Sri Lanka Brief
2012January
  • CID fabricating evidence, Bhartha’s counsel says .

    The Counsel for Baratha Lakshma Premachandra, Upali Kumarapperuma told court today that the CID is “fabricating evidence” when the case was taken up today. The Counsel further went on to point out that initially the CID had only said that they found two shots were released from R. Gamini the bodyguard of Premachandra but now […]

  • Clinton invites GL to Washington to discuss LLRC follow up

    The US government has decided to grant space and opportunity to Sri Lanka to come up with concrete proposals on reconciliation and accountability issues. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has invited External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris to visit Washington in March to discuss Sri Lanka’s plans to “move ahead on reconciliation and accountability issues […]

  • Who’s the liar – the President or the Indian FM?

    Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna who was in Sri Lanka on an official visit recently announced in a media conference held here that President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed for a devolution package that goes beyond the 13th amendment. However, at the monthly meeting of media heads held at Temple Trees yesterday (30th) the President had said […]

  • FREE MEDIA AND THE COLOURS OF JANUARY

    When this correspondent went to the Fort Railway Station to join colleagues in a planned demonstration of media activists last Thursday, he was confronted by an unexpected situation. The site of the proposed demonstration was already occupied by (presumably) agents of the government who held a counter protest. Their placards read: “Free Media Movement is […]

  • JVP dismisses MR’s all party conference

    The JVP today dismissed President Mahinda Rajapksa’s proposal to convene an all party conference to discuss a solution to the ethnic issue. JVP Propaganda Secretary and parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said the all party conference is a failure like the conference that was previously summoned by the President.“The all party conference did not have an agenda […]

  • Move for an independent LLRC “follow up mechanism”

     With the conclusion of the first visit of US War Crimes Ambassador at Large, Stephen J Rapp, there is now a move to promote an independent mechanism for follow up on LLRC Recommendations, say informed sources, close to the ruling party. Information available for now indicate, a positive response from moderates within the government, with Sinhala […]

  • 3 to 5 children raped daily

    Child and women rights activists hit out at Govt. apathy in tackling a burning issue Last week a 28-year-old man from Dambulla was arrested along with an owner of a guest house and a three-wheeler driver for allegedly luring and raping a 13 year old girl. According to police the young girl had had a […]

  • Court dismisses police request against doctor protest

    Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappul dismissed a request by Cinnamon Gardens Police to ban a protest by Ayurvedic doctors at Lipton Circus today (Jan. 30).  The magistrate told police that they had powers, as per article 95 (01) of the Police Ordinance, to prevent any rally or protest being held in violation of the law.Ayurvedic […]

  • Armed pro-govt mobs protected by police hijack ‘Black January’ media protest outside Fort Railway station

    Pro-government protesters, some armed with clubs, seized the promenade outside Fort Railway Station on Wednesday, to prevent media activists from observing “Black January,” a month when many of Sri Lanka’s journalists were attacked over the years.This was despite the Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeyratna making an order that media activists be allowed to stage their […]

  • TNA demands finance as prerequisites to sit on the proposed PSC

    The Tamil National Alliance yesterday insisted that land, police and finance powers be included in the devolution discussions with the government and all three had to be prerequisite for the party to sit on the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to hammer out a final solution “We initiated the dialog with the government on the proposed […]

  • US may be having evidence laying command responsibility on civilian leadership for alleged Sri Lankan war crimes

    Emanuel StoakesThe extrajudicial killing of civilians, surrendering soldiers and dissident journalists under the direction of the Sri Lankan government has been alleged by a former general in the Army who was extremely well-placed to comment on military activity during the island nation’s bloody civil war.The source, whose name is withheld for reasons of safety, had […]

  • University dons threaten indefinite strike

    University teachers last night announced an indefinite strike if the government presented the ‘private university bill’ to Parliament without consulting them.  The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) had taken this decision at its Annual General Meeting held at the Nawala Open University on Friday, FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said.He said that through […]

  • STF killed Trinco students, Basil Rajapakse told Blake

    In a classified memo written by US’s Sri Lanka Ambassador Robert Blake in October 2006 to Washington, ten months after the extra-judicial execution of five students at a Trincomalee beach, Basil Rajapakse, advisor to Sri Lanka’s President and brother Rajapakse, had told Ambassador Blake that Special Task Force (STF) was responsible for the killings, according […]

  • Military involvement in infrastructure projects negates economic benefits like employment and income generation

    Tisaranee Gunasekara“Buying the army off tends to be a good insurance policy for would-be dictators” – Christian Caryl (Foreign Policy – 24.1.2012) Some walls should never be built; some should never be breached. Many of Sri Lanka’s most devastating ills emanated from our habit of building unnecessary walls, and demolishing necessary ones.Our school-system, marred by de facto […]

  • Eastern PC wants police, land powers

    The Eastern Provincial Council led by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan has unanimously passed a resolution demanding land and police powers for the council. A copy of the resolution has been sent to the Presidential Secretariat, a council spokesman said yesterday.The resolution says that failure to devolve land powers to the province will mean that the […]

  • pro-government group, some armed with clubs disrupts Media protest Read more >

    pro-government group, some armed with clubs disrupts Media protest

    Pro government supporters, some armed with poles, having displaced the media activists from their ‘Black January’ protest, demonstrating in front of the Fort Railway Station. Pic by Saman Kariyawasam ”There was a different response last Wednesday when media organisations representing workers and journalists wanted to hold a peaceful protest on the promenade outside the Fort […]

  • The ‘whitewash’ of the LLRC’s recommendations

     Kishali Pinto Jayawardene  It is quite amusing to see the government and all its men using the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) as a barely inadequate fig leaf to cover its total lack of adherence to the substance of the Commission’s recommendations. Unacceptable excuses for delay in implementation Here and overseas, we […]

  • Will ministers be able handle corruption in Mihin Lanka etc

    There are bigger worries, both domestically and internationally, that are formidable challenges for him. In fact, last Wednesday he made a bold announcement at the weekly cabinet meeting to tackle governance issues within the government. Even if it was not formally announced by official spokesperson and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, the move was welcomed by ministers. […]

  • TNA welcomes international mediation for future negotiations

    In the backdrop of a deadlock in talks between the government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the TNA said yesterday that they would welcome an international mediation at this time to facilitate future negotiations. At a recent meeting with Dr. Alyssa Ayres, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian affairs, […]

  • Minorities should consider adopting an inclusive approach

    ”In their preoccupation with their own problems, which are certainly matters of the greatest consequence, minorities have totally lost sight of the many ways in which they should and could fight many other equally important causes jointly with the majority.  For example, assuming – however far-fetched it may be – that the North-East Tamils get […]

  • Sri Lanka contracts to China queried by legislator

    A series of construction contracts given to Chinese firms mostly with borrowed money from China which will have to re-paid by Sri Lanka, should have been awarded by open tender, a legislator has said.Harsha de Silva, a legislator representing Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party, said the commercial viability of some projects were questionable, […]

  • Comments on TNA’s response to LLRC report

    Neville Ladduwahetty The response below is limited to issues raised by the TNA that have a bearing on Accountability. Paragraph ii of the TNA response states: “The Commission falls dramatically short of international standards applicable to accountability processes”. If, as assumed by the TNA, “international standards applicable to accountability processes” exist, the need for the UN Secretary General […]

  • Media activists challenge government

    Media activists coming down hard on Minister Keheliya Rambukwella for his statement accusing journalists of being in the LTTE payroll have demanded legal action against those reporters if proved.  “We challenge the government to prove these charges, because we’re ready to face the consequences,” said Sunil Jayasekera, Convener of the Free Media Movement.“So many people […]

  • Ensure Sri Lanka Delivers

    The visit by an Indian External Affairs Minister to Sri Lanka is always an important affair. Sri Lankans of all communities and political leanings watch it carefully. They listen to the statements and read between the lines. To many, especially for the Sri Lankan Tamils and the committed democratic sections of the Sri Lankan andIndian […]

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