Militarisation in North-East continues to traumatise children

A spokesperson for Save The Children in Sri Lanka has stated that the continued presence of the military in the island’s former war zones, continues to have an impact on the trauma of children in the North-East. Menaca Calyaneratne, director of advocacy for the group stated , "I think there's still de-mining taking place, so there has to be involvement of the military as well." "But for children who have lived in fear of war, seeing the presence of the military could affect them psychologically. On the one hand, that will have an impact on them, that the war is not over for them." Sri Lanka’s...

Castro, Rajapakse vow to strengthen bilateral ties

Raul Castro greets Mahinda Rajapakse (Pictures: ColomboPage) Cuban President Raul Castro and President Mahinda Rajapakse held talks in Havana and agreed to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. The leaders praised the over 50-year old relationship the countries shared and Rajapakse expressed his appreciation for the support Cuba showed to Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, where Cuba voted against a US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. Ministers Wimal Weerawnsa, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Mahinda Amaraweera, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa and...

Rajapaksa’s sons win Sri Lanka Cricket TV contract

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons have won a contract granting them the broadcasting rights for Sri Lankan Cricket for the next 3 years, in a deal that has sparked controversy on the island. The president’s sons won the contract through their own newly established private company Carlton Sports Network, after no other bids were allegedly put forward. The state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, who have largely held the broadcasting rights for Sri Lanka Cricket, allegedly missed the advertisements by the cricket board, with their chairman Mohan Samaranayake saying, "Yes we...

Scotland Yard did nothing laments Sri Lankan minister

Critising the Metropolitan Police for doing "nothing to control or prevent the protest" against Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's Cabinet spokesperson and Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, said this week: “There was a fairly big crowd mainly Tamil youths who had gathered before the Marlborough House from many countries of the Euro Zone including France, Germany, Norway and Sweden. It is obvious that the Tamil Diaspora had been organising this protest against Sri Lanka and President Rajapaksa for a considerable period of time." "The Scotland Yard, famous for its crowd controlling, crime...

Reconciliatory efforts are disingenuous says GTF

Spokesperson for the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), Suren Surendiran, slammed the Parliamentary Select Committee as "delaying tactics", and the government's 'reconcilatory efforts' as disingenuous, in an interview with Shamindra Ferdinando of the pro-government newspaper, The Island. Mr Ferdinando was part of the Sri Lankan government's official delegation to the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year. See interview in full here . Extracts reproduced below: Q: Did the GTF and the BTF pressure former UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband to rush to Colombo in April 2009 in a bid to persuade President Rajapaksa to halt the offensive? Miliband is on record as having told the US mission in London (according to Wiki Leaks) how he spent 60 per cent of his time on the SL issue, because of impending parliamentary polls. A: Like I said before, the GTF came into being only after the end of the war. However, the answer to your question is yes, we did pressure the then British government as members of the BTF and the Diaspora community with loved ones caught up in the so called ‘no fire’ zone. It didn’t take too much of persuasion for Mr David Miliband or for other world leaders to see what was happening as reports and evidence of massacres and carnage were coming out regularly. It is a shame that there was a deafening silence from communities in the country outside the war zone and from local journalists who kept numb without reporting independently. Regarding WikiLeaks - it is interesting isn’t it that in the same token of reporting what Mr Miliband had said or otherwise, it also reports that President Rajapaksa and the brothers were responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Canadian Tamil activist awarded with Queen’s Jubilee Medal

Krishna Saravanamuttu, a Tamil activist and spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Tamils, has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with Canada’s student movement and as an advocate for justice for Eelam Tamils. He was nominated for the award by Glen Murray, the minister in charge of universities. Speaking to TamilNet, Glen Murray praised Krishna’s activism and hailed him as one of Canada’s emerging leaders. “Krisna has provided outstanding leadership in Canada's student movement, in his advocacy with the United Nations for justice for Tamils around the world and his leadership in building youth organizations committed to social justice and human equality.” “He is one of our countries emerging leaders and demonstrates the personal integrity that has earned him the trust of so many and allowed him to accomplish so much,” Glen Murray said.

Fonseka vows to 'topple' government

In his first news conference since his release form prison on the 21st May, General Sarath Fonseka, vowed to "topple" the Rajapaksa government. The general, who is one of the key architects of the massacre of 2009, described the Rajapaksa administration as "dictatorial" and "corrupt". Whilst he is banned from running for presidency for another seven years (due to his jail sentence), Fonseka pledged to lead the opposition. Fonseka said: "I can speak on election platforms, I could form a political party and be its leader and could lead the masses," "We must topple this corrupt government,"

Sri Lanka to seek further bailouts from IMF

The head of an International Monetary Fund delegation to Sri Lanka has stated that the country was to ask for further loans from the IMF, after coming to the end of a $2.6 billion bailout. John Nelmes, the head of the IMF mission, declined to state how much further the country sought as a bailout but said, "We have initiated a discussion of a program to help Sri Lanka get deeper into a middle-income level country." According to the AFP, sources from Sri Lanka’s finance ministry have indicated at least a further $500 million would be needed as Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened to a record $10...

Sri Lanka expands prison intelligence service

The Sri Lankan government has declared that they are to recruit and deploy more intelligence officers in prisons, as the government further expands intelligence services. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms have announced that they will recruit 160 new intelligence officers, with some to be deployed into prisons in civilian clothing . In addition, four new prison department commissioners have also been appointed. Earlier this year, Army commander Lt. GeneralJagath Jayasuriya stated that intelligence services had expanded along with the rest of the country’s armed forces...

Decades of expropriation stifling entrepreneurship

Addressing a business foum organised by Sri Lanka's division of the UK Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the chair of Laugfs Holdings, criticised the on-going practice of expropriation by successive governments. The chair, W.K.H. Wegapitiya said : "We have done lot of blunders and it's still happening," "If you don’t protect Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and if you don’t act against these unethical and shortsighted acts there will be lot of accountants without businesses to run." "We have to get together and change it." Referring back to past decades, Wegapitiya criticised the...

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