will be giving to global gaming giant, James Packer, for the proposed 35-40-storeyed casino complex, will be more than the annual health and education budgets, an opposition legislator charged.

India should boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka: Jayalalithaa

 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday said India should boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month to protest what she said was violation of human rights of Tamils there.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said: "I wish to reiterate Tamil Nadu's view that India should not participate in the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka at any level - titular, ministerial or official.

If we had got accustomed to resort to authority or force of arms, renouncing them at least now will yield benefits

article_imageWigneswaran signals clear break with violent past

Chairman, fellow members of the Northern Provincial Council, persons of learning and of standing seated on the dais, my dear brothers and sisters,

Some of us gathered here, were earlier candidates. Today we are meeting as members of the Council. A majority of the candidates changed into members. Yet a few are left out. But it does not imply that in the service of the people they are not wanted. On this occasion I only want to say that their services are needed.

Minority women in Sri Lanka facing increasing levels of sexual violence and insecurity

Four  years since the end of the armed conflict,  the situation of minority women in the north  and east of Sri Lanka has changed dramatically – and for many it is getting worse. In the latter stages of the conflict and its aftermath, military forces were responsible for a variety of human rights abuses against the civilian population, including  extrajudicial killings,  disappearance, rape, sexual harassment and other violations. In the current climate of impunity,  sustained by insecurity and the lack of military accountability, these abuses continue.