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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pros and Cons of South African TRC initiative in Sri Lanka: A long way to go

Zuma and Rajapaksha ( Photo:SA Govt)
South Africa mediation offers way out for Govt - Sunday Times Political Editor
Whilst Sri Lankans were observing the National New Year last week, the Government of South African President Jacob Zuma set in motion a broad initiative towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka. It came when Pretoria’s special envoy Cyril Ramaphosa, widely regarded as a future President, took the first step of holding talks with a delegation from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). He will arrive in Sri Lanka to continue the dialogue with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other UPFA leaders late next month or in early June.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sri Lanka: Media Ministry cites non exsistant 5 year rule for not extending visa to BBC Charles Haviland

Reporting form SL, Charles Haviland
BBC’s Haviland has to go, says Govt.
A request by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to grant a one-year extension of visa for its Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland has been turned down by the Sri Lankan Government.
Instead he has been given clearance to stay three more months with no further extensions of his visa.
Mr. Haviland was informed by Immigration officials that the request to extend the visa for one year has been turned down. No reason was given.
Mr. Haviland has been BBC’s correspondent in Sri Lanka since March 2009.

Sri Lanka refused a visa to BBC correspondent Charles Haviland

Charles Haviland
The correspondent of the BBC based in Colombo has been refused a one year visa extension and he has been asked to leave the country, the Colombo Gazette has learned.
Sources said that the visa of Charles Haviland, who has been in Sri Lanka since April 2009, expired this month and he had sought a one year extension through the External Affairs Ministry.
However the Ministry had refused to grant him the one year extension and had given him a few days to leave Sri Lanka.

Tamils in Canada evolve common position on Tamil activism


   80 Tamil community organizations from across Canada have come together in an initiative to create a consensus outlining their collective position and guiding principles on Tamil struggle-centric engagement.The General Assembly organizers said that the consensus document, prepared through a five-months process was presented to all the participating grassroots, community and political organisations in Canada at the event held in the Toronto City Hall Council Chamber on Sunday 13 April  2014.

Sri Lanka: Attack on Parliamentarians lends credence to allegations at last month's UNHRC - UNP

H,tota Mayor chasing MPs
This only lends credence to allegations at last month's UN Human Rights Council sessions that violation of human rights is a regular feature in Sri Lanka. Not only her citizens, but even the rights of lawfully elected Parliamentarians are in danger of being extinct.
It is the right, duty and responsibility of every citizen in the country to condemn this act and seek justice via the highest legislative body of the country, Parliament, Mr. Jayasuriya concludes his statement.

‘Where is law and order in this country?’, Karu asks 

Friday, April 18, 2014

On Sri Lanka, ICP Asks Darusman Of Report, He Cites Cambodia, DPRK

Marzuki Darusman
Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 -Arguing for a referral to the International Criminal Court of North Korea on April 17 was Marzuki Darusman, who previously chaired a three member panel at the UN about war crimes in Sri Lanka.
On that report, which the UN released only in redacted form, little was done in the first instance. After inaction by the Rajapaksa government, a vote was held on March 27 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva calling for another investigation - one that the Rajapaksa government says it will not cooperate with, may prosecute witnesses to.

The editors of Tamil newspapers in Sri Lanka should be held accountable for publishing ''disinformation and misinformation'' - Rohan Gunarathna

LTTE Diaspora (tamilguardian photo)
Q The Government had said the LTTE had been militarily defeated. But, if they are regrouping in Sri Lanka, who is backing them?
A After LTTE's military defeat, the LTTE leader Deivyhan reorganized the network with help from Nediyawan in Norway and Vinayagam in France. Deivyghan set up an operational base in Tamil Nadu exploiting the terrorist-political-criminal nexus. A former bodyguard, black tiger and pilot Deivyhan worked with Gopi and Appan, both of the intelligence wing.
After the end of the conflict in May 2009, the LTTE in Tamil Nadu build a network in the north starting with propaganda and gradually supported the building of cells to collect intelligence and mount attacks.

Sri Lanka's govt obtains Interpol red notices on 40 'LTTE' suspects

Sri Lanka police have obtained 40 Interpol "red notices" flagging foreign operatives of the Tamil Tigers as the government continues to crack down on attempts to revive the organization locally, an official said here on Thursday. Sri Lanka's government ended a 27 year war with the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 but has come under fire from the international community for disregarding allegations of war crimes and undermining human rights.

Establish a national investigative mechanism that could cooperate with the UNHRC-appointed investigative body - NPC

Martin Luther King Jr:  positive peace,
which is the presence of justice
Less than five years after the end of the three decade long internal war, the Sri Lankan government has warned that the LTTE is regrouping and plotting to renew its violent campaign for a separate state again.  This warning has come in the context of a shootout reported in the North that led to the killing of three LTTE members by the military who, according to the government, had shot and injured a policeman in the leg.   The security forces conducted extensive cordon and search operations and arrested over 60 persons, including civic activists, prior to the final shootout.  The slain persons are accused of having had connections with the Tamil Diaspora.

Expose and Isolate the Bodu Bala Sena Extremism Locally & Internationally

BBS head Gnanasara
Press release – 16th April, 2014
INSD, an international network of Sri Lankans living in Europe condemns the provocative and anti democratic activities by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) that  violates  rights of the minority religious groups in general and  specially  rights  of Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Disturbing a media briefing conveyed by a inter religious group, the leader of the BBS, saffron clad Gnanasara not only behave in a unethical, uncivilized manner which only suited to a violent  mob leader, but also brought disrepute and insult the Buddhism as well.  The words he used and the way he behaved  suits an underworld mafia leader and not for a  Buddhist monk.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Opposition MPs attacked in Hambabtota; Ruling party politician brandishing his pistol chased MPs

Hambantota Mayor Fernando brandishing a pistol
chasing the MPs (Daily Mirror) See more photos below
UNP MPs attacked at Hambantota
A team of UNP MPs who were on an inspection tour of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport have come under attack by unidentified goons, the Ada Derana reporter confirms. Stones were pelted at the bus that the MPs were travelling in, UNP MP R. Yogarajan told Ada Derana.
The team comprised UNP MPs Ajith P. Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, R. Yogarajan, Nalin Bandara and Ajith Manapperuma. While our bus was attacked outside the airport, while inside a group hooted at us, Yogarajan told Ada Derana.
He added that the MPs were threatened by this group and despite complaining to a high ranking police officer no action was taken.

LTTE continues to sustain an international propaganda against Sri Lanka through front organisations with a a democratic face - Gotabaya

(MoD photo)
''Mr. Rajapaksa said that a key part of the LTTE's modus operandi was to mobilise support for itself by wiping up ethnic and communal feeling in expatriate Tamil populations all over the world. Extremist elements within the diaspora were mobilised by LTTE operatives and front organisations in more than thirty countries around the world to help fund terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.  ''

Secretary Defence addresses 'Putrajaya Forum 2014' in Malaysia

Sri Lanka: Defeat extremism, SLMC tells govt

General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) M. T. Hassan Ali said that the minority communities were demanding that the government act fast to put an end to all illegal acts by the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) and all other extremists groups that had got out of hand.
 He told The Island yesterday (16) that unless the government acted immediately there would be chaos as the BBS was trying to engineer communal violence.

TNA to support South African facilitated process on reconciliation

Ciril Ramphosa
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that recently engaged in a visit to South Africa has said the party will back a process facilitated by South Africa to achieve reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The TNA has also noted that the party will also closely monitor the actions of the government. TNA leader R. Sampanthan has been quoted in the media that the visit to South Africa was a positive one and that the TNA delegation had informed the South African government that the Tamils want a political solution to their issues and also want to live without having to face intimidation from the military in the north.

Bodu Bala Sena is not a foreign conspiracy; govt. sponsors BBS, says UNP

Gotabhaya is close to BBS
The UNP yesterday rejected claims by some sections of the government that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was being used by international conspirators to tarnish the image of Buddhism.
It was elements within the ruling alliance that were instigating the BBS to act in the manner it did so that the resulting confusion could be used to cloud burning issues such as the rising cost of living, rampant corruption and the unprecedented crime wave, which had gripped the entire country, senior UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake told The Island.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minister Hakeem stands by report to Navi Pillay on anti-minority violence

Navi Pillay  with Rauf Hakeem
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakem says he stands by his decision to submit a report to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay related to reconciliation issues.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Chief Prelate (Mahanayake) of the Malwathu Chapter in Kandy today, Hakeem said that the report to Pillay focused purely on shortcomings in implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Attempts to silence us will create the need for more international action -Ananthy tells Govt

Ananthy Sasitharan
(© sunanda deshapriya)  
Attempts to silence those who speak out against the injustices faced by the Tamil people will create the need for more international action, Ananthy Sasitharan, the TNA Northern Provincial Councillor told the government.
She was responding to calls from the ruling coalition partner, the JHU, for herself and TNA MPs who campaigned in support of an international investigation last month, including MA Sumanthiran and Suresh Premachandran, to be arrested.

Sri Lanka: Get to know your Women’s Affairs Minister better

With his wife

Sri Lanka has a 62-year old male, Tissa Karaliyadda, as its Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. These are some of his views about the portfolio he’s running, and the things he wants the country’s women and children to do.

Sri Lanka: Minister Rishad condemns unruly disruption by BBS, wants Commission of Inquiry

BBS leader: You  Shut Up
Condemning the unruly disruption on Wednesday (9), Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), called for a Commission of Inquiry to look into the incidents against minorities in the country. “The ACMC calls upon the authorities to enforce the law to everyone alike and appoint a commission of inquiry into the post war incidents against the minorities in general and the Muslim community in particular,” said Minister Bathiudeen in his ACMC statement of 11 April in Colombo.

D.B.S.Jeyaraj and the bogey of the reincarnation of the Tiger: Battle of the Fourth Estate in Post Civil War Sri Lanka

Sivaram and Jeyaraj
''The most notable of the latter are David Buell Sabapathy Jeyaraj (popularly known as David Jeyaraj or DBS in short) and the late Dharmaratnam Sivaram(whose nom de plume was Taraki). Both Jeyaraj and Sivaram have been oscillating as advocates of both the devils in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict and civil war (the State and the Tigers) from time to time. During most part of his career as a journalist DBS has been concocting stories on behest of both the devils in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict from over ten thousand kilometres away, while Sivaram has been residing in Sri Lanka throughout his life. ''
Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Sri Lanka’s tilt towards religious extremism

BBS Gnanasara
On Wednesday (9), Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, the General Secretary of the hard-line Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), stormed a media conference that was being addressed by a group of Muslim Maulavis and Buddhist clergy. 
Flanked by two dozen young monks, the hard-line monk forced the organizers to suspend the event; the Maulavis fled the scene while the Buddhist monks were humiliated and forced to beg forgiveness for siding with 'Lebbes,' a pejorative term for the Muslims.

On Gota’s Orders - Lakbima Sub-Editor removed, Chief Editor summoned by CID .

The journalist from “Lakbima” who wrote a caption to a photograph of the Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse’s wife, Ayoma Rajapakse, has been dismissed from his service. Moreover, the chief editor of ''Lakbima” paper, Saman Wagaarachchi has been summoned by the CID and questioned at length.
The photograph depicted Ayoma Rajapakse purchasing some goods from a stall at the New Year fair organized by the “seva vanitha” unit of the department of civil defence.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tamil journalist attacked in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

A Tamil freelance journalist was attacked in Jaffna last night while he was on his way home, the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper reported.
The journalist, identified as Sivagnanam Selvatheepan, was attacked by unidentified men on a motorbike in Vadamarachi, Jaffna. He is the Wadaamarachchi area correspondent of Tamil Daily newspapers Veerakesaree and Thinakkural published in Colombo.
According to reports, the 29 year old was attacked with iron rods by the men on the motorbike who had followed him from behind.

Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Sri Lanka: Why we need to unite against it

Chandrapala Kumarage, Attorney-at-Law
The PTA law is being applied arbitrarily, and even offences that could be dealt with under the normal laws are being dealt with under the PTA. This is at a time when the Emergency Laws have already been revoked. Since the PTA law is being wrongly used in this way, it is necessary for us to acquire a good knowledge of what this law is and what are its implications.

SRI LANKA: The abuse of Presidential Pardon is an abdication of the state responsibility to control crime

Rukantha and Chandraleka
 A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The Panadura High Court judge, Kusala Sarojani Weerawardana, found ten Presidential Security Division (PSD) officers who were accused of assaulting two famous songsters Rookantha Gunathilike and Chanta Chandraleka Perera to be guilty of the charges and sentenced them to four and a half years of rigorous imprisonment. The PSD officers entered the living premises of the two famous singers, shaved their heads and assaulted them in the year 2000. The PSD officers did this due to the two singers participating publically at an opposition UNP political rally.