Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Mahinda before fire in the North

Mahinda Rajapaksa's role in establishing opposition PC in the South
Upul Joseph Fernando
When former President D.B. Wijetunga met people at his retirement home in Kandy, he used to say that his engagement with the Southern Provincial Council was a folly. UNP was never strong in the South. The UNP strategy at the Southern Provincial Council election finally paved way for Chandrika to come to power. But Wijetunga did not understand it at that moment. In warfare also it is advised to lure the enemy into a field in which you are strong. It is always foolish to engage with the enemy on the ground where he is strong.

Income of Rajapaksa Intanatioanal Airport in a month: USD 250

UNP MPS attaked at the AirPort

Opposition Lawmaker Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday charged in Parliament that both Mihin Lanka as well as the controversial Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) are failures.  He said that the Government invested over $ 300 million on MRIA but income during the past six months was Rs. 150,779 and this was mainly from Mihin.

‘Equal Rights’ awareness campaign disrupted by Police .

Campaign in Jaffna
Police interrupted a banner-signing campaign held in Borella, which was one of a series of awareness programs held island-wide today (23rd) by the Movement for Equal Rights (MER). The MER had begun the program entitled “no to another black July”, around 9am in the town of Borella, when police officers attached to the Borella police station arrived at the location and informed them to stop the campaign and remove the banner.

EU asks Lanka to guaratee freedom for functioning of NGOs

Activist burned govr circuler
The European Union today asked Sri Lanka to guarantee the freedom for functioning of NGOs, days after the government imposed restrictions on their activities.  A statement from the EU of Sri Lanka said they were very concerned about the recent efforts to restrict legitimate public activities of civil society and non-governmental organisations in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sri Lanka: President's 23 coor. secretaries cost SLR 2.3 M a month

Kumarasiri Hettige( left), most powerful
Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had 23 coordinating secretaries. Each of the coordinating secretaries was paid Rs. 30,000 as monthly salary, 170 litres of petro [170X162], a transport allowance of Rs. 30,000 and a telephone allowance of Rs. 5,000 monthly, the minister said. Minister Gunawardena responding to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the total cost incurred by the coordinating secretaries for the past three years stood at Rs. 37,798,327.67.

Leader of right-wing Bodu Bala Sena says Tibetan spiritual leader being influenced by 'Muslim extremists'

Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama
A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by "Muslim extremists" and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), spoke out on Tuesday after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sri Lanka: One more restriction on NGOs; No funds without Govt approval

Sri Lanka: NGos protest restrictions
No foreign funds without approval: Ministry
The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all Non-Governmental Organisations that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds. The notice comes hot on the heels of the Government strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID.  It had planned to provide US$190 million dollars for a programme titled, Election Support Through Voter Education (ESVE)' but later withdrew it following protests.

Minister Weerawansa tells President Rajapaksa to drop International experts at once!

No Intl Experts for probe! - Wimal
Wimal Declares War On International Experts Appointed By President 
The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa has raised objection over the appointments of international experts as consultants to the Sri Lankan Commission inquiring into the cases of missing persons. Writing a letter to the President today, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said international experts are “puppets” who are serving the international judicial system that is only serving the interests of western imperialists.

Protesting mother exposes Sri Lanks military’s false land grabing propaganda

I was forced to sign a paper in Sinhala
Protesting mother exposes occupying SL military’s false propaganda
“The SL military never bought my lands. They said I need to provide details to obtain land. Then I was forced to sign a paper in Sinhala at the police station. The SL military moved into my land and has now sent notice to seize the lands permanently from me,” said a Tamil mother who protested against the land surveyors who came to her land situated along the A9 Road, at Mirusuvil in Thenmaraadchi of the Jaffna district. While the protest was going on a group of SL military intelligence operatives entered the house of a Tamil councillor, who was supporting the protesting family, threatened his wife at gunpoint and caused damage to his property.

Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo couldn't provide a responsible answer - Wigneswaran

Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator
Wigneswaran gets ‘UN Lesson’ on Sri Lankan ‘Unitary State’
The UN Resident Coordinator in the island, who also assumes the role of Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN System, has recently neglected the request by Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to partner with the Northern Provincial Council ‘Government’ to conduct a comprehensive Need Assessment Report on the requirements of the war-affected population in North and instead entered into an agreement with the Colombo Government Ministry to conduct the same project.

SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces

Sri Lanka Navy: Stand accused
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner.  In the first case, the soldiers have been serving at Karainagar Navy base have been deployed to patrol Ureddikulam, Urkatturai, Karainagar city and Kytes. Seven were initially arrested and their names are Ajith Kumara, Rupasinghe Aarachilage Chamara Indika, Nadira Dilshan Ratnayake, Kudabalage Jayaweera, Indika Kumara Vithanarachchi, Ranasinghe Sumith Subash and Vikum Senage Piyasiri Dissanayake, all serving the Karainager Navy base.

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa's internatioanl experts to study Darusman report

Members of the panel,
including Darusman  with UN SG
◾Experts say Govt. asked them to advise ‘local commission probing alleged war crimes by all parties to conflict’
◾‘Coming in with an open mind’: Ex-UN war crimes prosecutor David Crane
◾Foreign advisors to seek clarification on disputed matters from Govt. and Army
Dharisha Bastians

UNP accuses Government on appointing foreign experts to war crime probe

U turn?
UNPThe main opposition United National Party (UNP) today accused the Government of making a U-turn on investigations over the war by expanding the mandate of the missing persons commission and also appointing three foreign experts to oversee the investigation. The UNP noted that a proclamation issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gazetted on July 15, among other matters, calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes.

Sri Lanka: Was It A Genocide? – Analysis

IDPs in Vanni
Dr. Parasaran Rangarajan
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were one of the most advanced militant groups in the world listed as the world’s greatest terrorist threat by the United States (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ahead of Al-Qaeda1. A lot has been made out of the destruction of the LTTE and end of the civil war in Sri Lanka ending in a bloody scene for civilians in the early months of 2009. However, the question which lingers in the minds of the international community is was the final stage a “genocide” under the cannons of international law?

Sri Lanka: Police attempts to intimidate leading dissident writer Gamini Viyangoda

Ganimi Viyanggoda ( facebook photo)
A state-sponsored operation is underway to intimidate journalists, civil society activists and politicians who publicly criticize certain actions of the government. Under this operation, neighbours of such activists receive calls, purportedly from the CID, asking them about details of such persons.  UNP leadership council member Mangala Samaraweera said there have been many such instances, adding these activists are being intimidated through their neighbours. According to reports reaching Sri Lanka Mirror, the CID has called neighbours of senior literary figure Gamini Viyangoda too.
- Sri Lanka Mirror

Sri Lanka: JHU objects to apponiment of internationnal experts

The government’s appointment of a committee as an alternative to Navi Pillai’s committee is an infringement by the government of its own policy of opposing outside mediation, says the government affiliate JHU in a statement. The statement by its media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe says his party has neither been informed nor consulted as a UPFA partner regarding the appointment of the committee. Warning the country about this committe, the JHU says it strongly objects to its appointment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sri Lanka: Living ironies and redefining democracy

Activists  protest a government
order limiting the activities of
civil society groups (
Rukshana Nanayakkara
Since the last Presidential election in 2010 there has been no national challenge to the existence of the government. The traditional common enemy, the main Opposition is a docile entity. So the government is losing its common enemy. At present, the credible and reasoned criticism to the government's existence comes mainly from the media and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who work within the spheres of democracy, governance and human rights.

Sri Lanka govt. says UN panel’s sittings overseas unjustified

Mass grave, Sri Lanka ( file photo)
The government has strongly opposed the decision by UN panel to initiate investigations into alleged human rights violations and war crimes against the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, in three separate places overseas, terming it as an unjustifiable move. Foreign media reported that the three member committee panel appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on this regard, will be holding hearings in New York, Geneva and Bangkok.

Gang Rape suspects [Navy sailors] , identified by the police get political treatment and bailed out

People in the area protests the gang rape
A coordinating secretary of the President has reportedly ordered the police not to take action against the Navy personnel who had allegedly raped an 11-year old girl for 11 days as well as another 9-year old girl.
The reports further indicate that the particular officer has called the Kytes Police on two occasions after the incidents and said that if they were put under remand custody that will cause the losing of moral among the forces.

Sri Lanka: 'Parliamentary authorities have become puppets of the executive' - UNP

Speaker Rajapaksa: Silent
The United National Party today charged that the administration of the Parliament is deliberately delaying action on privilege issues raised by UNP Parliamentarians.  Speaking to Asian Mirror, UNP Parliamentarian Ajith P Perera said the privilege issue they raised on the clash which took place in Hambanthota has not yet been presented before the privileges committee of Parliament."It is the duty of the administration of Parliament to take measures to bring these matters before the Privileges Committee. Then only the MPs can discuss this matter and present their recommendations to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sri Lanka: Non-auditied Billions, Inflated Chinese contracts and Laundering money

''So we have a High Commission in the Seychelles where there is a population of only around 90,000. We have a branch of the Bank of Ceylon in the Seychelles. And we have Mihin Air flying direct.
Would you say that is a complete supply route?
Exposing the ‘Seychelles Strategy’ - An interview with Dr. Harsha de Silva
Maheen Senanayake

Sri Lanka: Disgusting! Suspect wants water – Police Sgt. urinates in his mouth

On 8 May 2014, Sanjeewa having received a call from his mother on 4 May left his home at 164, Heenagara, Medagama, Panirendawa, with the intention of visiting his father who had been brought home after a stint in hospital. He arrived in Ampara (two kilometres from Priyangala, to Rajiwelathenna) at 6.30 p.m. Then Sunil, the owner of the cycle repair shop at which Sanjeewa works, called him at around 7.30 p.m. and inquired whether eight university friends of his could stay at Sanjeewa's parents house in Ampara for a couple of days from 8 May onwards, to which he agreed and gave him the address when asked.

Sri Lanka: Unidentified Motorcyclists Follow BASL President Again!

Lodging another complaint with Thalangama police BASL president Upul Jayasuriya alleged that two unidentified motorcyclists had also hovered around his house located at Thalangama. According to his complaint, the suspicious behaviour of two motorcyclists had been spotted by his neighbors on July 15 and 17. The complaint in this regard had been registered on July 18 with Thalangama police.

Sri Lanka: Prosecute Gnanasara Thera, BASL tells Attorney General

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on the Attorney General Palitha Fernando to prosecute the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera,  for leading violent attacks on the Muslims of Authgama  last month resulting in the loss of life and property.

Sri Lanka's Administrative Service is in the doldrums

The Public Service Omission, Editorial, The Sunday Times
Details contained in the report of the Public Service Commission — the body responsible for the disciplinary conduct of public servants or now known as government servants — are published in this issue on Page 4 today.Set up during the pre-Independence era, today’s Sri Lanka Administrative Service was formerly known as the Ceylon Civil Service.

Sri Lanka: Tamil, Muslim, Up country leaders team up at EPRLF Conference

The 34th Conference of the EPRLF (Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front) is  to be held on 20 July 2014, at Weerasingham hall Jaffna. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem and Upcountry People Front leader Radhakrishnan, Party leaders  Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Dharmalingam Siddartan, Democratic People Front leader Mano Ganesan, Nava Sama Samaja Party Secretary Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, United Socialist Party secretary Siritunga Jayasuriya will attended the conference, Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said.

UN team on Sri Lanka to have sittings at New York, Geneva and Bangkok

Navi Pillay
The UN team, which has been put together to investigate allegations of human rights violations and war crimes against the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will be holding hearings in New York, Geneva and Bangkok, Express news service of India said. The team constituted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), would of course seek permission to hold sittings in Sri Lanka. But it is unlikely to get it as the Lankan government has rejected any international probe.

Sri Lanka: Scepticism Over Latest Probe [on war deaths]

Sir Desmond , Prof Crane and Sir Geoffre
  • Analysts fear three experts’ advice may end like IIEGP
By Easwaran Rutnam
The Government announcement last week that the mandate of the Presidential Commission on missing persons had been expanded to investigate civilian deaths during the war and the appointment of three internationally acclaimed experts to advice the commission came as a surprise to many. Some fear if the advice of the three prominent experts are highly critical then they may just end up in the bin like the International Independent Eminent Group of Persons (IIEGP) in 2008.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sri Lanka: Sexual predators run riot in schools

Parents reluctant to complain due to social stigma, intimidation
Last week, a Kegalle district primary school principal was arrested for sexually abusing eight schoolgirls. The father to two children, 52-year-old Swamivelu Sukumar is accused of showing pornography and then on several occasions sexually abusing the victims aged between 11 to 13 years.
The principal was apprehended after a child who had dropped out of school confided to government officials that the reason she was no longer attending school was because the principal was ‘hurting’ her.

Sri Lanka: Experts To Seek Fair Probe; OHCHR To Monitor Developments

Mavil Aru 2005 (photo:raedtiger)
 Easwaran Rutnam
The Chairman of the three-member Advisory Council appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week to the Commission of Inquiry on Missing Persons, which has now been tasked to investigate alleged war crimes, says he will look to ensure the investigation is conducted in a fair manner. President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Sir Desmond de Silva as the Chairman of the Commission while Sir Geoffrey Nice and Professor David Crane are the others experts in the Advisory Council.

Sri Lanka: Locals protest against rape of 11y girl by SL navy in Karainagar

Locals in Karainagar protested on Friday against the rape of an 11 year old girl by Sri Lankan navy personnel in the town earlier this week. Marching across the town, locals held placards demanding the Sri Lankan military end their occupation of the Tamil areas. Politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) joined locals in protest. The girl was admitted to Jaffna hospital on Wednesday following the attack.

Sri Lanka: TNA has no faith on Mahinda’s probe

David Crane, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Sir Desmond
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it has no faith in the Presidential Commission on missing persons even after the government broadened its mandate to investigate civilian deaths during the war.
TNA MP Suresh Premachandran noted that the mandate of Presidential Commission had been expanded only after the UN Human Rights office launched an investigation on the war.Premachandran also recalled that the government had on previous occasions appointed commissions and named international international experts to overlook the investigations yet those attempts ended in failure.

It has now become absolutely clear, that what took place at Aluthgama/Beruwela should be seen as a Government-backed anti-Muslim pogrom

Aluthgama carnage
Sri Lanka Muslims have to turn to  the most effective instrument available: the international community 
Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads 09 –  by Izeth Hussain
The present article and my earlier ones of July 5 and 12 are meant to constitute a unity, focusing on the questions of what really the Aluthgama/Beruwela outrages signify, and what action can be taken by the Muslims to safeguard their lives and their legitimate interests. I concluded my last article by arguing that the Muslims should, in order to safeguard their legitimate interests, turn to the Government, even though it is carrying out an anti-Muslim project, and also have recourse to the civil society.

US should push prosecution of individuals in Sri Lanka - Congressional Caucus hears

The Panel
The US has the opportunity to prosecute Sri Lankan war criminals and place sanctions on Sri Lanka, the Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka heard at a discussion last week.
The caucus held its second such event on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.
Speaking from the discussion panel, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security and Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, Ryan Goodman, urged the US to take concrete actions in working towards prosecutions of individuals and placing sanctions on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka FM G.L. Peiris blame UN probe team of hypocrisy

Rupert Colville
External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV.
Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’

Sri Lanka: TID harasses Tamil journalist in Mannaar

S.R. Lambart
The ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division operated under the direct control of the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has again harassed Tamil journalist S.R. Lambart from Mannaar, media sources in North said. The interrogators of genocidal SL military have been harassing the journalist to disclose his email password for the second time while claiming they had tapped a news story as originated from his email address.  The journalist was first interrogated by the Sri Lankan TID six months ago on 09 December 2013.

Let the Opposition be urged to continue with its fact finding missions! Police say UNP planned to disturb the peace

UNP MPs explain the incident
Workers as hirelings, Editorial, The Island
An attempt by some UNP parliamentarians to inspect the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) refinery at Sapugaskanda was thwarted by some pro-government workers who staged a protest on Thursday. The situation, however, was not as bad as in Hambantota, where a group of UNP MPs came under a rotten egg attack during a fact finding mission. But, the denial of entry to Opposition lawmakers who seek to visit a public venture after obtaining prior permission is condemnable.

Sri Lanka’s rehabilitated ex-combatants struggle to adjust

PUTUKKUDIYIRUPPU, 4 July 2014 (IRIN) - Five years after the end of a 26-year civil war, most former combatants from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Sri Lanka have been rehabilitated and re-entered civilian life, but whether war-disabled or not, many are finding genuine integration difficult, according to rehabilitees, government officials and humanitarian workers.

Friday, July 18, 2014

'Fascists' in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka's Buddhist ultra-nationalists

 Tim Hume, CNN

  •     The Bodu Bala Sena is blamed by many for inciting religious riots that left 3 Muslims dead
  •     A month on, a monk who gave an inflammatory speech before the riots has not been charged
  •     Observers say it appears the group is operating with impunity, fueling the fears of minorities
  •     An ultra-nationalist Buddhist group has been campaigning against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Govt. gets going on domestic inquiry

  • President appoints three international war crimes prosecutors to advise Commission
  • Disappearances Commission mandate broadened to probe civilian deaths during final stages of war
  • Commission to probe if armed forces adhered to laws of armed conflict and humanitarian law
  • Mandate expanded based on LLRC report section dealing with civilian deaths in No Fire Zone in 2009
By Dharisha Bastians

Sri Lanka: Time to shake up Sri Lanka’s “business as usual” with India

''   India should prevail upon Rajapaksa for a course correction in keeping with his promises to India on resuming the political process with the Tamil representatives.
   Rajapaksa should be made to address concerns of India and international community on Sri Lanka’s accountability for alleged human rights violations and war crimes articulated in the UNHRC resolutions.
 Col. R. Hariharan

The BBS: A catalyst for a Buddhist Muslim conflict in Sri Lanka

Harim Peiris
The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sri Lanka’s catalyst for opening up a new Buddhist verses Muslim conflict, perhaps due to boredom now that a thirty year civil war has ended, follows more by design than accident a classic military strategy of an escalation or advancement and then a tactical retreat due to over reach. Immediately after the previous attacks as well, whether in Dambula or Nugegoda, there was silence for awhile and similarly after the anti Muslim events of "Dark June 2014", there has been a steady denial both by the state security establishment and the extremist perpetrators of responsibility for the violence, the former denying connivance and the latter denying instigation. Both want to blame a spontaneous mob.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sri Lanka: Media Minister Keheliya plays down appointments of international experts to war death inquary

Sir Desmond de Silva
The Government has played down the appointment of three experts to advice the Presidential Commission on missing persons, with Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella saying it will be upto the Government to decide if to accept or reject any advice. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expanded the mandate of the Presidential Commission on mission persons and appointed three international experts to advice the commission. Accordingly the President named Sir Desmond de Silva, QC (Chairman), Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC and Prof. David Crane as the three experts to advice the commission.

UNP MPs Prevented From Entering Sapugaskanda Refinery!

Pro govt. thugs
A tense situation occurred in front of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery a short while ago when the UNP MPs who visited the refinery were hindered by a group of CPC employees.  The CPC employees, who belong to a trade union, were protesting against the fact finding mission by the group of UNP MPs, who were headed by Parliamentarian Ajith P Perera.  UNP Parliamentarian Harsha de Silva, who was at the location, tweeted, "MPs are turning back as we are unable to enter the CPC refinery. Hundreds of goons protected by the Police blocked the entrance."

Over hundred Vavuniya camp POWs killed on Gota’s order - Army commanding chief gives evidence

(File photo)
The International investigation team appointed by the UN human rights Council to inquire into the alleged crimes committed during the final phase of the war and other grave human rights violations across the country commenced its proceedings officially day before yesterday (15) . A high ranking commanding officer of the army told Lanka e news that he is ready to give evidence before the international human rights commission pertaining to the war crimes.

Sri Lanka Govt appoints international experts to investigate war deaths

''I am of the opinion that it is expendient that the said Commission of Inquiry should have the benefit of the advice of distinguished international experts, whose internationally recognized expertise and experience encompasses legal and other relevant dimensions of the matters set out above. I hereby appoint the following to serve on an Advisory Council to the Commission of Inquiry to which I may appoint other experts as may be required from time to time, to advise the Chairman and Members of the Commission of Inquiry, at their request, on matters pertaining to the work of the Commission''
Read full gazette below:

Aluthgama anti Muslim violence: Vital questions that need be answered

''There are a number of vital questions, not limited to who organized the mobs; who provided them the weaponry, powerful flashlights and fuel for the burning and in some cases the intoxicants; who provided them who provided the lorries and vans to loot entire households of furniture, and warehouses and shops of goods; who pointed out Muslim houses and other properties, that need to be inquired into and answered. It is also imperative to examine the role of the police and the STF, especially given the eye-witness accounts of these State forces watching and not taking action to stop the rioting and looting.''
One month after the anti-muslim violence in Aluthgama-Statement by Secretariat for Muslims
June 16, 2014

Sri Lanka: Polls Chief under fire

Editorial, The Island
The UNP has trained its propaganda cannon on the Elections Department. With weeks to go for the Uva PC polls, it has declared that it has no confidence in Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya. The Opposition does not expect the upcoming elections to be free and fair, it has said. Politicians’ claims are not to be taken as gospel. They are adept at making mountains out of molehills and molehills out of mountains depending on their political needs.But, the UNP’s concerns about the gross abuse of state resources by the government for electioneering purposes and other election malpractices need to be appreciated. For, such offences give the ruling coalition unfair advantage and prevent the Opposition from improving its competitive edge.

Sri Lanka Urges U.S. to Reduce Human Rights Focus as China Gains

Sri Lanka is urging the U.S. to avoid letting human rights concerns dominate the relationship between the countries five years after the end of a civil war that killed as many as 40,000 civilians.
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka is occurring at a “rapid pace” and the government is focused on strengthening its economy, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, a lawmaker and coordinating secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in an interview in Washington. Human rights issues shouldn’t hinder closer economic ties with the U.S., he said.

Attacks on Muslims in Asian states including Sri Lanka, denounced by WAMY

RIYADH: Ghazanfar Ali Khan
The attack on Muslims in Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar by extremist Buddhists and religious fanatics backed by governments is a matter of “serious concern” for the Muslim world and international community, said Saleh S. Al-Wohaibi, chief of the Riyadh-based World Assembly of Muslim Youth (), here Wednesday.
He voiced deep concern over the systematic persecution of innocent Muslim minorities in these three countries.

BBS & Goatabhaya Connection - A Myth Or A Reality?

Gota shows BBS the way!
Special Correspondent
Today Muslim community is at cross road in Sri Lankan Muslim history. No doubt an abrupt appearance of BBS out of blue sky in Sri Lanka is a bewildering mystery for many Sri Lankans. Many conspiracy theories were reported in relation to the origin and development of BBS. Some argued that a Norwegian agent was plotting to create mayhem in Sri Lanka. They substantiated this argument with Gnanasara thero's visit to Norway and subsequent meeting with some diaspora people over there. Some others argued that a Burmese Buddhist extremist is behind these all anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka and Burma.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What More Congress (and the Administration) can to to promote Accountability in Sri Lanka [Road Map I]

Vanni, Sri Lanka 2009
Ryan Goodman
The Obama administration has taken the lead internationally to promote accountability in Sri Lanka. The principal focus is on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the country’s decades long civil war. But those efforts are also important to addressing the situation of Tamil, Muslim, and Christian minorities in Sri Lanka today.

Cyril Ramaphosa : What’s he doing out here, in Sri Lanka?

TRC South Africa based on truth
Ranga Jayasuriya
 Not usually, does the second in command of a regional power, flanked by a presidential delegation, fly thousands miles to some embattled small State, disguised as 'tourists' to talk to the adversaries of a protracted domestic problem. However, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of South Africa and the ruling African National Congress, pretty much did that-- at least if you are to believe the Sri Lankan government's initial remarks on the visit by the South African delegation.

Lawyers Collective condemns move to intimidate the President of the BASL and calls for an impartial investigation

Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has been followed by an unidentified group (a motor bicycle and a three wheeler)  today (15th July 2014) for  hours. Mr Jayasuriya has been a strong leader of the Bar who has spoken strongly and fearlessly against the breach of Rule of Law, abuse of constitutional norms and erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka.  Mr. Jayasuriya has made a formal complaint at the Kurunduwatta Police station (Colombo 7)  around 5.00 p.m. today,  in this regard.

Abolishing executive presidency:UNP, UPFA red allies agree on amending Constitution

DEW, Vasu and Tissa
Communist Party General Secretary and Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera yesterday said that the UNP, too, was willing to either do away with executive presidency or dilute presidential powers through a constitutional amendment, though it had earlier pledged to scrap the presidency in the event of winning the next presidential election.