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U. S. Secretary of State Visits Sri Lanka
The United States Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport recently. He was welcomed at the airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. Also in photo is Ambassador to the U.S. Prasad Kariyawasam and a U.S. Secret Service agent. This is the first time a U.S Secretary of State has visited Sri Lanka in a decade. Secretary Kerry met President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, Foreign Minister ... Read More

Aluth Avurudu/Puthandu in Los Angeleswith Gypsies Dinner
Hundreds gathered at Woodley Park in California to celebrate the Sinhala/Hindu New Year with Gypsies Dinner.

With the lighting of the traditional lamp, raban playing, games, competitions, avurudu kumari, kiribath, chicken curry and music by the Rhythm Company, this event put on by the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California (SLAASC) continues to attract Sri Lankans from all over California.

Over 450 people attended the SOLD OUT Gypsies Dinner Dance organized by Tropical Lanka (the dynamic ... Read More
Leader Justin Trudeau on the anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War
TORONTO – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the sixth anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War:

“Today, we solemnly reflect on the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. We remember the lives shattered and lost during more than twenty-six years of violent conflict, and the displacement of thousands of civilians after the war. I have met many Tamil-Canadians personally affected ... Read More
Tamil families want to know where their loved ones are

The authoritarian government that ordered the detentions — and is blamed for mass atrocities at the end of the 26-year war — was unseated at the polls in January and the new leadership has promised to set prisoners free and address the conflict's gravest abuses. ....
Tens of thousands died in fighting across the northern tip of this South Asian island nation, where the Tigers waged a ruthless quest for an independent state for minority Tamils.
After ... Read More
China Gets Spurned in Sri Lanka
To woo the island nation of Sri Lanka, China lent more than $200 million to fund a new airport built by then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa near his hometown. It wasn’t one of the Chinese government’s better investments. Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport opened in 2013, but two years later there is only one scheduled daily flight, on Flydubai. In January, just after Rajapaksa’s reelection campaign ended in an upset loss, state-owned SriLankan Airlines canceled its flights to ... Read More
Security Breach Raises Concerns About Sirisena's Safety
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s security experts are deeply concerned about the security of President Maithripala Sirisena following an incident in which his security was seriously breached and another in which lack of alertness on the part of his security staff was evident.

Experts point to politicization, a lack of professionalism and the general absence of security consciousness for the glaring lapses.

On April 25, army commando Cpl. Senaka Kumara, who was detailed to protect former President ... Read More
Kerry praises Lanka govt progress in peace process
Colombo, May 2, 2015 (PTI)
US Secretary of State John Kerry today praised the "openness" of the new Sri Lankan government in its efforts to boost democracy, human rights and ensure reconciliation with the country's minority Tamils.

Kerry was addressing the media following a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera after the top US diplomat landed here today on a two-day trip.

"One thing which struck me was the readiness of this government to open ... Read More
Former president’s brother arrested in Sri Lanka
By Amantha Parera
Basil Rajapaksa, the youngest brother of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was arrested on Wednesday as the country’s new government closes in on the powerful family, which ruled the island nation virtually unchallenged for nearly a decade.
Police representative Ruwan Gunawardena confirmed that Basil Rajapaksa and two former officials of his Economic Development Ministry were arrested on suspicion of misappropriation of public funds. They were expected to appear before a magistrate later Wednesday, ... Read More
Sri Lanka alleges 'billions' lost in corruption at national carrier
(Reuters) - Sri Lanka's new government has ordered a criminal investigation into alleged corruption at the state-run national airline that it says involved "billions of dollars".
... Read More
Maithripala Sirisena talks to TIME in a rare interview
Sri Lanka’s new leader plans to dissolve the country’s Parliament in May, setting the island nation on course for general elections in late June or early July — around the same time that he plans to announce details of a probe into allegations of human rights abuses during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, he told TIME in a rare interview.
... Read More
‘Monkey Kingdom’ hangs out with primates in Sri Lanka
...the interpersonal order of these toque macaques, who inhabit a “land of myth and legend” that includes an abandoned temple complex in Sri Lanka, is as cutthroat as the high school clique system. Our heroine, Maya, is a “lower born” who dwells at the bottom of that social order. Maya must contend with Raja, the king of Castle Rock, the monkey homeland, as well as a bevy of female toque macaques, a.k.a. “the Sisterhood.” Eventually ... Read More
Shocking Refusal of Visa to The Dalai Lama by Sri Lanka
( April 5, 2015, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankan Buddhist monks are reported to have invited exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to make his first visit to the island. However, the foreign ministry of Sri Lanka is reported to have told Reuters that the government “may not grant a visa” even if the monks would invite the Dalai Lama.China is reported to have appreciated Sri Lanka’s stance on the Dalai Lama.
... Read More
Sri Lanka confronts ex-leader's extravagant projects
By Shashank Bengali

It’s not as if Sri Lankans didn’t ask those questions before, but under Rajapaksa’s increasingly despotic administration, dissent was ignored or punished. After his narrow and surprising election defeat, the country of 20 million is waking up to the excesses of his rule with what appears to be a collective hangover.

SriLankan Airlines, the deeply indebted national carrier, announced that it would cease operating from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the town of ... Read More
Atul Keshap: New US Envoy to Sri Lanka
( March 27, 2015, Washington Dc, Sri Lanka Guardian) President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Atul Keshap, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Counsellor, as next US Ambassador in Colombo, the White House has announced.

Keshap currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2013.

Previously, he served at the Department of ... Read More
Louisiana Professor Among Awardees of Presidential Mentoring Award
Washington: An IndoAmerican professor and an academic of Sri Lankan origin are among the 14 individuals, and one organization, who have been named winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Biology Professor Murty S. Kambhampati of the Southern University at New Orleans, Louisiana, an Andhra University graduate, and Tilak Ratnanather, originally from Sri Lanka and an associate professor in the biomedical engineering department of Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, will receive ... Read More
Sri Lankan president's brother dies after axe attack

COLOMBO: The youngest brother of Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena died in hospital on Saturday after being attacked by a man wielding an axe two days earlier, police said.

Priyantha Sirisena, a father of three, suffered severe head injuries in his hometown of Polonnaruwa, 215 kilometres (134 miles) north-east of the capital Colombo, police said.

The local businessman's death came as the Lankan president was in China on a state visit.

Police said they arrested a man in ... Read More
Students create clean drinking water solution
EXCERPT: Since July 2014, the group of 13 individuals has been working to create a low-cost, easily built and effective device to fit the need of the Women’s Development Center.

“We considered many solutions, but ultimately settled on a solar powered water distiller,” sophomore mining engineering student and project member Michael Dawson said.

The team prepared detailed plans prior to the assembly of the prototype and designed the device so as not to require a hammer, nails ... Read More
Modi lays foundation stone of Jaffna cultural centre
Colombo, March 14, 2015 (IANS)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone of the Jaffna cultural centre.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone of the Jaffna cultural centre. "Laid the foundation stone of the Jaffna Cultural Centre," the prime minister tweeted along with a picture.

He also met Northern Province's Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, according to a tweet by Indian external affairs ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin. "PM @narendramodi meets ... Read More
Former Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa blames India for his election defeat
Press Trust of India@ibnlive
Colombo: Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed India, the US and European countries for his humiliating defeat in the January election.

"It was very open, Americans, the Norwegians, Europeans were openly working against me. And RAW (India's Research Analysis Wing)," Rajapaksa told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post in an interview.

"Both the US and India openly used their embassies to bring me down," Rajapaksa said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra ... Read More
Mobile weather stations available
COLOMBO] Scientists in Sri Lanka have developed mobile weather stations capable of capturing and transmitting near real-time rainfall data.

Equipped with atomic clocks for precise time and date readings the devices log on to global positioning satellites (GPS) automatically. The devices are based on open-source technology and rely on local materials — at US$250, they are far cheaper than standard, WHO-certified versions that can cost upwards of US$10,000.
... Read More
Spy cables reveal Sri Lanka hyped up Tamil Tiger postwar threat
By Jyoti Thottam
In November 2010, a Sri Lankan member of Parliament expressed his dismay when a small statue of a leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was erected on private property in a Paris suburb. It was an alarming sign, said Sarath Weerasekara, a retired rear admiral in the Sri Lankan navy, that the LTTE, an armed separatist group that Sri Lanka defeated decisively in 2009, might be regrouping in other countries.
“Its ... Read More
India working with Sri Lanka to repatriate thousands of Tamils
Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar said discussions were ongoing for the return of 1,00,000 refugees from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is separated from Sri Lanka by a narrow stretch of sea.

NEW DELHI: India said on Monday it was working with Sri Lanka's new government to repatriate thousands of ethnic minority Tamils who fled the island during nearly four decades of separatist war.

Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar said discussions were ongoing for ... Read More
Indian fishermen will be shot if they cross border: Sri Lankan Prime Minister
Source : PTI

Colombo: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here, Premier Ranil Wickramasinghe has stoked a controversy suggesting that Indian fishermen may be shot if they intruded into Sri Lankan waters.

Alleging that Indian fishermen were taking away the livelihood of Northern Lanka fishermen, he told Tamil Thanthi TV that, "If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed...Law allows me to do that."

Talking about the fishermen issue, he ... Read More
Statement issued by the Sri Lanka Solidarity Delegation
(March 2, 2015, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Continued surveillance on journalists and media organizations in the north of Sri Lanka must cease, says the international media mission to Sri Lanka.
Surveillance, monitoring and following of journalists are incompatible with a free media and the principles of open government that should underpin the 100 day reform process.
The international media mission represents the International Federation of Journalists, the International Press Institute and International Freedom of Expression Exchange. Its ... Read More
Lanka Squabble Over Electoral Reforms Could Lead to Early Poll
By PK Balachandran

COLOMBO: The on-going squabble between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) over urgency in regard to electoral reforms could lead to an early dissolution of the island nation’s parliament and snap parliamentary elections, a year ahead of schedule.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his UNP are of the view that primacy must be given to reform of the Executive Presidency; restitution of the Independent Commissions; and ... Read More
New Sri Lanka Premier Grapples With Problems
By Gardiner Harris
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Paintings at Temple Trees, this country’s White House, are still leaning against walls waiting to be hung, and the gated grounds are no longer teeming with guards and stewards who served the home’s previous occupant like supplicants at a royal court.
But more than a month after taking over this iconic home after a shocking electoral triumph by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he has been kept ... Read More
Children of Sri Lankan refugees born in India uncertain about future
KEEZHPUDHUPATTU, India – The election of a new president in Sri Lanka in January ushered in renewed hopes for the return of thousands of ethnic Tamils displaced by war – and uncertainty for their children born abroad during decades of bloody conflict.
Many of the children are in their twenties now and have spent their entire lives in refugee camps in southern India. Their parents tried to shield them from the worst stories of their terrifying ... Read More
Sri Lanka's China Dilemma
By Eric Meyer

Sri Lanka held elections in December, which were unexpectedly won by the opposition, whose campaign was partially based on China-bashing. The new strong man, Maithripala Sirisena, claims to want to distance his country from the economic agreements his predecessor signed with China.
Combining freedom and development is much like trying to be simultaneously in love with two beautiful women. Sri Lanka would like to love them both, but can’t have at the same ... Read More
A new government tries to distance itself from the recent past
FOR many Sri Lankans the most remarkable feature of Maithripala Sirisena’s four-day trip to India this week, his first as president after a stunningly unexpected election victory in January, was that he took a commercial flight. His predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa—who, with his family, had given the impression of intending to rule for the long run—usually poached an aircraft from the national fleet. The trip was intended to change perceptions in other ways, too. The most ... Read More
U.N. Delays Release of Report on Possible War Crimes in Sri Lanka
By Somini Sengupta
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday agreed to defer the release of a landmark inquiry into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka, after an intense lobbying campaign by the country’s newly elected government and what the United Nations’ top rights official described as “signals of broad cooperation” from Sri Lankan officials.
The release of the report on suspected rights abuses during a quarter-century of war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil ... Read More
Sri Lanka's Duty on War Crimes
FEBRUARY 10, 2015

It was just one month ago that Sri Lanka surprised the world by electing opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena as president, rejecting the authoritarianism, corruption and dynastic politics of the administration of the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Sirisena has moved swiftly to usher in a new chapter of hope for Sri Lanka.

... Read More
Sri Lanka to probe ex-minister
Sri Lanka will seek assistance from the Interpol to probe a former government minister over alleged mass financial fraud in the country, a government spokesperson said here Friday.
Cabinet spokesperson and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Xinhua news agency that the government would seek assistance from Interpol to probe corruption allegations against former economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa who left for the US soon after last month's presidential elections.

A complaint was lodged against Rajapaksa, who is ... Read More
Sri Lanka blocks casinos approved by previous govt
Source : REUTERS

COLOMBO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's new government has blocked three casinos approved by the former administration, among them Australian gaming mogul James Packer's Crown Resorts Ltd, the island nation's prime minister told parliament on Thursday.

Ranil Wickremesinghe said gazette notices that gave tax concessions to the projects, including Packer's $400-million integrated mixed-development project, had been amended.

"We have decided to ban such approval for casinos," Wickremesinghe said. "But they can conduct all other ... Read More
India to take bilateral ties with Lanka to new level: Envoy
Colombo: India will work closely with the new Sri Lankan government led by Maithripala Sirisena - whose victory was a tribute to Lankan people's yearning for change - to take bilateral ties to a new level, the Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha said on Monday.

Addressing the celebrations of the 66th Indian Republic Day held at India House here, Sinha said India stands ready to continue to provide support and partnership to Sri Lanka in ... Read More
Police raids former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's country home in Sri Lanka
Colombo: Embattled former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's country home in the southern province has been raided by police who were looking for a luxury sports car but the search drew a blank.

"They raided our house in Tangalle yesterday looking for a Lamborghini car," said Namal Rajapaksa, the former president's elder son and a parliamentarian.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the search was done on a court warrant but it drew a blank.
Police raids former Sri ... Read More
Helping Sri Lanka's New Democracy
By Ryan Goodman
Sri Lanka’s voters shocked themselves and the world this month by tossing out their president, who crushed the Tamil insurgency in 2009 and then led the country, along with his brother as defense secretary, to the brink of authoritarianism. The new president has promised to restore freedom of the press, independence of judges, and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.
Democracy advocates, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say this is the country’s ... Read More
Sri Lanka Has a New President
Maithripala Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as the 6th Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka before Supreme Court Judge K. Sri Pawan at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. President Sirisena in turn swore in Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister. In a close election Maithripala Sirisena won 51% to Mahinda Rajapaksa's 47% of the votes. There was a record turnout of over 50% of the voters. It ... Read More
Millions Vote in Sri Lanka's Presidential Battle

COLOMBO: Millions voted across Sri Lanka Thursday in a close presidential contest between incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa and opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Men and women voters joined long lines at most polling centres in the island nation, and officials predicted a turnout of over 80 percent from among the 14.5 million voters, media reports said.

Barring a grenade attack in the northern Tamil town of Point Pedro that wounded none, the election was largely peaceful.

Rajapaksa is fighting ... Read More
UN Designated Terrorist Fronts Support Maithripala
By Maya Anthony
LTTE fronts overseas that supported violence in Sri Lanka pledged its support for the common candidate Mr Maithripala Sirisena. This includes the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), a terrorist entity engaged in propaganda, fundraising and weapons procurement. The CTC is designated as a “terrorist entity” under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373.

In a press release published by the CTC, its national spokesperson, David Poopalapillai said.”Over the past few days, Tamil leaders in Sri ... Read More
Leadership Award Presented by SLAASC to Showman Thusitha de Silva
Reputed Sri Lanka/American showman/Entrepreneur Thusitha de Silva of Los Angeles, California receives the Award for Leadership from the SLAASC,

Upcoming Shows Presented By

Thusitha de Silva

APRIL 19, 2015, Gypsies Live Concert With Ronnie Leech & Channa Upuli Dancing Group in Los Angeles

June 6, 2015, Marians Live Concert in Los Angeles


Sri Lanka Tops South East Asia

Region For Business - Forbes

Forbes has listed Sri Lanka in the 89th place among the best countries ... Read More
Facing loss, Rajapaksa assures voters
Colombo, Dec. 23 (Reuters): Facing possible defeat in his bid for re-election, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa sought to reassure voters today that he would resist pressure for an international war crimes probe, bring a new political culture and ensure media freedom.

Rajapaksa's popularity has eroded in recent years due to public disgruntlement over high prices and allegations of corruption and nepotism, but until recently he had been expected to win an unprecedented third term in ... Read More
Purchasing Power: Compare prices of property in Sri Lanka vs Vancouver
Asia: Luxury house in Sri Lanka for 230K

Offering plenty of room for a growing family, this architecturally-designed home comes with five spacious bedrooms and four bathrooms. Centrally located in Baththaramulla, a suburb of greater Colombo, the property has all the facilities needed for a comfortable lifestyle. Features include three large living areas, a separate dining room, two verandas, landscaped gardens, and secure parking for two cars.
– www.lamudi.com

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 4
Size: 4000 square ... Read More
Sushma Swaraj gives details of interaction with Sri Lanka to ensure welfare of fishermen
Source : ANI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has stated that the Central government attaches the highest importance to the welfare of Indian fishermen, adding that whenever Sri Lankan authorities attack or detain them, New Delhi immediately takes the matter up with Colombo.

"The government attaches the highest importance to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen. We consider the matter as essentially humanitarian in nature involving the livelihood of our fishermen community. Whenever such incidents ... Read More
Colombo City Centre Project
Gets Off The Ground
The foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of the US $150 million Colombo City Centre project at the former Colombo Commercial Company premises in Colombo 2, took place on Tuesday. Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest.This mixed-use lifestyle centre is the first project by Colombo City Centre Partners, a joint venture between Abans Group and SilverNeedle Hospitality of Singapore.Due to be completed in early 2018, ... Read More
Rajapaksa Returns Gold, Jewellery Taken by LTTE to Lankans

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has personally returned the gold and jewellery to the people in the north allegedly taken by the LTTE during the time of their parallel administration, reaching out to the minority Tamils ahead of crucial presidential poll next month.

The northerners whose valuables had either been stolen or deposited in the parallel banking set up of the LTTE were invited to Rajapaksa's official residence yesterday to take possession of the ... Read More
Sri Lanka news

The UK's Financial Times has said that Sri Lanka is striving to become the next Asian Tiger economy, noting that country's GDP has surged since the war ended in May 2009 and is projected to exceed US$ 75 billion this year. "Inflation is in check ... and investment is building," it notes, adding the Colombo Stock Exchange's (CSE's) market capitalisation has quadrupled since 2005, to 2.9 trillion. The report quotes the CSE's ... Read More
Indian envoy in Sri Lanka assures 'unstinted support' to fishermen
New Delhi: India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka on Tuesday met the five Indian fishermen, who have been sentenced to death by a court here for alleged drug trafficking, and assured them of "unstinted support" by the government to secure their early release and repatriation.

Indian envoy Yash Sinha, who visited Welikada Prison in Colombo this morning, met the five fishermen at the Superintendent's office where he handed over some clothes and toiletries and enquired about ... Read More
Sri Lankan court awards death penalty to five Indian fishermen
Colombo: In an unpleasant development, which will further strain India's bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, a court in the Island nation on Thursday awarded death penalty to five fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu for allegedly smuggling drugs.

The court, however, gave them time till November 14 to appeal against the ruling in the country's Supreme Court.

Five Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2011 over charges of smuggling drugs.

The Indian Government has also ... Read More
200 missing as mudslides swamp Sri Lanka tea region
COLOMBO: Mudslides triggered by monsoon rains swept through a tea-growing region of Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving around 200 more missing, disaster officials said.
Some of the worst damage was recorded at a well-known tea plantation several hours' drive to the east of the capital Colombo. Rescue efforts were being hampered by damage to roads in the region.

"We have reports of 140 houses getting washed away in the mudslides," Sarath ... Read More
Mahinda Chinthana At Work

President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the Yal Devi (Queen of Jaffna) train service to Jaffna after a lapse of 24 years. The Railway Department under the Ministry of Transport and with financial assistance from the Indian government embarked on this massive project of restoring the Northern rail tracks to restart the train services connecting the North and South.

Thousands of Sri Lankans at the new Jaffna Railway Station cheered
the President as the Yal ... Read More
Sri Lanka Military to Return Jewellery to Tamil Civilians

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan military has identified 2,377 "legitimate claimants" to handback a considerable stock of gold and jewellery it seized in the final battle against the LTTE more than five years ago.

Rejecting accusations levelled against it by the Tamil diaspora, the Lankan military yesterday said it has invited the rightful owners to contact the civil coordinating offices

in the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) regions to receive their items on verification of ownership.

The ... Read More
Rajapaksa orders release of Indian fishermen
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday ordered the release of 76 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody.

The order, which officials at the Indian High Commission in Colombo confirmed, comes a couple of days after Mr. Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York, when Mr. Modi is said to have raised the issue of their release.

The group of fishermen to be released includes different batches arrested in early September on charges of engaging ... Read More
Rajapaksa accuses UN rights body of ‘ill-conceived agendas’ against Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, under attack for alleged rights violations during the military campaign against Tamil Tigers, has hit out at the U.N. saying his country has become an “unfortunate victim” of “ill-conceived agendas” of some in the Human Rights Council.

“There is an obvious lack of balance and proportion in the manner in which my country is being targeted today disregarding these significant achievements,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

“This is in sharp contrast with the approach ... Read More
Pope Francis to Conduct Public Mass During Sri Lanka Visit
Colombo: Pope Francis will hold two separate public mass, one in the national capital Colombo and another in the northwestern region of Mannar, during his maiden visit to Sri Lanka in January next year.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Pope will arrive on January 13. He will then travel to the city in an open motorcade.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa would call on the Pope in the same evening, he said.


Indian Ocean Region Vulnerable to Massive Tsunamis: ... Read More
'A Thousand Mirrors' Shows Two Views Of One Long, Brutal War

Nayomi Munaweera, who is Sinhalese, left with her family in the 1970s and went to Nigeria. They arrived in the United States in 1984. Her new novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, tells the story of the conflict from the perspective of two girls who witness the horror — one Tamil, one Sinhalese."What I wanted to do in this book was really try to depict what happens to normal people in the course of warfare, ... Read More
Enforced Disappearances and Extrajudicial Killings
1. Although, technically speaking, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are two distinct categories of gross violations of human rights, these two categories often overlap in Sri Lanka. Often, what get classified as enforced disappearances are kidnappings followed by interrogation, which often involve the use of torture and ill-treatment, followed by executions done in secret and, finally, the secret disposal of bodies. Despite several commissions looking into involuntary disappearances having made extensive observations and recommendations on ... Read More
Lawyers Condemn criminal violence against peaceful meetings
Lawyers witnessed an event of a mob disrupting a peaceful meeting to discuss issues of disappeared families, held at Center for Society & Religion, located in the premises of a Catholic Church in Colombo 10, on 4th August 2014. This meeting was organised by Families of The Disappeared, an organisation that has been working on the rights of Sri Lankans who had disappeared including Sinhalese & Tamils, for more than two decades. The meeting was ... Read More
Chaos theory--- connecting the dots
by Maheen Senanayake

"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another." - Thomas Jefferson

I found Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, incumbent head of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, getting ready for the customary BASL meeting on the last Saturday of the month yesterday morning. Over breakfast I threw at him all I had – question-wise!

What is your take on the task and role of the Bar Association?

The Bar Association, by ... Read More
Relevance of Freedom of Association in 1992 and today
by Lakshan Dias

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), are the popular punching bag of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), when its actions are challenged by any individual and/or organization. Name-calling, brandishing circulars to warn NGOs and now a draconian law to prevent them from raising public issues has been the modus operandi of the regime to curb and crush dissent. The context of the sudden and heightened attack on NGOs is also relevant. Hostilities between the ... Read More
Lankan Navy Arrests 50 Indian Fishermen

RAMESWARAM (TN): Fifty fishermen from Nagapattinam and Karaikal have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel for allegedly fishing near the Lankan coast.

This is the second time this week that Indian fishermen have been arrested by the Lankan navy.

The fishermen, who were arrested around midnight last night, have been taken to Kankesanthurai along with their five mechanised boats and two country boats, 'Q' branch Inspector Kennedy and fishermen's association secretary S Emirit told ... Read More
Department of External Resources Misleading Public on NGO Activities
Adding to a series of unconstitutional restrictions placed on the legitimate activities of the Non-Governmental Organizations, the Director General of the Department of External Resources (DGDER) has now published a Notice, "advising" the public on the legitimate activities of the NGOs. Having examined carefully the contents of the Notice, we state that the Notice is misleading and needs to be clarified. Lawyers Collective wishes to place the following facts and legal positions before the general ... Read More
One verdict as against a culture of savagery
by Kishali pinto jayawardena
The Government’s boast this week that the Colombo High Court’s conviction of a local authority chairman and three of his henchmen for the 2012 Christmas Eve murder of a British tourist and the brutal rape of his girlfriend ‘proves’ the independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary is grossly inappropriate in the context of the case.
Coyly protesting innocence
The murder of Khuram Shaikh and the rape of Victoria Alexandrona occurred directly as a result of ... Read More
Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces
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 ... Read More
Lawyers Collective condemns sinister move to intimidate the President of the BASL
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 ... Read More
TNA Agrees to Renounce Support to Separation of Sri Lanka

The Tamil counsels for the TNA respondents submitted to the court that they accept that Sri Lanka is a unitary state and that there was no intent to form a separate state. (AP)
The Tamil counsels for the TNA respondents submitted to the court that they accept that Sri Lanka is a unitary state and that there was no intent to form a separate state. (AP)

COLOMBO: Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil political party, ... Read More
AHRC’s position on the proposed law for NGO registration under the Ministry of Defence
The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to clarify its position regarding the controversy about the government’s proposal for a law to force the registration of non-governmental organisations with a National Secretariat functioning under the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.
There are two separate issues involved:
A) NGO registration under Agency of Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence should not have any power over the functioning of any civil society organisations, which includes non-governmental organisations, ... Read More
Enemy at the Gates
by K.D.C.Kumarage
"It is clear that the freedom of expression and opinion is a fundamental right, the mother of all rights."
- Abid Hussain, UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Information, Speech in Sri Lanka, 1999.
A notice has been issued by one D.M.S, Dissanayake as the director/registrar of the NGO Secretariat in a letterhead of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development warning the NOGs that they are acting beyond their mandates by conducting press conferences ... Read More
The Defence Ministry’s Warning to all Non-Governmental Organisations
A National Secretariat functioning under Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has issued a curious letter on 1 July 2014. The following is the letter in full:
National Secretariat for Non Governmental Organizations
To All Non Governmental Organizations
Non Governmental Organizations acting beyond their mandate
It has been revealed that certain Non Governmental Organizations conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases which is beyond their mandate.
We reiterate ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s Agony
Hate-mongering Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka have set off the country’s worst wave of anti-Muslim violence in years. A bloody rampage on June 15 in and near the southern city of Aluthgama left four Muslims dead, at least 78 people injured, and Muslim homes and businesses destroyed. The attacks followed an anti-Muslim rally organized by the Bodu Bala Sena, which roughly translates as Buddhist Power Force, an ultranationalist group linked ... Read More
An addiction to torture
17-year-old Sandun Malinga died in police custody on May 9, 2014. He had been wrongfully arrested and beaten. His repeated entreaties for medical attention because of the chest pains he suffered after the beatings were ignored. After his arrest and initial beating, he had been brought before a magistrate. He and his lawyers told the magistrate that he was suffering chest pains. Instead of following protocol and asking for the boy to be examined, the ... Read More
Advisers Set for Inquiry

The United Nations named three international experts on Wednesday to be advisers on an inquiry into human rights abuses in the final months of Sri Lanka’s war against ethnic Tamil insurgents in 2009. The three are Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize-winning diplomat; Silvia Cartwright, who served as a judge on the war crimes tribunal in Cambodia; and Asma Jahangir, a veteran human rights defender from Pakistan. The ... Read More
Strong and concerted action the urgent need
The Friday Forum is appalled at the violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and other areas over the period June 14-16. Three deaths, an estimated 80 injured and extensive damage to houses and shops have been reported in the international and private media creating fear and tension in the country. We condemn these violent acts and call for the law to take its course with the perpetrators. We welcome the declaration of a curfew in the affected ... Read More
Ban ethnic-based political parties in Sri Lanka
There are 64 registered political parties in Sri Lanka of this number 22 parties carry ethnic-based political names. 15 of these parties carry a separatist Tamil agenda. With the cleansing of LTTE as well as the current global proscription on LTTE fronts should the leaders not take a stand on denazifying the Eelam name and ban its use? If the country is to create a national identity and people to learn to live, be proud ... Read More
Pillay alarmed by intercommunal violence, calls for end to hate speech
GENEVA (16 June 2014) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed her deep alarm Monday at inter-communal violence taking place in south-western Sri Lanka in which two, or possibly three, people have reportedly been killed and scores injured.
The violence erupted on Sunday 15 June in the town of Aluthgama following a large rally of the Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to protest an alleged assault a few days earlier by ... Read More
What is the future of a country with zero respect for law enforcement?
by Basil Fernando

The major problem affecting all Sri Lankans now, and which is likely to affect future generations,
is the complete failure of law enforcement and resulting lawlessness. While virtually everyone is
aware of this problem, it is not subject to conversation.

For the few who are vocal on matters of public interest, the sole concern seems to be regime change.
This is, of course, something any reasonable person would agree with. However, the survival of the ... Read More
An Australian author’s exploration of disappearances in Sri Lanka
The AHRC announces the publication of “Not even a person, not even a word”, a sociological exploration of disappearances in Sri Lanka by Jane Laura Thomson-Senanayake.
This clear and compelling study meticulously documents three decades of history (1971-2002) as it relates to the terrible realities and consequences of disappearances in the island nation. The book, based on Thomson-Senanayake’s doctoral thesis at the University of Sydney, is amongst the most significant in-depth academic studies on disappearances, which ... Read More
The Island of mass graves
by Nilantha Ilangamuwa

Sri Lanka is once again on the edge of a political crucible in terms of its international relations as well as in its domestic politics. The country is ignoring calls for an independent and credible investigation into alleged wartime atrocities while at the same time carrying out atrocities against its own people.
None of the elected or appointed officials have been able to fulfil even the basic requirements of their offices, but instead put ... Read More
The dying of men and institutions
It would be a fair guess to say that not even the most perceptive amongst us could have predicted the extreme degeneration of the police service and most unfortunately, the country's judicial institution, in post-war Sri Lanka.
Taking the road less traversed
This week, Ranjith Abeysuriya, a President's Counsel well worth that honorific title quite unlike the politically compromised nitwits of the present day, passed away. An oft-heard joke in the legal profession is that a criminal ... Read More
Bar Association slams explanations of deaths in police custody as 'blatant' lies
The Standing Committee of the Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has issued a strong statement condemning the death of criminal suspects in police custody saying that the ``acceptance of such blatant manifest untruths has made a mockery of the administration of justice in the country.''
Commenting on the series of deaths of persons in police custody as suspects over the commission of criminal offences, the statement says: ``It is an insult ... Read More
Deaths in police custody are of serious concern
Series of deaths of persons in police custody as suspects regarding the commission of criminal offences is of serious concern. The identical explanations given by the police regarding each such case of death while in custody and acceptance of such blatant manifest untruths has made a mockery of the system of administration of justice in our country. It is an insult to the intelligence of our people if the police expect the people to believe ... Read More
Judicial mind and judicial matters
By Rajan Philips -

(Courtesy, Sunday Island of 11th May and 18th May 2014)

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. You might cynically apply this old aphorism to the judicial mind and judicial matters in Sri Lanka. Increasingly, the grey matter of intelligence, erudition, wisdom and independence is becoming too scarce in Sri Lanka's judicial mind, and what can you do when you hear of judicial matters such as the now customary cavalier ... Read More
A man is thrown into a barrel with a cobra and left to die
A man was bitten four times by a venomous cobra after being forced into a barrel with the snake by a criminal gang operating a baby elephant stealing racket in Sri Lanka

This story was reported in several news channels.

The victim, Dammika Nisantha, a resident of Sevanagala, a village area in Sri Lanka, is the father of two children. Dammika, is presently being treated at the Embilipitiya General Hospital. According to Dammika, he was made to ... Read More
Buddhism links India, Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan envoy
New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Buddhism stands for harmony, tolerance ad equity, and has been one of the many links between India and Sri Lanka, the island country's envoy said here Wednesday.

"Buddhism is a religion of peace and therefore its followers should spread the message of peace in the world," High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam said.

He was speaking at a function to celebrate the 2,558th Buddha Jayanti organised by the Young Men Buddhist Association at the ... Read More
'Sri Lanka to Implement UN Resolution Demands Except International Probe'

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said Sri Lanka is in the process of implementing all demands made by the sponsors of the UNHRC resolution against it except for allowing an international probe into alleged human rights violations during the last phase of the war with the LTTE.

The assertion was made by the Sri Lankan President during a meeting yesterday with Seiji Kihara, Japan's Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Rajapaka told the Japanese Minister, ... Read More
No country is rich enough to pay for the cost of lawlessness
Sri Lankans have just been confronted with the abduction of two policemen, one of whom was assassinated. The other narrowly escaped by struggling and running into the jungle naked. He is now receiving treatment in a hospital. This incident happened at Kurunegala. The immediate reaction of some persons who were interviewed by the press agencies was: if this is what is happening to our policemen, what can we expect for ourselves? Such reactions sum up ... Read More
Unlawful arrest & deportation of a British tourist
Ms. Naomi Michelle Coleman, a British Tourist with wide travel experience in many Buddhist Countries who had a large tattoo of the Buddha and of a Hindu God on a lotus flower on her right arm, arrived in Sri Lanka on 21st April 2014. She passed through immigration counters and came out of the Airport to the arrivals lounge and came out of the main arrival building. She responded to the media before being deported ... Read More
Tisaranee Gunasekara

"My opinion is that nobody can make men responsible for the violence against women. Women are responsible for it…"

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa

Aminal al-Filali was fifteen when she was raped.

According to Morocco's penal-code, a rapist could escape prosecution if he married his victim. Amina did not want to marry her rapist; but the rapist was willing, her parents were willing and the judge was willing.

After several months of abusive marriage, Amina drank rat-poison. She was ... Read More
Tribute to Mr Richards D Karunairajan – A Unique Social Leader
Thank you all for coming to help us and share our grief at his
departure. I am Maheswarakurukkal Saravanapava Iyer (Bavan)
attached to the University of Jana, and Victor Anna and I have
been best friends since 1974; since then I have sought to know
and understand this great leader. To me, he was my guiding
light and mentor; he set the example of what a perfect social
leader and friend should be. I was amazed with the humility in
this great ... Read More
The abuse of Presidential Pardon
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 ... Read More
Stop Peddling (with drug dealers) and Meddling (with terrorists) in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.
What next? Do the British think that Sri Lanka is still a colony to hold their informants?

It is also a reflection of the QUALITY of information that BRITAIN seems to be basing their decisions on. This is no surprise given that the UN report based their information on a Tamil tiger terrorist information site (using the terrorist propaganda as credible) and of course using the information provided by separatist terrorist to form their foreign policy ... Read More
UN investigation offers hope to victims in Sri Lanka
UN investigation offers hope to victims in Sri Lanka The UN Human Rights Council resolution to establish an international investigation into allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed by both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war gives hope to tens of thousands of victims who continue to be denied truth and justice, the International Commission of Jurists said today.

“The resolution sends a strong message to the Government of Sri Lanka that the international community ... Read More
19 Tamil Nadu fishermen released by Sri Lanka
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha today ordered the release of all the 19 Indian fishermen, who were remanded to judicial custody till April 4, officials in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu said.

They were arrested by the Lankan Navy yesterday off Katchatheevu.

Mannar Court Judicial Magistrate Anandhi had remanded the Rameswaram fishermen to custody today.
... Read More
Sri Lanka Rejects UN Rights Probe

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse rejected today's UN Human Rights Council resolution ordering a war crimes probe, saying he would instead press ahead with his own reconciliation plan.

"We reject this," Rajapakse said. "This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help.

"But I am not discouraged. We will continue with the reconciliation process I have started," he added in a phone call to AFP.

In a 23-12 vote, the council backed a ... Read More
The arrest of Rev. Fr. Proveen and Ruki Fernando
Bishop's House, Jaffna

We the Catholics of the entire Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, comprising of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna Districts are sad and perturbed to know from the media that Reverend Father Proveen Mahesan, resident at Amathipuram, an Oblate settlement and Rukki Fernando a Human Rights activist of the South have been arrested in the Kilinochchi area and have since been taken to Colombo for questioning by the TID.

Rev. Fr. Proneen Mahesan omi (Oblate of ... Read More
Ethics of an ethnic war
Dr Leonard Pinto

Although the ethnic war between the Tamil LTTE and the Sinhalese forces of the Sri Lankan government ended in May 2009, the ethics of the conflict is still current. It is being discussed in institutions in Geneva, USA, Canada, UK, EU and many other countries. It is the ethics of the war that the international community is concerned, as it has major implications in global ethics. The issues surrounding this ethnic war also ... Read More
Release Balendran Jeyakumari - stop harassments of human rights defenders!
Today, as the United Nations commemorates the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) reiterates its strong condemnation against the arbitrary arrest and detention of Balendran Jeyakumari and her 13-year old daughter and the intensifying intimidation and harassment against Rukj Fernando and Father Praveen after their release from detention.

Balendran Jeyakumari's husband disappeared during the war against ... Read More
Maya Anthony
Reporting from Geneva
When terrorist supporters masquerading as human rights activists appeared in Geneva, US and UK representatives canvassing for votes to move a resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva distanced themselves. The presence of the LTTE activists operating through front organizations in the West embarrassed the US and European diplomats. After disseminating hate propaganda and funding violence over the years, these activists now function through the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Global Tamil Forum, Nediyawan ... Read More
The Sri Lankan Government retaliates to proposed the Human Rights Council resolution
A draft resolution promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka is to be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The proposed resolution calls for, among other things, the Office of the High Commissioner, "To lead a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka and establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes committed with ... Read More
Arrest and detention of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen OMI
The Law and Society Trust is deeply disturbed by the arrest of former staff member of the Law and Society Trust, Mr. Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen, OMI from Kilinochchi on Sunday 16th March 2014.

Mr. Fernando worked with the Law and Society Trust for five years until April 2012 as head of the Human Rights in Conflict Programme. He was a deeply committed campaigner for human rights and is widely known and highly respected ... Read More
Arbitrary detention of Human Rights Defenders
Colombo: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention last week of several individuals in the North and East, including Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). CPA condemns these attempts by the Government of Sri Lanka to silence critics and supress legitimate civil society activity. We call for the immediate release of all activists including Balendran Jeyakumari, Ruki Fernando and Fr. ... Read More
The arrest of activist Jayakumari and her 13-year-old daughter
Yesterday (13th March 2014) one of the leading Killinochchi activists and her daughter who have been in the frontline protesting and demanding for the whereabouts of the missing have been arrested by the CID.

Balendran Jayakumari (resident of Tharmapurum) and her daughter Vithushaini (13 years) have been detained in their home (No. 5 Musalumpitty, Pullium Pokkanai, Tharmapurum , Killinochchi- Indian housing scheme) from around 4 pm till around 10 pm. Jayakumari called a politician around 4 ... Read More
The appointment and dismissal of judges is the sole privilege of the executive president
The judgement of the Supreme Court which was given last week held that the judgement of the Court of Appeal allowing the writ of Certiorari on the parliament of Sri Lanka was wrong. The simple argument of the five judges is that the parliament of Sri Lanka, like the parliament of Great Britain enjoys supremacy of parliament which excludes the possibility of any jurisdiction being exercised by the courts over anything that it does. The ... Read More
Illegal eviction of families residing at Wanathamulla
The Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, condemns the action that is being taken by the Urban Development Authority to illegally evict families residing at Wanathamulla, Borella without resort to the law on acquisition of private property. What is of deep concern is the use of army personal to threaten and intimidate residents to vacate their premises. This is in blatant violation of the law and ... Read More
U.S. Envoy to Visit Sri Lanka as Pressure Builds for War Crimes Inquiry
By Gardiner Harris
NEW DELHI — A top State Department official is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday, just three days after the United States announced that it would again seek a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council pressing for an investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.
... Read More
Disasters hit 1.6 mn people, but Met equipment remains outdated – UNP
Billions of rupees had been wasted on government propaganda exercises but the Meteorological Department was not properly equipped and the Disaster Management Website, too, remained outdated due to lack of funds, an Opposition legislator charged yesterday.

Eran Wickremeratne MP told The Island it was shocking that despite a total of over 1.6 million people being affected by disasters in the last two years, the Rajapaksa regime could not find just one billion rupees to update equipment ... Read More
Badurueliya Hospital to be reopened after weeklong shutdown
In the early morning of December 27, the authorities addressed a large crowd of people protesting outside Badureliya District Hospital. They had come to support a Member of Parliament who was staging a hunger strike demanding the reopening of the hospital. The authorities announced to the crowd that the hospital would be reopened the next morning.

The hospital was closed down after the death of a local man. The man was taken to the hospital in ... Read More
Catholic Bishops on independence of judiciary and independent Commissions
Following is an extract from the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, entitled 'Towards Reconciliation and Rebuilding of the Nation'.

In this exercise the independence of the Judiciary should be preserved and defended at all cost. The Judiciary which has the sacred role of interpreting and applying the meaning of a given law should be totally free from interference by the other stake holders of power, the legislature and the executive. The ... Read More
British Tamils Call for Putting Pressure on Lanka

The Tamil community in Britain is mounting pressure on the British establishment to compel Sri Lanka to an early reconciliatory action.

Shadow Foreign Minister Douglas Alexander at a meeting with the British Tamils was told to put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to seek an international inquiry in Sri Lanka by breaking the March, 2014, deadline, British media reports said. ... Read More
SRI LANKA/AUSTRALIA: PM's stance validates torture
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka at the weekend, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that while his government ''deplores the use of torture, we accept that sometimes, in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen''.

His statement is not only legally and morally indefensible, it is also factually incorrect. Torture is prohibited under international law precisely because it is so reprehensible that no civilised society accepts it. The prohibition is absolute. Circumstances, no matter ... Read More
India offers to train Sri Lanka Navy
Colombo: India on Friday offered to train Sri Lankan naval officers as part of ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries.

The offer was made by visiting Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Joshi is in Sri Lanka to attend the international naval maritime conference held in the southern port town of Galle.

The Indian Navy will offer training to Sri Lankan naval officers to follow the four-year Bachelor of Technology ... Read More
Murders and extrajudicial killings
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 ... Read More
Bringing the military into all areas of life
The announcement by the de facto chief justice, Mohan Pieris, to introduce regulations in order to limit the maximum age to practice as a lawyer to 70 and to impose further regulations for the renewal of the licenses of lawyers every two years, comes as no surprise.

The government's aim is to bring the military into all areas of life and to spread an authoritarian rule through the entire fabric of society. This implies the ... Read More
Australia Law Council condemns Sri Lanka's worsening rule of law
The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has joined a chorus of criticism directed at the Sri Lankan government over the state of the rule of law in the country.

LCA president Michael Colbran QC said he was particularly concerned by reports of threats and intimidation directed at members of the legal profession and judiciary in Sri Lanka.

He singled out the impeachment of the former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka in January, claiming the dismissal did not ... Read More
The truth and torture of commissions and ommisions
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 ... Read More
AHRC condemns the state media attack on Nimalka Fernando
The threats posed to the life of Ms. Nimalka Fenando, a well-known trade unionist, political activist and a human rights defender, by the commercial channel of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation on November 4, 2013 is yet another example of the stark and blatant abuse of the State Media to intimidate, harass and humiliate a person, purely for political reasons.

The manner in which the State media has been abused -- in this instance by the ... Read More
That’s the president of Sri Lanka, PM, not one of your fags
by Rod Little, Sunday Times
I have to say, I thoroughly approve of the manner in which our prime minister has decided to deal with foreigners, especially jumped–up foreigners who by rights should really still be part of our dominion and thus be doing as they’re bloody well told.

David Cameron struck precisely the right note with a man called Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is somehow running a place that I think we’d all prefer to ... Read More
David Cameron – Winston Churchill is not the best example for Sri Lanka to follow
David Cameron has asked Sri Lanka’s President to act like Winston Churchill. That really isn’t the best of examples to give because in looking up Winston Churchill his policies is nothing that Sri Lanka or any of its leaders adopted or would care to adopt just because Churchill said ‘victory in magnanimity’ – he said a lot more horrible things too. Even Germany called Churchill a war criminal. Next, David Cameron wants us to draw ... Read More
Diplomacy salvages Lanka fiasco; Sujatha meets Tamil leaders
Washington, Nov. 14: If the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening in Colombo today had a prize for “special mention” in dealing with the intricacies of the Tamil problem that has bedevilled the summit, it ought to go to foreign secretary Sujatha Singh.
She made the best of a bad situation that domestic politics has placed India in at the CHOGM, and her meeting today with veteran Sri Lankan Tamil politician R. Sambanthan was ... Read More
Cameron calls for international rights probe in Sri Lanka
Colombo: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday threatened to push for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes at the climax of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by March 2014.

Cameron has been the most vocal critic of Sri Lanka's record on rights during a biennale summit of Commonwealth nations being held in the capital Colombo. The normally sedate event has been ... Read More
Sri Lanka Briefs forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Violations of Commonwealth Values while the CHOGM 2013 in Progress

* HR festival obstructed; Hate campaign launched
* Foreign journalists blocked visiting Jaffna
* Jaffna protest organisers threatened; people blocked
* Flights to Jaffna cancelled; Visit to East cancelled
* Canada denied pro govt media reports
* Sharma given 3 proposals to implement

Leader of the opposition attacked on his way to HR festival

An unidentified group has made an attempt to attack the opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe a short while ago , who participated in the Human ... Read More
No tears for departed Attorney Generals
Why I have no tears for departed Attorney Generals:
Do we feel sorry for ones extinguishing the light Leaving everything in the dark?
Is there any crime worse than
Killing the soul of a nation?
Is not justice the soul of the nation?

Subverting justice was raised
To an art.
Molding the young to lie
Without compunction.
Teaching the abductors and murderers
In uniform to lie under oath
And crafting them false affidavits
To subvert the writ of habeas corpus.
Cynically putting into wastepaper baskets Thousands and thousands ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Development – What the World Leaders Saw and Said
If North or East Sri Lanka had not seen development of the kind it is presently witnessing after a stop gap of 30 years, that fault lies entirely with the LTTE. The fault lies partly with foreign Governments and International Humanitarian and UN Agencies whose offices were virtually next door to the LTTE offices. What begs an answer is why none of LTTE’s calculated, premeditated murders never went beyond a standard diplomatic statement while in ... Read More
A solution to the Fishing Rights conflict between Sri Lanka and India
Dr. Leonard Pinto

Anybody can make a claim to the fish in the open sea. But, once caught, it becomes the property of one who caught it. However, the Law of the Sea 1982, provides the proprietary country the exclusive right to its natural resources, including fishery resource within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles (1 nautical mile =1.151 miles) from the shore, and legal rights in the territorial water, extending to 12 ... Read More
Tamil Politicians – Priests – Public Officials and Academics killed by the LTTE
However much the TNA or the new Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran attempts to turn a megalomaniac terrorist banned by 32 foreign nations as a Terrorist Organization, into a ‘HERO’ there are some hard facts that Tamils should not forget. First reminder is - LTTE’s first killing spree started not by killing Sinhalese but by killing Tamils – the popular Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah became Prabakaran’s first target followed by scores of ... Read More
Director says video shows Sri Lanka army committed war crimes
By Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal

(Reuters) - A documentary maker said on Friday video of a Tamil Tiger television presenter suggests she was captured alive and killed, rather than dying in the chaotic end of Sri Lanka's three decade war.

The footage is in the documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", the fourth by British journalist and director Callum Macrae to allege the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes at the end ... Read More
Lanka's Northern Province CM praises India
Colombo: Sri Lanka's Northern Province Chief Minister CV Vigneswaran has praised India for its efforts in securing the provincial council elections in his country.

"After 30 years of war and 4 years of peace, we were able to gain an election for the north. India's attention was important there," newly elected Vigneswaran told reporters after meeting a European Union delegation yesterday.

73-year-old Vigneswaran, a former Supreme Court judge, became the chief minister following the landslide victory of ... Read More
Beware – Adverse implications of CHOGM to Sri Lanka
Ranil Wickremasinghe wanted to celebrate the arrival of Portuguese in 1505 and that lost him the election for his foolhardy suggestion not realizing Sri Lanka was a predominantly Buddhist nation and Portuguese banned the practice of Buddhism. The present scenario appears no different and our reservations to the Government come with the advice not to make that same mistake. CHOGM is a celebration of all that was associated with the British. British rule and their ... Read More
What should be the role of the army?
Chief Minister Wigneswaran – So you want the Sri Lankan Army in barracks but you have no issues with the army building houses for Tamils?

What can we deduce when a former Supreme Court judge now turned Chief Minister of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka in the presence of the Governor of the North delivers a speech and tells the Governor in no uncertain terms that he is not welcome and must go because the ... Read More
The day of commemoration for the disappeared - may God save us from madness
On 27 October, about 400 persons from the north and south, most of whom are family members of disappeared persons, gathered at the Monument for the Disappeared at Raddaluwa, Seeduwa. Like the gatherings in previous years, this year's too was a very sad spectacle to watch. Several of the persons carried flowers or a candle to place before their loved ones, whose photographs are set in the marble of the monument.

There are many disappeared family ... Read More
Sri Lanka Northern Elections: Deciphering the Tamil Voter Mentality
No critic can say Sri Lanka is moving to ‘authoritarian’ rule given that a free and fair election has been held, the people of the Northern Province has voted for the 2nd time since the defeat of terrorism in 2009. What is important at this stage is to decipher the voter mentality of the Tamils and to wonder how many of them are ‘separatist’, ‘racist’ or ‘castetist’ because they have placed their vote in a ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s National Identity
Contrary to what is erroneously being promoted the Sinhela race did not descend from banished King Vijaya of India. The discovery of the Balangoda man depicts a rich civilization going back 38000 years. Undoubtedly what distinguishes the Sinhala people is their Sinhala language – both people and language found nowhere else in the world except in Sri Lanka. Thus, they become a distinct community with a unique language, Sinhale culture and literature evolved and developed ... Read More
Did LTTE’s Adele Balasingham inspire Kenyan Mall killer Samantha Lewthwaite?
Shenali D Waduge

What happens when people like Adele Balasingham, Beate Arnestad and Niromi de Soyza glorify terrorism and make martyrs out of female terrorists? People like Samantha Lewthwaite emerges and killings like the Kenyan Mall slaughter resulting in over 100 innocent people being gunned down mercilessly takes place. Public killings have been a hallmark of the LTTE nothing that the ‘international community’ chose to do anything about. Adele Balasingham pioneered and trained female terrorists and ... Read More
Most of the 19 ‘Journalists’ killed were, or by, LTTE
The Committee for the Protection of Journalists – CPJ has released a list of 19 ‘journalists’ it claims to have been killed since 1992 in Sri Lanka. CPJ includes 39 journalists killed worldwide in 2013 – none reported in Sri Lanka since January 2009. In total 1007 journalists are said to have been killed worldwide since 1992, 595 of this number murdered with impunity, whatever that implies, meanwhile 456 journalists are said to live in ... Read More
A report on marginalization and sexual violence against women in the north and east
The Minority Rights Group International has published a report entitled, 'Living with insecurity: Marginalization and sexual violence against women in north and east Sri Lanka'.

The executive summary of the report is as follows:

Four years since the end of the armed conflict, the situation of minority women in the north and east of Sri Lanka has changed dramatically — and for many it is getting worse. In the latter stages of the conflict and its aftermath, ... Read More
Early Publication of the Inquiry Reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots a Must
An Appeal for the Early Publication of the Inquiry Reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots

This intervention is made in a spirit of democratic engagement by the Friday Forum, a group of concerned citizens who have come together to consider current issues of public interest with a view to making a contribution to peace, democracy, good governance and social justice in Sri Lanka.

When persons in the custody of a state institution meet with violent ... Read More
Sri Lanka must say NO to animal sacrifice and ban this vile practice forthwith
We again visit the topic of animal sacrifice and probably will continue to do so until the moral and ethical dimension of killing animals born no different to man comes to a halt. Christians and Jews must receive plaudits for evaluating the practice of animal sacrifice in the light of modern day ethical thinking and deciding to end the act of ritual slaughter. It remains only for Muslims to decide though we know that despite ... Read More
What exactly is World Vision upto again in North Sri Lanka?
Shenali D Waduge

When the armed forces sacrificed their lives to give Sri Lanka peace it was expected that the governing establishment would take over the task to ensure incursions and challenges to Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and the rights of the people were not threatened. The Government is well aware that over 3000 NGOs/humanitarian agencies and charity organizations prevailed throughout the conflict for reasons best known by them with little to show of money ... Read More
Protest banned in the month of November for the CHOGM
The CHOGM meeting is scheduled to begin on November 15. The government of Sri Lanka has banned protests in the city of Colombo in the month of November. The government has taken this action under the Public Security Regulations and directed that protests, marches and any display of banners and black flags is banned during the first three weeks of the month. The special regulations will be in place in areas that are to be ... Read More
Sadistic tendencies of the Lankan police
The following interview was originally printed in the latest issue of the Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives.

An Interview with Dr. Sunil Cooray on Torture in Sri Lanka

Dr. Sunil Cooray is a senior lawyer who is very well known in Sri Lanka. He has been in legal practice for 46 years. He is the author of the two volumes of the authoritative text Principles of Administrative Law in Sri Lanka. Basil Fernando of the ... Read More
Networking for Rights forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission
SRI LANKA: Six weeks since the 'robbery' of journalists Mandana's residence - No proper inquiry held, intimidations continue and her service terminated by the Sunday Leader

Networking for Rights notes with great concern that though it is more than a month since the alleged "break-in" of the residence of Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader, no worthwhile investigation has taken place to bring the culprits to book and to find out the real ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s Tamils
“NOW win the peace”, is common advice to victors of a civil war. Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ended a nearly three-decade long conflict in 2009, but his efforts to produce stability look badly skewed. He, along with Tamil leaders, are storing up troubles ahead.

Tour the north, where secessionist Tamil Tiger rebels once ruled, and signs of material progress abound. Since the war’s end splendid roads have spread, along with a web of pylons bringing ... Read More
Sri Lanka backs off on taking up issue of dropping of Pali for IAS exams
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country whatever schemes are being attempted to overtly and covertly dilute and change this fact. We are well aware of these agendas. Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees foremost place to Buddhism and imposes a mandatory duty on the State not only to protect but also ‘foster’ Buddhism, an obligation confined exclusively only to Buddhism vis a vis all other religions prevalent in Sri Lanka.

Pali (also Pa?i) is ... Read More
Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters
There is something more than fishy about the sudden surge in Indian fishermen poaching on Sri Lankan territorial waters leading to a diplomatic debacle between India and Sri Lanka. Given that the culprits are fishermen and fishing is their livelihood what no one seems to answer is, did the LTTE face similar incursions by Indian fishermen and if so how did India, Tamil Nadu and the LTTE deal with the matter? It is pretty obvious ... Read More
The unwelcome Sepoy Mission of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Sri Lanka
A daily problematic issues faced by Sri Lanka as a result of its hegemonic neighbour India are many and have continued through history. When we thought our heroic forces ended the Indian trained and financed LTTE terrorism and brought peace, we now find ourselves facing far more calamities than LTTE suicide missions and bombs. When we thought developing the North, giving freedom to LTTE-enslaved Tamils would bridge divisions, we find TNA the LTTE proxy manipulated ... Read More
Sinhala publication is available
The Sinhala publication, Manawe Himikam is a monthly journal devoted to discussions on current issues. In this edition several issues are discussed.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr. Navi Pillay's visit to Sri Lanka - a translation of her interview at the end of her visit.
The Asian Human Rights Commission's report on features of the increasing authoritarianism - a translation.
A comment on the inquiry into the killings by the military at ... Read More
The lessons and choices for contemporary leaders and nationals - Part 2
One can barter and sacrifice history, heritage and one’s religion like Don Juan Dharmapala , one can strike peace pacts like King Senerath of Kandy did in 1617 which Portuguese broke in 1628 by taking Trinco and Batticaloa (this was the same king who on compassionate grounds resettled Muslim traders whom the Portuguese under Constantino de Sá de Noronha were going to annihilate under orders from the Portuguese King, in the Eastern region of ... Read More
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka - Some significant issues, PART 1
Unless and until anyone can prove that ethnic animosities between the Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus had prevailed throughout Sri Lanka’s history there is no compelling need to use uncritically western concepts such as ‘reconciliation’.

Genesis of Reconciliation

The Government and people of Sri Lanka must be warned of embracing ideas that have had origin in western settler countries to meet contingencies that were peculiar to their societies and irrelevant to older countries with rich civilizations ... Read More
'Judgeitis' -- disease of the judges
The Guardian reported on September 11 that Lord Carlisle has argued for an inspectorate of judges which could deal with problems before they lead to complaints. Meanwhile new regulations dealing with complaints against judges come into force at the beginning of next month. The new regulations come on the basis of the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005. The Reform Act gives power to the Lord Chief Justice to make regulations dealing with misconduct by ... Read More
Lanka becomes freedom from torture's top country of origin for referrals
As revealed by our recently published 2012/13 Annual Review, Sri Lanka surged ahead to become the top country of origin for those referred to Freedom from Torture for clinical services in 2012.

Of 1,301 people referred to us for torture rehabilitation and forensic documentation services in 2012, 228 were of Sri Lankan nationality. The vast majority of these were ethnic Tamils and most were referred to us by concerned GPs or solicitors representing them in their ... Read More
TNA separatist Manifesto leaves India betrayed again
There is nothing to be surprised about the TNA manifesto – while it attempts to distance itself from the LTTE it continues to cling on to the one slogan that it can bind the Tamils and that is the dream of a separate Tamil State. That dream appears to be close to reality that it must be sending shockwaves to the Indian establishment who are being told that the 13th amendment is not the solution. ... Read More
How many Tamils think like Arun Thambimuttu
Would anyone imagine that a Tamil would say that Tamils were pinching themselves still because they did not believe that the LTTE could be defeated? Would a Tamil say that Tamils thought that LTTE would be revived months after its demise? Would a Tamil say that Tamils were mostly economic refugees and NGOs were using them to project a wrong picture. Well one gentlemen has come forward to confront the lies and his questions are ... Read More
The debate on multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism
Dr Leonard Pinto

We need to define the concepts of multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism before entering into a debate on their application, practice and future direction in Sri Lanka. Multiculturalism refers to that trend in the society where the different cultures are made inclusive, tolerated and accommodated, and these trends are institutionalised in legislation to respect other cultures. Canada, Australia and other western countries, where multiculturalism is the national policy, respect religions, ethnicity and cultures of ... Read More
When TNA lives in Colombo and ‘Eelam’ is elsewhere
Let’s explore a very simple question. Exactly how does the TNA propose to give dignity to the Tamils by living away from them? Do they propose to run 'Eelam' by remote control from Colombo? How many trips have the chief ministerial candidate made to Sri Lanka’s North or even East during LTTE reign or even after its demise apart from the recent visits to campaign? Do the TNA even know areas of the North now ... Read More
The need for public engagement and vigilance to ensure free and fair elections
A delegation of the Friday Forum met recently with the Commissioner of Elections Mr Mahinda Deshapriya with a view to initiating a constructive exchange of views on measures taken by him to ensure free and fair provincial elections. Mr. Deshapriya emphasised the responsibilities of the public and the voters in these elections to be vigilant and to make their own contribution to a free and fair electoral process. In light of these discussions and ... Read More
Workers strike to protest
Workers strike to protest against the Moratuwa police for torturing a partially disabled colleague

Last week a shocking story was revealed in the media. On August 21 2013 P. Chandana Thushara Peiris, (32), the father of one child was arrested by the Moratuwa police and severely tortured to force him to confess to having possessed bombs and having committed several other crimes. When the family learned about the arrest they visited him at the Moratuwa Police ... Read More
Focus on civilian policing
by Basil Fernando

Within just a few days of the announcement of the new ministry, the Ministry of Law and Order, a rather unusual level of interest has emerged, judging by the many articles that have appeared in response to the government’s move. Though such quick responses are unusual, they are not surprising. If anyone is asked to point out some of the most pressing issues of public importance, the issue of the civilian police would ... Read More
The Armed Forces are now the police
On July 3rd 2013, President Mahinda Rajapaksha published a gazette that authorized the armed forces to engage in “the maintenance of public order”. Last week, he announced a new ministry under the title “the Ministry of Law and Order”. By these two acts, the Sri Lankan civilian police have been virtually reduced to nothing, and their function – which is to maintain law and order – has now been handed over to the armed forces.

The ... Read More
Civilians murdered by LTTE in Sri Lanka in non-combat areas and during ceasefires
What or who gave the right to terrorists and their movements to plan, execute and eliminate people? What or who gave terrorists rights when they are not signatory or bound by the international laws that prevail? Who gave terrorists any right to declare war on nations and with what right have some even entertained these notions that have obliterated situations beyond repair? What or who gave terrorists right to be placed on par with legitimate ... Read More
Change the Name of the “Law and Order Ministry” to the “Rule of Law” Ministry
By Basil Fernando

There is nothing in a name, of course. A thing cannot be made sweet-smelling or foul-smelling merely by changing its name. However, sometimes a name can indicate a new direction, a new policy. As far as responding to the present state of nationwide unhappiness and frustration on the law enforcement, if there is going to be a change then it does require a new direction and a change of policy. If the idea ... Read More
35 TN fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy
Thirty five Tamil Nadu fishermen were on Monday arrested and four boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy while they were fishing between Talaimannar and Dhanushkodi in the Palk Strait, official sources said.

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the fishermen for allegedly violating the International Maritime Boundary line, the sources said.

The fishermen had been lodged in an army camp at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, the sources said.
... Read More
Who in Sri Lanka suffers from a Stockholm syndrome and unrequited post-colonial love?
The Question is – Are we proud of gaining independence, do we regret that we gained independence and most importantly are we working towards giving up our independence? It is in the backdrop of these questions that we cannot pretend that with or without CHOGM the British Government has been leading every rebuttal against Sri Lanka at every opportunity. The bewildering scene is that despite the darts that continuously point towards Sri Lanka, like a ... Read More
New ‘Law and Order Ministry’ is a further step towards militarization
The establishment of a Law and Order Ministry under the President has been announced. The Secretary to this Ministry, according to reports, is Major General (Retired) Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer. Maj.Gen. Mallawarachichi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army. He later became the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia. He reported to have played a major role in kidnapping Kumaran Pathmanathan of the LTTE from a hotel and taking ... Read More
The military should make inquiries from soldiers and not from the people
On August 15 (yesterday) people from Rathupaswela, Weliweriya, were asked to go to the army camps in order to record evidence from them. The people did not want to go to the camps for obvious reasons. Previous reports revealed that the people are afraid that those who are witnesses to the events which led to the killing of three persons and assaults on many others would become targets of reprisals. Some people sought the help ... Read More
The need to introduce studies in Killology
Newspapers have published discussions between the president and the representatives from the Rathupaswela, Weliweriya incident. A possible settlement was mentioned by way of the removal of the factory, Venigross Ltd., a subsidiary of Dipped Products PLC, from its present location. However, the reports do not mention a word about the killings of at least three persons and the injuries caused to many others by the assaults of the soldiers.

Surely the killings of the three persons ... Read More

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