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Switzerland Urged to Exercise Universal Jurissdiction to Arrest Visiting Ex Sri Lankan Admiral for War Crimes: TGTE
Published Date: 21/03/2017 (Tuesday)
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), have urged the Government of Switzerland to exercise Universal Jurisdiction to arrest visiting Sri Lanka’s retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed against Tamils during his time as Rear Admiral of the Sri Lankan Navy. It is not clear whether Sri Lankan Government will step in to protect retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara under diplomatic cover, since he belongs to the opposition political party led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse.
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‘We will not join the ICC; we will not include foreign judges’: PM
Published Date: 21/03/2017 (Tuesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his response to a special statement by Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament today, said Sri Lanka would not join the International Criminal Court (ICC), or include foreign judges in Sri Lanka’s judicial mechanism. “We will not join the ICC,” the Prime Minister said. “It is against the policy of the whole of South Asia”. “We will not include foreign judges in the judicial process,” he said emphatically, giving as proof of his intent a statement made earlier this month in which he pointed out that the inclusion of foreign judges in Sri Lanka’s judicial process was not feasible.
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Chinese Defense Minister called on President
Published Date: 20/03/2017 (Monday)
The Minister of Defense and State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China General Chang Wanquan who is on a official visit to Sri Lanka called on President Maithripala Sirisena today (March 20) at the official residence of the President. The President who recalled the long term relationship between Sri Lanka and China thanked for the support given by China for the independence and national security of Sri Lanka.
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Gota, Navi Pillay clash over clash over
Published Date: 19/03/2017 (Sunday)
I STILL believe he’s alive,” says Tharsini Santhirabose with a glazed, fixed smile. She last saw her husband, a fellow guerrilla for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in the final days of the civil war that ended with the Tigers’ obliteration in 2009. Up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to the UN, along with most of the remnants of the 10,000-strong separatist army and perhaps 5,000 hangers-on. The chances that Ms Santhirabose’s husband will reappear are virtually nil. No one knows precisely how many died or disappeared in the war. A fervently Tamil-nationalist Catholic bishop claims that, after the 26 years of fighting, 147,000 people, civilians and fighters, remain unaccounted for.
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NGOs screen controversial Sri Lankan civil war documentary
Published Date: 18/03/2017 (Saturday)
Several NGOs co-organised a screening of a controversial documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war last night, ahead of the sentencing of Lena Hendry who was found guilty of screening the same four years ago. However, the difference was that last night’s screening was done via online streaming, and not with any other form of media, such as film reel, videotape or DVD. A spokesman for one of the NGOs said the screening last night did not break any censorship laws in the country because it was streamed online.
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Thousands of victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war remain unaccounted for
Published Date: 17/03/2017 (Friday)
“I STILL believe he’s alive,” says Tharsini Santhirabose with a glazed, fixed smile. She last saw her husband, a fellow guerrilla for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in the final days of the civil war that ended with the Tigers’ obliteration in 2009. Up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to the UN, along with most of the remnants of the 10,000-strong separatist army and perhaps 5,000 hangers-on. The chances that Ms Santhirabose’s husband will reappear are virtually nil.
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UK Visas & Immigration: Changes to Immigration Rules
Published Date: 16/03/2017 (Thursday)
Today, 16 March, the Home Office has laid before Parliament a package of changes to the Immigration Rules. These changes mainly affect applications using Certificates of Sponsorship assigned by sponsors on or after 6 April 2017, the main changes are outlined below. Overseas criminal record certificates We are extending the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to Tier 2 (General) applicants coming to work in the education, health and social care sectors and to their adult dependents.
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Most Sought Service Provider Vests another 33 New Houses for Displaced Jaffna People
Published Date: 16/03/2017 (Thursday)
The newly constructed 33 Houses with a value of Rs. 33 million was ceremonially handed over to the displace families of Welfare Centers in Jaffna Peninsula by Major General Mahesh Senanayaka, Commander Security Force (Jaffna) - SF (J) and Mr. Nagalingham Vethanayahan, District Secretary, Jaffna on 10th March 2017at "Nallinakkapuram" Community Hall. Under the Phase - II, a total number of 33 most deserving displaced families, still languishing in 30 relief, welfare centers across the peninsula was selected to issue of ownership certificates and keys on the guidelines given by the District Secretariat, Jaffna.
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It’s Govt.’s weakness: Gota
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said it was the weakness of the government to keep thrusting itself upon the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka when the US, which co-sponsored the resolution, had detached itself from it. Mr. Rajapaksa said the government should utilize the opportunities in the international arena especially the change of administration in the US.
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Prez urged to examine Geneva process afresh to avert catastrophe
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
The Federation of National Organizations (FNO) wants the government to commission an ‘official assessment’ on OISL (OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka) in the wake of both President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe ruling out foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism in line with Geneva Resolution 30/1. Attorney-at-law Dharshan Weerasekera on behalf of the FNO has produced a comprehensive report titled ‘A factual appraisal of the OISL report: A rebuttal to the allegations against the armed forces’ in the absence of such an official initiative.
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Govt speaks with fork tongues on Geneva resolution - GL
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday that statements by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on bringing foreign judges to conduct international war crimes probe here were contradictory to each other. Addressing the media at Vajirashrama temple in Punchi Borella, Prof. Peiris said President Maithripala Sirisena had declared on several occasions that his government would not allow foreign judges for the war crimes probe and vowed to protect war heroes.
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Security Forces in Sri Lanka Continue to Operate With Impunity’ - Yasmin Sooka
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
Yasmin Louise Sooka, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa and the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) spoke to ‘The Wire’ about Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process, the sequencing of judicial mechanisms for the same and the role other countries can play. Yasmin Sooka is regarded as a leading human rights lawyer, activist and an international expert in the fields of transitional justice, gender and international war crimes. She previously served on the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka.
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EU asks for ‘concrete’ HR progress ahead of GSP+
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
The European Union has underscored the importance of the Sri Lankan Government achieving “prompt and concrete” progress on human rights ahead of the decision on GSP+ expected in May, the EU said in a statement yesterday. Both sides released a joint press statement following the meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, which kicked off on Monday.
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TGTE’s Response to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Address to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva
Published Date: 15/03/2017 (Wednesday)
The TGTE’s response to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister’s address to the 34th Session of the HRC states that the reason for the failure of the nation building acknowledged by the Foreign Minister was the rigid ethnocratic nature of the Sri Lanka state. The Response cites the failure of previous accords between the Tamils and successive Sri Lankan Governments and the opposition to or non-implementation of various commissions to inhibit impunity of the Sri Lankan armed forces as examples of this truism.
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Actions by armed forces during periods of armed conflict, within the meaning of international humanitarian law, may constitute ‘terrorist acts’
Published Date: 14/03/2017 (Tuesday)
According to the Netherlands authorities, A, B, C and D were involved in collecting funds for the ‘Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’ (‘the LTTE’), an entity which fought a civil war against the Sri Lankan Government with a view to creating an independent State for the Tamil people in the north and east of Sri Lanka and which has been categorised as a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the EU for approximately 10 years. Pursuant to a piece of Netherlands legislation implementing Resolution 1373 (2001) of the United Nations Security Council, the Netherlands authorities placed A, B, C and D among the persons subject to restrictive measures with a view to combating terrorism. As a result of that designation, their financial resources were frozen. In that context, the Netherlands authorities concluded that the LTTE was a terrorist group. That conclusion took into account an implementing regulation of the Council of the European Union of 2010, which maintained the LTTE on a list of groups involved in terrorist activities and subject to restrictive measures.1
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Govt. won't rush into political reforms: PM
Published Date: 14/03/2017 (Tuesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that he and President Maithripala Sirisena will have to go slow when bringing about political reforms and should achieve it through an ongoing dialogue. The Prime Minister made this remark at a programme held to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution in Colombo last evening.
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Sixth Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution: Contradictory, Incoherent and Unconstitutional – Dr. Barbara Jackman
Published Date: 14/03/2017 (Tuesday)
At the International Conference held on Thursday March 9th at the Delta Hotel in Toronto Dr. Barbara Louise Jackman a highly respected authority in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on cases involving national security, domestic and international human rights issues, torture, and the rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s responsibilities under international treaties, described the 6th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution as a “schizophrenic clause with internal contradictions and an open violation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. She pointed out that the amendment is not limited to Sri Lankan citizens but to “anyone” meaning that even a Canadian or British citizen will have his/her properties in Canada or Britain confiscated by Sri Lanka if he/she espouses separation! Nothing can be more ludicrous in terms of the application of what is spelt out in this Amendment. She further commented that Sri Lanka’s constitution refers to “people” indicating probably one (Sinhala?) ethnic group whereas it is a country with different “peoples” in respect to its ethnic diversity who are discounted according to the 1978 constitution
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Northern displaced families get new houses at 'Nallinakkapuram' Housing Project
Published Date: 13/03/2017 (Monday)
Another batch of 33 displaced families living in welfare centres in Jaffna was provided with new houses at the newly completed 'Nallinakkapuram' Housing Project in the Jaffna Peninsula. According to Army media sources the 33 beneficiary families were provided with ownership documents during a simple ceremony held on Friday (10th March) at the Nallinakkapuram' Community Hall. The housing project is an extension of the Keeramalai Housing Project and is completed under the second phase of the project. Construction work was carried out as a collective effort of the Joint Project Management Team (JPMT), comprising of Army, Navy, Air Force personnel and members of the beneficiary community.
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Ex-war criminals try to protect human rights now - Gotabaya
Published Date: 13/03/2017 (Monday)
Those who committed war crimes have now become the ‘champions’ who attempt to act as guardians of human rights, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says. He also pointed out those who endorsed to the LTTE are now with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). “These are the kind of people who raise their voice to safeguard human rights now,” he said while addressing a gathering held in Colombo on Monday
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New constitutional and legal reforms to destroy the nation - Mahinda
Published Date: 13/03/2017 (Monday)
The reason why the government is pursuing some of the agenda with great enthusiasm while completely ignoring the constitutional pledges they gave to the people is obviously because they have other, more important masters to please than the people of this country, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “I invite all SLFP members in the government, and parliamentarians of the UNP as well, to read the five documents mentioned here and to decide for themselves whether they want to betray the country and the nation by supporting this traitorous agenda,” he said in a statement on Monday.
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Colombo Press Conference: Tamil Victim's Appeal to UN Human Rights Council
Published Date: 13/03/2017 (Monday)
TAMIL VICTIMS APPEAL to UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL We, whose daughters, sons and husbands were killed, disappeared, sexually assaulted or raped by Sri Lankan Security Forces are appealing to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) not to give any extension of time to the Sri Lankan Government on the Resolution 30/1. Already time and space was given, but Sri Lankan Government ignored the previous Resolution. We strongly feel that any extension of time will result in no accountability and will endanger us and Tamils. We fear some of our disappeared daughters are being held in these “Rape Camps.”
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New constitutional and legal reforms to destroy the nation - Mahinda
Published Date: 13/03/2017 (Monday)
The reason why the government is pursuing some of the agenda with great enthusiasm while completely ignoring the constitutional pledges they gave to the people is obviously because they have other, more important masters to please than the people of this country, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “I invite all SLFP members in the government, and parliamentarians of the UNP as well, to read the five documents mentioned here and to decide for themselves whether they want to betray the country and the nation by supporting this traitorous agenda,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Read more...    
Gota’s war heroes off to Geneva
Published Date: 12/03/2017 (Sunday)
Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will leave for Geneva tomorrow leading a three-man delegation to meet UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein to mount an offensive against the case, now argued before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes, especially during the closing stages of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This allegation is the centrepiece of the UNHRC resolution that is widely accepted by the international community including the Tamil Diaspora.
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Yahapalana brain-fade in Geneva
Published Date: 11/03/2017 (Saturday)
Way back when Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government was getting slammed left, right and centre by the ‘international (sic) community’, especially at the UNHRC, his detractors were thrilled. Little did they care that the accusers were tainted in ways that made Sri Lanka look pretty innocent in terms of (alleged) ‘war crimes’. Rajapaksa was accused of being moronic in his foreign policy. Dark stories were spread about impending sanctions. The removal of the GSP Plus facility was thrown in as evidence and a sign of worse things to come.
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At UNHRC, states call for timetable from Lanka on establishing reconciliation mechanisms
Published Date: 09/03/2017 (Thursday)
The Sri Lanka resolution at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council should contain a timeframe for implementation of transitional justice commitments the country had made in 2015, several member states said, when the first informal session on the draft resolution to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka got underway in Geneva yesterday. During the informal session on the ‘zero draft’ of the resolution, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravintha Aryasinha officially announced that the Government would co-sponsor the resolution led by the US at the current session of the Human Rights Council.
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