Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sri Lanka: Mega development of Rajapksha birth place is not only waste but also arrogance of power

Hambantota Administrative Complex
Hambantota: A capital in waiting in Sri Lanka? 
by A Special correspondent / Sri Lanka Gaurdian
 This article is written objectively in the national interest of Sri Lanka. I do not endorse any regionalism or village-mania at all. All regions in Sri Lanka should be equally developed and equally treated with fair development projects and programmes. That is the true expression of national patriotism. Developing one region at the expense of other regions is not the true expression of national patriotism rather such attitudes and mindsets are pure expression of regionalism.

Sri Lanka: North CM on War Path With Sri Lankan Government

P K Balachandran - COLOMBO
After a month of cooperation with the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has switched to confrontation.
On Thursday, Wigneswaran tried to inspect the Hindu temples and houses allegedly damaged by the Sri Lankan army in the Weligamam North High Security Zone (HSZ) knowing full well that no one could enter the HSZ without prior permission.

Friday, November 29, 2013

New Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations

The fifth in the series of Practical Guides for civil society produced in the last three years by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the new Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations describes methods and activities that civil society actors can use to promote the implementation of human rights recommendations, as well as existing follow-up procedures and practices of UN human rights mechanisms and how civil society can participate. Complemented by real experiences contributed by civil society actors and OHCHR field presences, the Guide offers a menu of options from which civil society actors can select on the basis of their own priorities and capacity.

Sri Lanka: We do not have freedom in the country and not even in the parliament - R.Sampanthan


TNA Leader Sampanthan's Speech to parliament 28 Nov 2013

'' Out of the 12 Tamil Members elected to the Eastern Provincial Council, 11 were from the Tamil National Alliance and of the 32 Tamil Members elected to the Northern Provincial Council, 29 were from the Tamil National Alliance. It was virtually a clean sweep of the Tamil vote, indicating beyond any manner of doubt, the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people for an acceptable political solution granting the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces substantial, genuine political autonomy within the  framework of a united, undivided Sri Lanka. ''

Sri Lanka counting the civil-war dead amid pressure for inquiry into abuses

Vanni war zone

Shihar Aneez And Ranga Sirilal /Colombo — Reuters
 Sri Lanka began counting the dead from its 26-year civil war on Thursday, less than two weeks after the island nation came under intense international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes during the climax of the conflict.
About 16,000 officials will spread out across the country in a major operation that the government said would take six months to complete.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Trade Unions object to court involvement in TU action

Joseph Stalin
The Government, Semi- Government and Private Trade Unions Collective Committee has voiced its objections against the involvement of the courts with regard to Trade Union issues, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union Joseph Stalin stated during a media briefing today.
Stalin who was representing the Government, Semi- Government and Private Trade Unions Collective Committee said that protesting was a fundamental right and the government should not involve the courts and take away the rights of the people.

SRI LANKA : Extrajudicial Killings - as an indicator of the collapse of the ethical and moral order

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
Yesterday, in our statement titled murders and extra judicial killings we commented on the killing of a police constable and his wife followed by what clearly appeared to be extra judicial killings of three persons who were alleged suspects of the said crime. The inquiries into the murder of the police constable and his wife, according to reports, was being carried out under the supervision of two Deputy Inspector Generals of the Sri Lanka Police.

Sri Lanka: Northern Agriculture Minister's house attacked

Windows broken
An unidentified group has attacked the residence of Northern province Minister of Agriculture P. Iygaranesan which is situated in Thirunalweli, Jaffna last night (27).
The roof and windows of the provincial council minister’s house has been badly damaged from the attack and he is reported to have lodged a complaint regarding the attack to the Jaffna Police as well.

SL military operatives issue death threat to Catholic priest in Trincomalee

Fr S.S. Johnpillai

Pointing their gun at the parish priest of Our Lady of Gaudalupe church, unidentified persons who came in motorbike that had no number plate, issued death threat to Fr. S.S. Johnpillai in Trincomalee city. The incident took place around 9:00 p.m. on 26 November. The gunmen blamed that the priest was praying on the birthday of LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan.

Allow people to give way to their emotions, Wigneswaran warns Colombo on Heroes Day

CV Wigneswaran

The occupying Sri Lankan military in Jaffna on Tamil Heroes Day blocked the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) from planting trees at the public venue of Thanthai Chelva's memorial square. However, three provincial ministers, including the NPC Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran and three councillors went ahead planting tree saplings in the premises of the secretariat of the provincial education ministry, which is located in a private land. “This is about our emotions and feelings. If the [SL] government didn't allow us to proceed with this, the outcome would be much more drastic,” the chief minister of NPC warned Colombo.

Sri Lanka begins war tally after international pressure

Sri Lanka begins war tally after international pressure

Colombo (AFP) - Sri Lanka was to begin compiling a death toll from its ethnic conflict Thursday as it seeks to fend off growing pressure over allegations of mass killings at the end of the war.
Some 16,000 officials are expected to fan out across the island at the start of a six-month operation to compile a definitive toll from the conflict, which ran for 37 years and was one of the bloodiest in post-colonial Asia.

Correcting Hudson’s Crooked Political Vision

Hudson Samarasinghe

On the 4th of November 2013 I was contacted by many friends and relatives urging me to listen to Hudson Samarasinghe’s radio program on a state radio channel. I normally don’t listen to Hudson’s program because I perceive it to be low grade cheap propaganda by a producer who has self styled himself to be a wrecker of images. The words used in this program are filthy and derogatory. And it is a hallmark of the defamatory and biased political culture and tradition that Hudson represents.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Disappearances commission seeks extension; received 8000 complaints

The commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate incidents of disappearances during the war has sought an extension to the time period it was given by when to complete investigations.
Former Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, who is heading the Commission, said that so far the Commission has received 8000 complaints on disappearances.

Sri Lanka: TISL takes up transfer of cops

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) had made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against the sudden transfer of 23 police officers attached to the Organized Crimes and Anti-Corruption Division of the Police Headquarters.

Jaffna: University Teachers Union leader harassed by SL interrogators

The ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division of the occupying Sri Lanka has questioned the president of Teachers Union of Jaffna University, Mr S. Rajkumar, over a news item that appeared in a local news paper in Jaffna where he defended the collective right of Tamil people in remembering their loved ones who have sacrificed their lives for their common cause. The TID operatives in Jaffna also grilled the reporter, who interviewed the president of the Teachers Union.

Sri Lanka has 1.4 M Govt employees; one third of them are police and armed forces

Eran drops bombshell in P’ment over public finance

  •     No evidence of Parliamentary control over finance, says Eran
  •     UNP MP charges Article 148 has been violated in Legislature for four years
  •     Claims bloating public sector stifling private sector growth, projects incorrect picture of unemployment figures
  •     Budget split half and half between Cabinet of Ministers and Rajapaksa family: UNP

SRI LANKA: Murders and extrajudicial killings

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
On November 22, a suspect in the killing of a police constable and his wife was himself killed after arrest. The suspect was a 30-year-old former instructor of the Commando Battalion of the army.
It is alleged that he was taken to identify some weapons and when he attempted to attack the police with one of the weapons he was shot dead. Two more persons related to the inquiry into the same murders were also killed after arrest.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Attacks on religious minorities and impunity in Sri Lanka

Sunanda Deshapriya / UN Minority Rights Forum
INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka,  would like to take this opportunity to highlight the series of attacks on Christian, Muslim and Hindu communities, particularly in 2012 and 2013, as highlighted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, after her visit to the country in August this year. 227 attacks against Muslim places of worship and other institutions[i] have been recorded between January to July 2013 and 64 cases of attacks on Christian Churches and Pastors[ii] have been recorded between Januarys to September 2013. During the same period dozens of Hindu temples were destroyed in the North and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

SL military operatives attack houses of Tamil councillors in Jaffna

Houses of civic members attacked in Jaffna[TamilNet]
Sri Lankan military operatives who came in vehicles to the houses of Mr Sathees, the deputy head of Valveddith-thu'rai Urban Council and Mr Viyakes, the chairman of Karaveddi South-West Piratheasa Chapai attacked the houses threatening the family members, who were at sleep in the early hours of Tuesday. The squad smashed the windows of the houses and the vehicles at the houses threatening the families of the elected representatives.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A resolution on Safety of journalists and the issue of impunity is to be voted by the 3rd Committee of UN on 26 Nov 2013

Just days following the International Day to End Impunity, a draft resolution on the Safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, now cosponsored by over 60 states, will be voted on by the Third Committee tomorrow and then hopefully go before the plenary of the UN General Assembly in New York early next month.   Of particular interest is the resolution’s call to make the International Day to End Impunity an official UN day to be commemorated on 2 November. 

The draft resolution follows: 

Sri Lanka bans remembrance of rebels Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka's military Monday announced a ban on commemorations of the island's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels following reports that sections of the ethnic Tamil minority were planning to hold events.

Sri Lanka’s human rights situation is deteriorating and its time is running out.

CHOGM – The morning after  by M.A. Sumanthiran

In the heady days leading up to Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 a government minister stated that 'The CHOGM will …bring more fame to our country and provide a great opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka's post war developments….this conference…will provide a great opportunity for them (the Commonwealth Heads of State) to witness the development activities in the country….’

The truth and torture of commissions and omissions

Editorial - Daily Mirror - Saturday, 23 November 

This country has known commissions.  There have been commissions of inquiry and commissions of the taking kind, kick-backs in other words.  There have been omissions too of various kinds.  We’ve had leaders who didn’t know or didn’t care to do the stitch-in-time. There have been governments that opted for never, rather than late.  Commissions have resulted from omissions. Commissions, paradoxically, have also been marked by omissions; exercises in futility have they been for the most part.

Sri Lanka: Government to Count the dead and the disappeared since 1982

The Department of Census and Statistics will launch a massive, islandwide survey this week, to take a count of the number of persons who had died, disappeared, wounded and disabled, in addition to a count on the loss of property during the nearly three-decade long civil war. The survey is set to be launched on 28 November (Thursday).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sri Lanka: AFP journalists prevented in covering former war zone by the military

Sri Lanka military to probe blocking of foreign media - AFP

Sri Lanka's military promised on Friday to investigate why AFP journalists were prevented from working in the country's former war zone this week by soldiers who said they were under orders to restrict the media.

Sri Lanka: Wigneswaran told to follow ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ by Mahinda Rajapaksha

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has written to the Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran informing him that he needs to ensure the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ policies are implemented, government sources said. The advice comes after Wigneswaran was absent from two District Co-ordinating Committee meetings held in the North last week.

Sri Lanka: Putting the Lankan state on notice post CHOGM

As the nation catches its breath following an extravagantly useless Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 (CHOGM), the only way in which Sri Lanka can avoid evident international pitfalls ahead is to put our internal democratic systems in order.

Geneva: March 2014 is not looking good for Sri Lanka Govt.

From the sidelines By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya
The UN General Assembly has elected 14 new members to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and assuming there will be a third resolution brought against Sri Lanka in March 2014, it’s not looking good.
A rough count of how voting on such a resolution would go in the 47 member Council, based on the previous votes in 2012 and 2013, suggests that 23 members are likely to vote against Sri Lanka and 13 for, while six will abstain and five remain unpredictable.

David Cameron challenged to justify arms sale to Sri Lanka

Sir John Stanley
Chairman of arms control committee said it was 'not credible' to claim weapons exported were all used to combat piracy

David Cameron must explain why the government has allowed machine guns and assault rifles to be exported to Sri Lanka despite his recent highlighting of the country's human rights abuses, the head of the Commons weapons watchdog has said.

Sri Lanka: Anandi Sasitharan, member of NPC complaint to HRCSL over threats

Anandi Sasitharan

The wife of former LTTE Trincomalee District political head S. Elilan has filed a petition with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) over alleged threats faced by her and many of those who demonstrated in Jaffna during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Anandi Sasitharan, a Tamil National Alliance Northern Provincial Council member, said that she has been followed from the day she organised the demonstration.

Tamil poet arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa condition

Norwegian Tamil poet and actor V.I.S. Jeyapalan has been arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa regulations. Jaffna-born Jeyapalan, 79, was arrested on Friday at Mankulam in the country’s north, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.
Mr. Rohana said Oslo-based Jeyapalan, who was in the country on a tourist visa, has been arrested for holding seminars in Jaffna.

SL military threatens Tamil Catholic priests in Jaffna, Mannaar

SL military threat against activists, priestsThe intelligence operatives of the occupying Sri Lankan military have threatened Tamil Catholic priests in Mannaar and Jaffna, who have been active in exposing the genocide of Eezham Tamils by the Sri Lankan State. The threats against the priests in escalated following the visit by UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights and have topped after British PM visited North on 15 November. The Catholic priests were active in exposing the recent genocidal experiment of birth control carried out by the Sri Lankan authorities and the priests joined the peaceful march by the kith and kin of the missing persons when they wanted to berate their plight to the visiting British PM and the foreign journalists who accompanied him to Jaffna.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sri Lanka: After the circus; A summit is not the public-relations success the president hoped for

“HAS the circus left town? Can I please return to Colombo now?” asked a Twitter user on the morning after leaders of the Commonwealth left the Sri Lankan capital after their summit ended on November 17th. With the circus gone, the police chief gave hundreds of policemen three days off to recuperate. Television advertisements touting the summit as a “victory”—hosted despite calls for the venue to be changed because of Sri Lanka’s dismal human-rights record—will soon cease.

Sri Lanka – post-CHOGM: President now has to walk the talk

Ranga Jayasuriya  

On Sunday evening, sharp at seven, just three hours after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) wound up in Colombo, the media handlers of the Commonwealth shut down the CHOGM media centre at the BMICH. They were obviously in a hurry to call it a day, after a week of round-the-clock tiring work – and not to mention occasional guard dogs of the government who had been unleashed on Richard Uku, the Commonwealth Spokesman.

Govt's CHOGM bill at Rs 15.8 B

VVIP vehicles line up awaiting the foreign dignitaries
at the Nelum Pokuna theatre. Pic by Hasitha Kulasekera (ST)
The government has spent a whopping Rs 15.8 billion on the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), opposition charged in Parliament yesterday. Spending money of this magnitude for a meeting of this nature should have some sense of proportion where 54 Mercedes Benzes were imported for the 54 Heads of
Governments, but only 21 arrived, Colombo District United National Party (UNP) MP, Ravi Karunanayake, speaking during the budget debate said.

Sri Lanka: another extrajudicial killing by police; Suspected cop killer shot dead

A 30-year-old ex-army commando deserter arrested over the killing of a constable attached to the Matara police anti-vice squad and his wife, was shot dead yesterday morning, when he allegedly attempted to shoot police personnel taking him to recover a hidden arms cache.

Constable W. G. Sunil was shot on his head while his wife, Apsara, was clubbed to death by the suspects on the night of November 16 at their residence in Kamburupitiya.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sri Lanka must punish human rights violators: P Chidambaram

Finance Minister P Chidambaram
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the Sri Lankan government is indeed accountable and they must bring to book those perpetrators to justice. (Reuters)
Joining international demands for a proper inquiry into the alleged human rights violations during the war against the LTTE, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday. said Sri Lankan government must investigate and punish those responsible for them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Outwardly, the Sri Lankan Government is all bluster and bravado; but behind closed doors, the panic is setting in

Hail, the emperor! by Dharisha Bastians

There’s a new emperor  in town
The posters and hoardings to celebrate President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ascension to the Chair of the Commonwealth, a grouping mostly made up of territories of the former British Empire, must have been ready weeks in advance. By happy coincidence, the President was also celebrating his 68th birthday and his eighth year in office this week.

Sri Lanka: Govt ordered hotels to charge more than 3 times of standard rate from CHOGM delegates

Hotels: Great rates but where’s the traffic?

Five-star hotels in Colombo charged over US$500 per night net for delegates attending this week’s Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka, more than three times the standard room rate, but still ended on the losing side.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CHOGM 2013: The war crimes can-of-worms was opened at an international conference is of significance

Sri Lanka: Beware the Ides of March by Dr Kumar David

“Do not dictate to me, I’m not ready to take orders from others. We have a tradition and culture of over 2500 years and a time tested legal system together with a law enforcement process to address any issue”.

No doubt that the Sri Lankan forces did commit crimes; but when, and how much, is it ethical to kill in war?

Was it ethical?
From Sri Lanka, questions about wars by Praveen Swami

The real question in the debate over India’s Sri Lanka policy isn’t whether it is pragmatic or ethical. It goes, instead, to the heart of the ethics of the wars our country fights, and will fight in years to come
Florence-on-the-Elbe, they used to call the historic German city of Dresden, before it began to turn to ash that evening in February 1945. Inside of days, the United Kingdom and the United States bomber command dropped some 3,900 tonnes of ordnance over the city, creating an inferno which would claim an estimated 25,000 lives.

"I very much hope that Rajapksha seizes that opportunity'' - Cameron

Cameron urges President to work with Wigneswaran
British Prime Minister, David Cameron said, he made it clear to President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he now has a real opportunity, through 'magnanimity and reform,' to build a successful, inclusive and prosperous future for Sri Lanka by working in partnership with the newly elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province.

 Cameron on Monday (18) said in the House of Commons...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sri Lanka: Colombo forced Tamil doctors to lie - Dr. Varatharajah

Dr Varatharajah
Former Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) for Mullaiththeevu, Dr. Thurairajah Varatharajah, currently in exile in the U.S, says in video documentary aired in India's NewsX TV station that Colombo, after keeping him and four other doctors in prison at the end of the war, forced the doctors to lie to foreign media and to the Organizations accusing Sri Lanka of allegations of committing war-crimes to neutralize the allegations.

State Sinhala daily gets state ads worth Rs.13,320,000 ( 72 full pages) in one day

Election propaganda has begun!

Buying today’s (19th) ‘Dinmina’ would be beneficial for all those who take their lunch parcels for work or places of study.
The 140 page newspaper with advertisements from 72 state institutions that are maintained from your tax money has been priced Rs.20 though it should have been made available free to tax payers.

The Commonwealth Summit: the aftermath

Photo: Earanga Jayawardena/AP
The Sri Lanka Campaign
 The Commonwealth Summit has now ended. It was broadly seen as a complete disaster for both the Commonwealth and Sri Lanka.
Only 27 of the 53 invited Heads of Government attended. 23 nations sent lesser representation (Antigua, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Canada, Mauritius, St Lucia, Malawi, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Cameroon, Kenya, Barbados, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent, Tuvalu, Uganda, India, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, and Papua New Guinea) and three didn't attend at all (Grenada, Kiribati, and the Maldives - which is in the middle of its own constitutional crisis).

Monday, November 18, 2013

UNP opposes any international investigation; says CHOGM agreement suspicious


The United National Party (UNP) today raised suspicion on the agreement signed by Sri Lanka together with other Commonwealth leaders at the end of the Commonwealth summit.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the agreement would see Sri Lanka agree to a possible international investigation on human rights.He said that the agreement involves 98 points most of which refers to economic and development issues.

After the shambles of Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth needs a relaunch

First, the good news: David Cameron kept his promise to “shine a light” on Sri Lanka’s human rights record when he visited the country for the Commonwealth summit. If President Mahinda Rajapaksa thought this occasion was going to be a chance to showcase his regime, then he will have been sorely disappointed. In particular, Cameron’s tumultuous visit to Jaffna did a great deal of good. The world’s media took the opportunity to bring to the fore the plight of Sri Lanka’s disappeared – with 5,676 “outstanding cases” according to the United Nations – and the unresolved question of the atrocities carried out during the final battle of the civil war in 2009.

China asks Lanka to protect and promote human rights

Defense secretary  Rajapaksha and
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie
In a surprise move, China today asked Sri Lanka to "make efforts to protect and promote human rights", backing calls by India, Britain and other countries at the CHOGM summit in Colombo to address allegations of rights abuses against the country's minority Tamils.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

CHOGM 2013: A lie well told

Deborah Philip   
I imagine that beneath the cordial smiles and exchange of pleasantries there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth taking place at Temple Trees these days. The façade that was CHOGM 2013 seems to have crumbled, at least in the eyes of the world, although certainly not in most parts of Sri Lanka’s mainstream media. Images of women and relatives of the disappeared throwing themselves on David Cameron’s convoy in Jaffna dominate world headlines, overwhelming the photographs of Commonwealth leaders at CHOGM.

A film of alleged war crimes … how I became Sri Lanka's most hated man

Tamil Tiger allegedly executed

Callum Macrae 
The reaction of the people I met in Sri Lanka is at odds with the intimidation against me engineered by a despotic government
A film shot in January 2009 allegedly shows a Sri Lankan soldier executing a Tamil Tiger prisoner. Photograph: Journalists For Democracy/AFP/Getty Images
They haunt our every move, on their motorbikes in their silver hatchback and on their tuk tuks. Sri Lanka's intelligence officers are a tenacious lot, but there's another group perhaps even more tenacious in their pursuit of us: "spontaneous", pro-government demonstrators.

Chogm: Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa hits out at critics

"If there are any violations,
we will take actions against anybody"

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has hit out at critics amid heightened scrutiny of his government's human rights record on the eve of a Commonwealth summit hosted in Colombo.
The president said his government ended killings in the country by defeating Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
Several leaders are boycotting the event and British PM David Cameron has said he will raise "tough questions".
The summit has been overshadowed by the row over its host, Sri Lanka.

CHOGM 2013 / Sri Lanka: Sinhala only to welcome delegates?

Embedded image permalink

CHOGM 2013  speakers stand: Tamil writing says Ayubowan, the singhalese word for Welcome, instead of the Tamil word for welcome Vanakkam ;In Tamil there is noword called Ayubowan.  And in English too it says Ayubowan not welcome.  Sinhala and Tamil are offcial languages while the English is link language. But this is how two language policy is rejected at highest levels.

This is a clear example of language discrimination in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka needs to go 'faster' on rights- Cameron

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron urged Sri Lanka on Saturday to move "further and faster" to address allegations of war crimes, saying the issue would remain high on the international agenda.

"The Sri Lankan government needs to go further and faster on human rights and reconciliation," Cameron told a press conference at an ongoing Commonwealth summit in Colombo.

MR keen on Truth Commission- Zuma

Jacob Zuma

The Sri Lankan government has shown interest in learning more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and its process and the outcome.The interest was shown when President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, who is now in Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President’s office said.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Unreformed, the Commonwealth deserves to die. Improved, it could be rather useful - The Economist

THE biggest achievement of the Commonwealth, its admirers say, is the fact of its unlikely existence. That so many former British colonies and dominions should be content to co-exist in a club which has the queen as its head is remarkable. However this is a low bar to set for the success of an organisation nominally committed to promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Quite how nominally will be evident in Colombo this weekend—at a gathering of Commonwealth leaders hosted by a nasty and abusive regime.

With No Power Sharing, Ethnic Groups Could Call For Federalism – Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne

By Imaad Majeed
With the conclusion of the Northern Provincial Council polls and the appointment of former Supreme Court Judge C. V. Wigneswaran as Chief Minister, there has also been a strong opposition, on the part of the government, to the devolution of land and police powers to the provinces. In their election manifesto, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) used strong rhetoric, engaging the idea of ‘self-determination’ and even calling for a merger of the North and East provinces, provoking fears of a call for separation. The 13th Amendment has come under much criticism since its imposition as of the Indo-Lanka Accord, and now that the Northern Provincial Council is in place, the implications will begin to surface in the relations between the Centre and the province, as both sides engage in a tug-o-war on power sharing.

CHOGM 2013: Cameron’s visit boosts morale of displaced Tamils

Meera Srinivasan
 British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Sabapathipillai Welfare Centre at Chunnakam, about 10 km from Jaffna town, on Friday. He walked into the narrow lanes with tiny homes adjacent to each other and talked to some residents. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran helped with translation.
The welfare centre is essentially a camp for internally displaced persons – with very basic facilities – where nearly 300 families that were forced to leave their homes during the war live.

CHOGM 2013: Sri Lanka: Cameron in 'robust' talks over human rights

The BBC's Nick Robinson was with the
prime minister as his convoy was mobbed
David Cameron has clashed with the president of Sri Lanka as he pushed for action to protect the rights of its minority Tamil community.
Downing Street said the PM "pressed his points very directly

and robustly" in an hour-long meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa at a Commonwealth summit. Mr Cameron's convoy was earlier mobbed by demonstrators on a visit to the north of the country.

Friday, November 15, 2013

British PM upstages Commonwealth summit with Jaffna trip

Colombo (AFP) - Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron made an historic visit Friday to Sri Lanka's former war-zone, stealing the spotlight from a Commonwealth summit after the host, President Mahinda Rajapakse, warned against passing judgement on his country's past.

Only hours after the summit opened in Colombo, Cameron flew into the northern Jaffna region where some 100,000 people lost their lives in fighting between Tamil rebels and troops from the majority Sinhalese government.

CHOGM 2013 /Sri Lanka: Opposition boycott as mobs close to Secretary of the Defence Rajapaksha play havoc

In a letter to the Commonwealth Secretary Kamalesh Sharma, UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake informs that the UNP has been compelled to change their decision attend inaugural ceremony of the CHOGM today (15). In the letter sent yesterday, MP Attanayake stated that though it was initially stated that the UNP leader and other invitees from the party would attend the event, they had been compelled to change the decision due to latest developments which included the assault on the UNP leader by 'mobs transported by army and government vehicles'. 'In view of these developments, the UNP will boycott tomorrow's opening session and all other related functions,' MP Attanayake added.