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November 22, 2017 [GMT]
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The Puja against TN held SuccessfullyTop News
[Friday 2013-04-12 14:00]

The Adhistana Puja organized by the Sri Lankan artists as a response to the fast made by the Kollywood movie stars was held yesterday (1) in the evening at the Independence square. The puja was titled 'come see the truth' and was sponsored by the Govt. Many artists including Actors and Actresses, directors, singers and production groups were seen at the event organized by the prominent director Mr. Jayantha Chandrasiri. The puja was conducted in all the tree languages and it was also broadcast-ed in Hindhi to target India. At the end of the puja the artists pleaded the world to visit Sri Lanka and witness the truth by themselves. The media coordination was done by the presidential media unit.

Sri Lanka Central Bank contracts US PR firm to enhance relations with US
[Friday 2013-04-12 14:00]

Sri Lanka's Central Bank has entered into an agreement with a public relations firm in the United States to enhance the relations between the two countries. The Monetary Board of the Central Bank has signed an agreement last month with the Washington-based Thompson Advisory Group to implement a relationship building program between the Sri Lankan and US governments. According to the contract, the Monetary Board has agreed to pay a total of Rs. 100 million (Approximately US$ 800,000) to the Thompson Advisory Group for the entirety of the services to be rendered. Under the agreement, the Monetary Board expects the Thompson Advisory Group to promote a political environment in the US that is more conducive to enhancing Sri Lanka's long term political and economic aspirations.

Can US ignore TNAs complicity in LTTE terror? Gotabhaya
[Friday 2013-04-12 14:00]

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that US Ambassador Michele J. Sison was either ignorant of the post-war situation in the country or chose to ignore it in deeping with the US agenda. Ambassador Sisons recent speech at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo was meant to strengthen those still pursuing a separatist agenda, both here and abroad, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa told The Island. The outspoken official was responding to Ambassador Sisons address to members of the Colombo based Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) on Wednesday evening. Commenting on the Ambassadors assertion that the resumption of a dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on political devolution is crucial, Rajapaksa said the US should realize the TNA was playing politics with the issue. He emphasized that the TNA had regained its right to represent Tamil speaking people again only after the eradication of the LTTE in May 2009. Until then, the TNA simply acted as the LTTEs mouthpiece both here and abroad.

Army Court of Inquiry Report incorrect - TNA
[Thursday 2013-04-11 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says that no justice can be expected from the ruling government for the country's minority Tamil people. TNA spokesman and Jaffna District MP Suresh Premachandran stated that the government never makes accurate statements regarding the grievances of the Tamil people. Rejecting the report compiled by the Court of Inquiry, appointed by the Army Commander to investigate and submit a report on the observations made by the LLRC and allegations made by Channel 4, Premachandran stated that nothing else can be expected from the government except such reports. Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya yesterday (10) handed over the 1st part of the Court of Inquiry Report to Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Army court clears troops
[Thursday 2013-04-11 18:00]

An army court of inquiry has, in a new report, cleared the military over allegations of targeting civilian locations during the final stages of the war. Human rights groups had raised doubts over investigations carried out by the army as the allegations are against the army in relation to some incidents reported during the war. The first part of the report of the army court was handed over to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya today. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa had made some observations pertaining to the Army and allegations made by Britain's Channel 4 television.

US cable credits Jaya with flushing out Tamil Tigers
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

The latest Wikileaks revelations throw light on how the LTTE influenced political parties in Tamil Nadu in the 1980's and 1990's, starting from the IPKF days till the crackdown on the dreaded outfit after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. Two dispatches sent by the US mission in Chennai to Washington - one in April 1990 and the other in March 2009 - compare contrasting approaches of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi towards the LTTE. Assuming office as chief minister soon after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, Jayalalithaa "ordered crackdown on the LTTE, which for long had operated openly in the state. A bureaucrat, who held a key security portfolio at the time, told post (embassy officials) that Jayalalithaa ordered him to do 'whatever it takes to finish off the LTTE' in Tamil Nadu, even if it required extrajudicial killings of LTTE associates in the state," said a dispatch sent by the then US consul general in Chennai, Andrew T Simkin.

Dr. Bandaranayake will not flee Sri Lanka
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

Controversially impeached Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, intends to remain in Sri Lanka despite reports in several media institutions that she is attempting to flee the country, Ceylon Today reliably learns. Speaking to Ceylon Today, on conditions of anonymity, lawyers close to the former Chief Justice said she has no intention, whatsoever, to leave the country. "As far as I know, there is no truth in the speculation that Dr. Bandaranayake is about to flee," a senior Attorney-at-Law, who wished to remain anonymous, told Ceylon Today. The lawyer further noted it is 'highly unlikely' that Dr. Bandaranayake would plan a getaway as she intends to refute the allegations regarding bribery and asset-declaration levelled against her by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Sri Lanka holds India responsible for protracted war with LTTE
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

Sri Lanka Wednesday held the Indian government responsible for the island's protracted war with the Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) . Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, responding to a statement by a former Indian diplomat, said had the then Indian government acted with responsibility Sri Lanka wouldn't have experienced a 30-year war. In the early stages of LTTE's armed struggle then India's government led by Indira Gandhi funded the terrorist outfit and trained its militants. Defence Secretary said India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in the island and some of those subverting Sri Lanka and blaming the Rajapaksa administration for the plight of Tamil speaking people were directly involved in protracting the conflict.

India should address their own HR violations - JHU
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) today said, before India sought to point its finger at Sri Lanka on war crimes allegations it should address the human rights violations of the Indian people including 93,000 disappearances in Kashmir which still remained unaddressed. JHU General Secretary and Science and Technology Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said, if the Indian Parliamentary Delegation which is currently in Sri Lanka had visited the country with honourable intentions, their visit would be welcome, but it was evident that the Indian visit was part of a protest campaign to further distort the country's image. The Minister said, during the Geneva UNHRC sessions India called on the country to hold an independent investigation on the last stages of the war, including in Nandikadal, where it was alleged that human rights violations took place.

Sampanthan tells govt. to halt violence against Tamils in North
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance yesterday called upon the Government to take immediate action to stop violence against the Tamil people in the North. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, making a special statement in Parliament, said the attacks on Tamil people were taking place with the active support, sanction and collusion of the government. Full text of the TNA leader's speech: "On Saturday, 30th March 2013, a mob of around 50 persons, who came in a procession along the A9 highway, carrying the national flag, attacked a meeting held at the Tamil National Alliance office of S. Shritharan, MP, in Kilinochchi by throwing rocks and concrete stones. In addition to S. Shritharan MP, S. Senathirajah MP, E. Saravanapavan MP and M. A. Sumanthiran MP were present there at that time. The members of Parliament were engaged in a meeting with about 100 residents of Kilinochchi relating to matters of concern to the Tamil People. This attack took place in the presence of the Kilinochchi Police, who did nothing to prevent it, and resulted in injuries to 13 persons and extensive damage to property.

Mihin Lanka decides to stop Trichy operations
[Thursday 2013-04-11 17:00]

Mihin Lanka, which operates four flights every week from Trichy to Colombo, has decided to stop operations from June 1. S K Mittal, executive director of Translaka, the Chennai-based general sales agency (GSA) for the airline, said the falling tourist traffic between Colombo and Trichy had forced the decision. "We have taken a decision to ground the four flights to Colombo because of lack of patronage on this sector," said Mittal. However, sources said the recent attacks on Sri Lankan tourists in Trichy region could have prompted the move. The decision will affect exports to Europe and West Asia from the region, which pass through Colombo. Mihin Lanka also connects Trichy with Sharjah and Bahrain. The Sri Lankan airline operates 18 services every week from Trichy to Colombo whereas no Indian airline connects the two cities.

Sonia behind TN drama - Champika
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 19:00]

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) states that the real reason behind the Indian Political party delegation's Sri Lanka should be carefully analyzed. Minister Patali Champika at a media briefing expressed today that they will only except the delegation if they consider Sri Lanka as a sovereign country. Minister further said that the Sri Lankan citizens are not in a lower state to treat them in the same way they did to the Sri Lanka monks, businessmen, artists and pilgrims. Mr.Ranawaka invited the Indian delegates to witness the true hospitality and the ethics of Sri Lankan people. He stressed that India should not look at or consider Sri Lanka as one of its states or a protectorate. He urged the delegates to learn how to work in harmony with the neighbors.

US Navy commander says Sri Lanka needs to reconcile divided nation
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 19:00]

The commander of United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Sri Lanka needs to move on and reconcile after the three-decade long war that divided the nation. "Sri Lanka needs to work to move past its recent history and reconcile a nation divided by many years of civil war," Admiral Locklear said in a prepared statement. Admiral Locklear was presenting an update on the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) to the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday. Speaking of South Asia, the USPACOM Commander said although India's relationship with Pakistan has gradually improved in recent years, US remains concerned as the progress could be quickly undone by a major terrorist attack.

Stop violence against Muslims - Sampanthan
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 16:00]

TNA parliamanetarian R. Sampanthan has made a special statement regarding the uprising violence against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Given below the full text of the speech made by R. Sampanthan at the parliament yesterday (09). 'I wish to make a statement on a most grave issue of national concern, relating to the safety, security and wellbeing of the Muslim people of this island. The Muslim people have been historical inhabitants of this island, and have contributed immensely to its development for many centuries. They have their own unique customs and traditions; food and dress; and are devout adherents of a very great religion. As the cultural benefactors of the Islamic Golden Age which spanned the 8th to the 13th centuries, the Muslim people of Sri Lanka have scaled the heights of the whole range of human endeavour - from art and music, to medicine and law, and science, enterprise, academics and so on.'

Govt. won't comply with UNHRC resolution: GL
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 16:00]

The Government yesterday reaffirmed in Parliament that it did not concur with the US-sponsored resolution adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions on March 22. Responding to a statement by Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said therefore the Government would not hold talks with anyone on the matters contained in the resolution. 'Sri Lanka cannot acquiesce with the resolution adopted. First and foremost among the reasons for such a decision is that the resolution calls for an oral update on Sri Lanka at the 24th session in September this year, and a comprehensive report at the 25th session in 2014. It means Sri Lanka will figure on the UN agenda every six months. When we survey the global situation, Sri Lanka is not a country with a troubling situation in the world. The proportionality of this resolution cannot be accepted as a result,' he said.

Gotabhaya reminds former Indian UN rep of his role in Colombo during 80s
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 16:00]

Had the then Indian government acted with responsibility, Sri Lanka wouldn't have experienced a 30-year war, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. People of all communities would have been still suffering horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined security forces campaign, the Defence Secretary said, noting that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism here, though some of those directly involved in subverting Sri Lanka were blaming the Rajapaksa administration for the plight of Tamil speaking people here. He was responding to former Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri.

Sri Lankan asylum seekers arrived in Australian port will be sent to Christmas Island
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 15:00]

A group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who arrived undetected at an Australian port yesterday will be sent to Christmas Island for processing, the Australian Minister for Brendan O'Connor said today. He further said that the group of 66 Sri Lankans who arrived in a boat at the Geraldton port on the West Australian coast boat Tuesday will be sent home directly if they are not exercising Australia's international obligations. "We will be sending them to Christmas Island for processing and the department has made the right call here. And if they cannot exercise our international obligations, as with many other recent Sri Lankan arrivals in our waters, they'll be sent directly, flown directly, to Colombo in Sri Lanka," O'Connor said.

India gave LTTE compensation for Indo-Lanka pact - WikiLeaks
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 15:00]

Did India compensate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after the 1987 Indo-Lanka pact and the dispatch of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka? The US administration believed so, according to a cable sent by its embassy here and released by Wikileaks. A cable dated April 5, 1988 cites newspaper reports, which quoted J N Dixit, then Indian envoy to Sri Lanka that a stipend was agreed upon and was to be paid to the LTTE by the Indian government in view of the tax loss it suffered after IPKF was sent. The US cable said Rs 50 lakh was the compensation paid to the LTTE in July 1987 and only one payment was made before September that year when LTTE walked out of the deal over its participation in the interim council.

Sri Ronald Clearly illustrates beyond any doubt that Sri Lanka has not only crossed that line, but trying to set a precedent that the Commonwealth movement is only good on print.
[Wednesday 2013-04-10 10:00]

In an interview with Phoenix News Media, Sir Ronald Sanders who is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London in the UK explains his take on Commonwealth and Sri Lanka. Sir Ronald Sanders is an International Consultant, Writer and former senior Caribbean Ambassador.

As the current debate on Sri Lanka being the host-venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting goes beyond simply rhetoric and self-interest, the clarity Sir Ronald Sanders has provided serves as a striking rod on the purpose for its future existence. His immensely enriching response has come out at a time when the movement is at crossroads degenerated by the forces of undemocratic countries outside the movement and the wilful forces against the principles of the movement, within.

Lankan asylum seeker boat reaches Western Australia
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 15:00]

A boat packed with 66 asylum-seekers, thought to be from Sri Lanka, has managed to evade detection by border patrols and arrived at a port on the Australian mainland, officials say. The boat was spotted within the harbour limits of Geraldton in Western Australia, more than 2000km south of Christmas Island where asylum seekers coming to Australia are usually intercepted. The vessel arrived about 12 noon on Tuesday. 'Customs and Border Protection have advised a suspected irregular entry vessel arrived within the harbour limits of Geraldton this afternoon,' Australia's Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare confirmed. 'Initial indications suggest there are 66 people on board.'

LTTE spokesman's family gets asylum in Sweden
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 15:00]

The wife and children of Rasiah Ilanthiraiyan, who had been an LTTE spokesman have been given asylum in Sweden, a former LTTE reader Lohini Rathimohan told the BBC in an interview. She said that she also sailed in a refugee boat with them. Lohini is also among the refugees, who are now staying in Dubai under UNHCR care. When the boat they were sailing had broken down at sea, they contacted UN Refugees unit and were rescued by a ship sailing from Singapore to Dubai. Lohini Rathimohan spoke to BBC, when she was one among the19 asylum seekers, detained in Dubai under care of UNHCR. Human Rights Watch has requested UNHCR not to send them back to Sri Lanka.

Gota had no hand in Matale mass grave - Hullugalle
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 15:00]

Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said that there is an attempt to convict the defence secretary regarding the Matale mass grave. He made these comments in a media briefing yesterday (08) at the Media Centre for National Security. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would appoint an independent commission to inquire into the matter, he said. Commenting on the JVP accusation stating that the appointment of a presidential commission to investigate the mass grave is a government attempt to conceal information, Hulugalle said "No one can point a finger at the government as it was not in power during the 1986-1989 period. It was the JVP and the UNP which carried out killings'.

Sri Lanka government ready to conduct carbon tests on Matale mass grave
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 14:00]

Director General of Sri Lanka's Media Center for National Security Lakshman Hulugalla said the government if needed would bear the high costs and perform carbon dating tests on the human skeletal remains unearthed from a mass grave found in the Matale hospital premises. He said that further investigations are needed to verify the time period to which the human skeletons belong to although one expert has stated that they belong to the 1987-90 era. During those years the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) staged its second uprising and thousands of youths disappeared or were killed by the police.

LTTE could have threatened Karunanidhi, U.S. surmises
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 14:00]

Tamil Tigers might have threatened the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, in 1989 'with a significant increase in the level of militant violence in Tamil Nadu' if he did not 'boost their cause,' the United States surmised. 'While all agree that it would be counterproductive for Karunanidhi to continue overt support for the several losers among the Sri Lankan Tamil political groups, his energetic and unwavering and totally uncritical agreement with the LTTE's every move is raising numerous eyebrows, and alienating members of his own party... One extreme view, to which we do not subscribe, is that Karunanidhi is interested in a Tamil eelam variant for his Indian state. Another, perhaps more credible theory is that the LTTE has threatened Karunanidhi with a significant increase in the level of militant violence in Tamil Nadu, enough perhaps to lead to the imposition of President's rule, if he doesn't boost their cause,' says a cable from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai to its Embassy in New Delhi and the State Department .

Defence Secretary's mission in Kuragala
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 14:00]

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has given instructions to archaeology officials to take steps necessary for conserving the Balangoda Kuuragala sacred site as a place of archaeological value. The Defence Secretary gave this instruction when engaged in an observation tour of the Kuuragala sacred site yesterday(08). Currently the Muslim community is resident around the Kuuragala sacred site, which was a Buddhist monastery in the past. While IGP N. K. Ilangakoon too joined the tour, the board of trustees of the Kuuragala Mosque also participated in the occasion along with several Buddhist Monks including Venerable Ellaavala Medhaananda Thero. The Bodu Bala Sena has asked the Muslim residents to vacate the area before April 30th.

U.S. engagement with Sri Lanka robust and multifaceted despite the resolution
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 14:00]

The United States says that its engagement with Sri Lanka remains "robust and multifaceted" and hopes the partnership between the two countries can expand despite bringing a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The US-Sri Lanka relationship is not limited to a single agenda, but represents a truly multidimensional approach driven not by any short-term agenda but by long-term goals and partnerships, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombo Michele Sison said. Delivering a speech to the Foreign Correspondents Association on the "US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka", Ambassador Sison explained that while U.S. has concerns about some recent developments here, its relationship with the people of Sri Lanka is enduring.

Now, UNP faces another split ahead of PC polls
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

The main Opposition party, the UNP, is facing another debilitating split ahead of the forthcoming elections to Central and North Western Provinces, with some key UNP activists switching their allegiance to General (retired) Sarath Fonseka's newly registered Democratic Party (DP). The Central and North Western Provincial Councils are expected to be dissolved in June, though they can continue till the end of this year. DP leader Fonseka yesterday declared that he had the support of, what he called, the 'Alternative UNP' on the second day of the ongoing campaign in the North Western Province. Addressing a meeting at Galgamuwa, in the Kurunegala district, Fonseka said that he had the backing of the 'Alternative UNP' as well as the support of those disappointed with opposition political parties.

Extremist Buddhist leaders of Sri Lanka to visit US
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

Executive committee member Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization Dilantha Vithanage announced that a group of BBS delegates will soon visit the United States. The visitors include the Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero and the national organizer Witharandeniye Nanda Thero. Vithanage told media that the purpose of the visit is to construct a worldwide BBS network. BBS is a hardline anti US and anti-western Sinhala Buddhist organization which recently launched a wave of hate campaigns against Muslims. The organizations' vehement campaign succeeded in withdrawing Halal certification from food items. The Organization has further vowed to fight against the head covering of Muslim women.

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