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The United States' top intelligence agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the most dangerous and deadly extremist organization in the world. The official website of FBI in its tops story said that LTTE is far more dangerous terrorists outfit than al Queda, Hezbullah or even HAMAS. Read more...

 

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13th Amendment was the contingency plan (Plan - B) of Prabhakaran, in case the armed struggle (Plan - A) fails. The Plan - B is now launched ! Please act immediately to repeal 13th Amendment to save Sri Lanka from LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists.

Yal Devi enters Jaffna peninsula after 24-years

U-Tube Video Clips

Yarl Devi 1987 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9kVvtI3S6c

Dhakune Senehasa Uhurata Regena Yana Yal Devi - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzR_Rl9A6YM

Yal Devi resumes operations to Kilinochchi after 23 years - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oksDGAWV6u8

Yaal Devi on its maiden journey to Kilinochchi after 23 years - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UAdPfKSNm4

Yal Devi. Let's go to Jaffna - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x544SZj25Iw

Trial run between Kilinochchi and Palai section of Northern Railway line with Yal Devi train was done on 17.01.2014. Trial was successful as train ran at 100km/h speed. This is the last section reconstructed under Omantha Palai railway rehabilitation project, one of the most successful projects in Sri Lanka Railways which gives invaluable returns to the country to meet future transportation needs (see U--Tube)

BASL faults govt. for LTTE deproscription in Europe - President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Upul Jayasuriya yesterday found fault with the Ministry of External Affairs for failing in its duty to ensure that the LTTE remained on the proscribed list of the European Union.  "With the Foreign Service in total shambles and all its powers usurped, it is not surprising that those who have been tasked with the responsibility of defending Sri Lanka overseas have failed," BASL President said in a statement.  Full text of the statement: "I note with shock and anger that the proscription of the LTTE as a terrorist organization in the European Union has been temporarily reversed.  "The Ministry of External Affairs has failed in its duty to maintain the LTTE organization within the proscribed list of the European Courts. With the Foreign Service in total shambles and all its powers usurped, it is not surprising that those who have been tasked with the responsibility of defending Sri Lanka overseas have failed.  "However in this hour of need we find it is the duty of the BASL with the wealth of knowledge of some of its eminent members to offer our assistance and pledge our support to the Nation to discharge our duty and to have the proscription reintroduced and support our application before the European Courts." (Island : October 20, 2014, 7:55 pm).

The return of the Yal Devi  - The Yal Devi’s return to Jaffna last week predictably evoked a lot of sentiment reflected in three articles we publish today. Regular columnist Rajan Philips writing in this page says he had for long taken for granted that the Yal Devi was inaugurated somewhere in the 1960s but has now found that it made its maiden run a few days after the SWRD Bandaranaike electoral landslide of 1956. But unlike during the return of the Yal Devi there was no president, prime minister or retinue on board then. That was during a time new public servants received their letters of appointment by mail with instructions of when, where and to whom they should report for duty. There were no tamashas as now with politicians doing the honours implying to all intents and purposes that the jobs were being conferred by their grace and favour! Most events involving public expenditure were less politicized in an earlier era although politicians even then sought what mileage they could personally extract from publicly funded projects. Be that as it may, the three trains, the iconic Ruhunu Kumari, Yal Devi and Udarata Menike connecting different regions of the island through the Ceylon Government Railway (CGR) of yesteryear certainly caught the national imagination. Older readers will remember that in the days the CGR was headed by General Managers of the caliber of the legendary B.D. Rampala, it provided services far superior to what is now on offer. A colourful personality, he steered the railway with an iron hand (Island :October 18, 2014, 5:10 pm).

EU decision on LTTE has no bearing on India, says Indian Express - The European Union court, which struck down the sanctions imposed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the EU in 2006, had its own reasons to do so. Significantly, the court has not lifted the freezing of the assets owned by the banned organisation. The EU had proscribed the LTTE after countries like the US and Canada had declared it a terrorist organization, The Indian Express reported in its Editorial.  Though the LTTE was defeated and its leadership destroyed by the Sri Lankan forces in 2009, it continues to remain banned in countries like India, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka. It remains to be seen how the verdict would affect the policies of member countries vis-a-vis the LTTE.  The verdict should have no bearing on India’s policy on the LTTE. Though the organisation may have been defeated, its ideology remains intact. Its remnants are also active, both within and without Sri Lanka. There have also been reports that some of the LTTE activists have been joining hands with Islamists to carry forward their struggle for an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam.  In other words, it continues to pose danger to the integrity of Sri Lanka. No other country has experienced the severity of its danger as India, which lost a former prime minister to one of its suicide missions. Worse, the LTTE also stands in the way of the integration of the Tamils in the Sri Lankan society.  India has to take a holistic view of the situation, particularly the threat the LTTE poses. The fear that the remnants of the LTTE could be a rallying point for terrorist outfits inimical to India is too real to be discounted. India also has to take into account the threat to India’s security before taking any decision on reviewing its policy towards the terrorist organisation.  True, the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been facing problems which prevent them from enjoying a sense of security. India must do everything possible to protect their interests but not at the cost of security. The decision of the European Union should, therefore, have no relevance to India (Island : 18 October 2014).

Sri Lanka expresses concern over European Court of Justice annulling LTTE ban

Leading US role in EU ban on Tigers recalled - European Court of Justice assertion India not reliable source of info raises many an eyebrow - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The EU wouldn’t have listed the LTTE, if not for the US throwing its weight behind a high profile Sri Lankan campaign to have the group proscribed in Europe, those involved in the diplomatic initiative said yesterday.  The EU announced the ban on May 30, 2006.  A former diplomat said the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on the night of August 8 2005 and the US backing had influenced the EU decision, though the LTTE banked heavily on Norway to thwart the Sri Lankan initiative.  Responding to a question by The Island, sources said that as the EU had been designated as one of the four co-chairs to the peace process, listing of the group could cause a debilitating setback to the entire process. The then Bush administration went to the extent in sending Special Envoy Christina Rocca to Europe to campaign in support of Sri Lanka’s initiative, sources said.  Scandinavian countries, namely Sweden, Denmark and Finland involved with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) generally backed the Norwegian position, sources said.  The EU resolution meant to freeze LTTE financial assets, prohibit fund raising and travel ban on LTTE personnel came into operation as Norway was trying to arrange a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s representatives and the LTTE in Geneva.  In the run-up to the EU action, senior US State Department official Donald Camp declared in Colombo on May 16 that the Bush administration was pushing the EU hard to outlaw the LTTE. The media quoted him as having said: "We have encouraged the EU to list the LTTE. We think the LTTE deserved that label. We think it will help cut off financial supplies and weapons procurement and the like."  Asked whether India, too, backed the Sri Lankan effort, sources said that the then Indian government had not played a proactive role, though it didn’t sabotage the project. However, Indian position had strengthened Sri Lanka’s case, particularly in the backdrop of Norway vigorously campaigning for the LTTE, sources said.  Now that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had annulled severe restrictions imposed on the LTTE, a reappraisal of the ground situation was necessary, sources said. The government couldn’t ignore the possibility of the EU decision having a bearing on the ongoing UN investigation into accountability issues in Sri Lanka, sources said. The annulment was made on Thursday (16).  The court decision will come into effect after three months.  The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the EU on matters of European Union law. Sources said that the ECJ’s ruling that the declaration of the LTTE as a terrorist organization was based on "imputations derived from the press and the Internet" was surprising because the EU had access to whatever information available to the US. The court also observed that India couldn’t be regarded as a reliable source of information since that country adopted a ‘biased position’ in the conflict between the LTTE and the Government of Sri-Lanka.  A retired diplomat alleged that the ECJ had obviously ignored that India proscribed the LTTE in the wake of an LTTE female suicide cadre assassinating one-time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. For want of a cohesive strategy, the US role in the EU ban on the LTTE never received the attention the issue really deserved.  Another source said that the EU-LTTE issue could come up at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The change of classification would help the LTTE’s cause, the source said, urging the government to be mindful of the impact the EU could have on the war crimes probe. Tamil Diaspora would now go on the offensive with an eye on the next Geneva vote on Sri Lanka expected in late March next year (island ; 17 October 2014).

Presidential Commission sittings in Mullaitivu next month - The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons will conduct Public Sittings in the Mullaitivu District as follows:  November 2 and 3, 2014– Maritimepattu DS Office from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.; November 4– Oddusudan DS Office from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.; November 5– Oddusudan DS Office from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Complaints from the Gramaniladari Divisions of Maritimepattu and Oddusudan who have been invited to attend the sittings are kindly requested to attend sittings in order to make oral representations before the Commission. Persons from the GN Divisions of Maritimepattu and Oddusudan who have not submitted their complaints to the Commissions are invited to submit their complaints on the dates above mentioned (Island ; 17 October 2014).

SL expresses concern over European Court of Justice annulling LTTE ban - The External Affairs Ministry has, in a media statement, expressed the government’s concern over the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday (16), to annul the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE.  Full text of the EAM statement: "The defendants of this case have been the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member states, the Netherlands and the UK.  "Expectedly, the ECJ judgment requires in-depth study by all the defendant parties. It is noteworthy that the Court has stressed the annulments to be "on fundamentally procedural grounds" and "do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of the LTTE as a terrorist group." Further it is observed from the decision of the ECJ that "the effects of the annulled measures are maintained temporarily in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds".  "Conscious of the fact that the listing of the LTTE is a matter internal to the EU, Sri Lanka is confident that the European Commission and the EU Member States will take the best possible decision on the future course of action to be taken in this regard, in accordance with their own legal architecture in preserving sovereignty.  "The EU proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organization in May 2006, and has remained on its list of terrorist entities ever since. Apart from the EU, the LTTE is proscribed as a terrorist organization in the USA, India, Canada, the UK and Sri Lanka.  "The Government of Sri Lanka has fully supported the EU in its listing of the LTTE and has periodically provided information supportive of the regulation and also with a view to facilitate the Commission’s defence in the ECJ. The Government remains committed to provide to the European Commission and EU Member States, any further assistance and information available, to maintain the LTTE as a brutal terrorist organization.  "It is noteworthy that a number of EU member countries have carried out investigations against LTTE activists in their territories, some of which are ongoing, while some have resulted in the accused being sentenced by Court.  "Sri Lanka is further mindful that the ECJ decision may have an impact including from a security perspective, on the large majority of Sri Lankans living in EU territory, as well as EU citizens of Sri Lankan origin, who are likely to come under pressure once again by pro LTTE activists." (Island ; 16 October 2014).

EU lifts sanctions on LTTE, but assets to remain frozen for time being - European Union judges on Thursday annulled anti-terrorism sanctions imposed on the LTTE by the European Union, citing a technicality. But, they said that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being, according to media reports. The court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a list of terrorist organisations had been based on "imputations derived from the press and the Internet" rather than on direct investigation of the group’s actions, as required by law. It said in a statement that the EU had also failed, when following Indian sanctions on the Tigers, to ensure that India gave sufficient judicial protection to those it accused. However, the court rejected the LTTE’s contention that it was exempt from EU anti-terrorism legislation because it was engaged in an "armed conflict" with the Sri Lankan government and bound by the laws of war. The court, which stressed it was taking no view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also applied to armed conflicts. Saying that sanctions might be applied in future against the Tigers, who were defeated militarily in 2009, the court said assets that were frozen should remain so "temporarily" (Island : 16 October 2014).

Jaffna night mail train back on track - The Yal Devi night mail service to Jaffna was inaugurated this evening, after a lapse of 24 years from the Colombo Fort Railway station. It was inaugurated by the Post and Telecommunications Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga  (Daily Mirror : 14 October 2014).

President on first train to Jaffna on restored rail track  - By Dasun Edirisinghe The Yal Devi Express yesterday reached Jaffna Railway Station after a lapse of 24 years with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on board.   Northern Rail track destroyed by the LTTE was restored in three phases by the Indian Government subsidiary IRCON International from Omanthai to Kilinochchi (90km), Kilinochchi-Pallai (27.5km) and Pallai-Kankesanthurai (56km). The first segment was opened by President Rajapaksa on May 14, 2013 and the second by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama on March 04, 2014.   With the opening of 40km Pallai-Jaffna stretch by the President yesterday people can now reach Jaffna from Colombo within seven hours.  According to the IRCON International, a novel signaling and telecommunication system from Anuradhapura, covering the entire northern rail link (313 Km) was also being installed.  President Rajapaksa accompanied by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama and Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda boarded the train at Pallai Station. He also reopened Kodikamam, Chavakachcheri and Navatkuli Stations on the way.  The Northern Railway line opened in 1884 is the longest with 83 stations. First train from Colombo arrived at Jaffna in 1905 and it took 13 hours and 20 minute to reach Jaffna. However, Yal Devi Express which started its operation in 1956 reducing the journey time to seven hours.  The operation between Vavuniya and Kankesanthurai was stopped in 1990 after the Yal Devi train was blasted by a mine laid by the LTTE.  IRCON Project Manager S. L. Gupta said that the entire line up to Kakesanthurai would be opened by end of the year, six months ahead of the schedule (island : October 13, 2014, 7:40 pm).

The fate of Sinhalese lived in Jaffna

(for details, read in Divaina on 30 September 2014)

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 28 September 2014). 

Dr. Rajani Thiranagama Commemoration on September 20 & 21 - by Dr. Devanesan Nesiah - I was a public servant when Rajani was assassinated by an LTTE agent 25 years ago. I took private leave, travelled to Jaffna at my own expense and participated in the 31st day Commemoration. She was a leading member of the UTHR (Jaffna branch) and coauthored, with Dr.Rajan Hoole, Dr. Daya Somasundaram and Dr. K.Sritharan, the monumental The Broken Palmyrah. She kept publicly exposing the Human Rights violations of the major armed groups at that time, viz, the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army and the IPKF. She was killed while cycling home after work from the Jaffna Medical College.  The Commemoration included an exhibition of her extensive and varied personal library, and the numerous messages received from those who had heard of her killing. Her library contained an amazingly rich collection of books and journals, including many on Human Rights and the Social Science. Those who had sent messages included many from every continent and included Human Rights activists, Academics, Trade unionists and others whose life had been touched by her. There was also a march through Jaffna city by the participants despite attempts by LTTE to persuade the organizers to abandon it (Island ; 27 September 2014).

Material seized from LTTE destroyed in TN

Status of Languages and a Country's National Identity - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - Status of Languages and a Country’s National IdentityWhile speaking at the ‘Annual Hindi Day’ event held in the Indian consular office in Jaffna, the acting Indian High Commissioner (HC) S.T. Murthy has pointed out that at least 50% of the Indian population knows the Indian main language and similarly Sri Lankan Tamils also should learn Sinhala Language in order to grow the relationship. Ironically, India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former High Commissioner A.N. Dixit were on records for invading the country’s air space and insisting on a multi-lingual system without any historical evidence or approval from the country’s citizens, merely to please their own racial elements in Southern India and to achieve their own internal and external political goals. At a time, Sinhala children are being forced to learn Tamil by our own politicians who do not have the right vision or a backbone to ask the rest of the communities to learn Sinhala, the above statement said to have been made by an envoy of India is somewhat interesting (Sri Lanka News Online : 21 September 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 21 September 2014). 

Material seized from LTTE destroyed in TN - A stock of explosive material that was seized from the LTTE in 1985 was destroyed by the Tamil Nadu police in Nagapatinam in Tamil Nadu, the Hindu newspaper reported.  The police said the explosives were seized in the coastal areas of the district, particularly Vedarnayam and Kodiyakkarai. Police had seized 166 detonators and 250 hand bombs and had kept it under their safe custody (Daily Mirror ; 20 September 2014).

 

India's CBI to grill Selvarajan for LTTE links - Days after the arrest of Arun Selvarajan by National Investigating Agency (NIA) and reports about his alleged connections with politicians, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission from a court to quiz the Sri Lankan national about his possible links with the LTTE. According to media reports, the specialised wing of the CBI, Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency, has filed a petition in the special court in Poonamallee. Selvarajan had been arrested in Chennai by the NIA on charges of espionage at the instigation of Pakistan.  On Tuesday, when Selvarajan, who had been produced in the special court at Poonamallee amid tight police security, was asked if he was willing to be taken into custody by the NIA for interrogation, he nodded.  The NIA is investigating the transfer of money from a Sri Lanka-based Pakistani handler to Arun Selvarajan who was arrested on Wednesday.  According to the NIA, a search at Selvarajan's residence after his arrest resulted in the seizure of hard discs, pen drives, micro-tape cassettes, a laptop, five mobile phones and an iPad.  The electronic equipment has been sent for forensic analysis.  The NIA said Selvarajan had multiple debit cards - Sri Lankan and Indian - and has several bank accounts.  The agency is now investigating the transfer of money from his controllers in Sri Lanka through money transfer service. In addition, approximately one kg of ganja has also been recovered.  According to the NIA, Selvarajan was indulging in espionage activities and was in possession of two passports, Sri Lankan and Indian. Selvarajan had gained access to certain vital installations under the guise of running an event management company, the NIA had said.  The agency said Sri Lanka has issued a lookout notice for him as criminal cases are pending against him in the island nation (Daily Mirror : 17 September 2014).

Crush IS terrorists the way world annihilated Nazi Germany- Champika urges int’l community - Technology and Research Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has urged the international community to eradicate Islamic State (IS) terrorists through military means or face the consequences.  Addressing a gathering at the BMICH on Saturday (Sept 13), Minister Ranawaka said that the failure to destroy rampaging IS terrorists would lead to World War III. Accusing the US and the UK of initially providing the wherewithal to IS and various other errorist groups, the JHU heavyweight disputed the notion that Israel was responsible for propagation of terrorism.  He said IS terrorists should be annihilated the way the world had crushed Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Ranawaka discussed ongoing battles between democratically elected governments and various terrorist groups. The minister recollected the circumstances under which the US and UK had provided arms, ammunition and equipment to various organisations since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 (island : 14 September 2014).

Listen to Derana 360 Program with Minister Champika Ranawaka

Click here: http://www.derana.lk/index.php?route=programs/programs/programdetails&pid=85&vid=11934&page=1

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 14 September 2014). 

I am open for talks with TNA on 13th Amendment: MR - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, September 11: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is open for a dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which devolves more powers to provinces in the island nation.  In an interview to The Hindu newspaper published today, Rajapaksa denied reports that he was upset about the meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with six leaders of the Tamil-majority North and Eastern provinces. It was their right in a democracy "to meet anyone," he said.  Implementation of the 13th Amendment is one of India’s key demands, and Modi had told a TNA delegation that "he was dismayed by reports that the Sri Lankan government proposed to dilute the 13th Amendment," officials said. President Rajapaksa said he is grateful for India’s stand on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) vote in Geneva in March this year. New Delhi refused to endorse the demand for an inquiry by an international agency into allegations of "war crimes" by the Sri Lankan Army against the LTTE in 2009.  "Our government is conducting local investigations, but we won’t allow them to internationalise it," Rajapaksa said. "The next time the UNHRC will say that there must be an international inquiry into Kashmir. What would be our position? Whether it is against India or Sri Lanka, we will not allow an external inquiry."  He conceded that the inquiry into nearly 20,000 "disappearances" during the war was pending, and they still had not concluded who was responsible for the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s son Balachandran Prabakaran during Eelam War IV that ended in May 2009.  In photographs published at that time, the boy was seen being guarded by men in uniform, suggesting it was a custodial killing. "We are investigating it still ... I don’t believe that [it was carried out by the military]. But if it is true, I must know. That is why we are inquiring. In a war, when both sides are fighting, how can you say who shot at whom?" he said.  Asked if he is planning to hold early elections, possibly in January 2015, Rajapaksa quipped: "They could be. I am not ruling that out."  Queried about the plan for an air force maintenance base in Trincomalee which has been given to the Chinese (PLA-run) company CATIC, Rajapaksa said: "How does it matter? Aren’t there Chinese companies inside India? In South India too? India has nothing to worry about from China in Sri Lanka. As long as I am here, I can promise that." (Island : 12 September 2014).

Gotabhaya: ‘ITAK’s resolutions meant to cause political turmoil’

Gotabhaya: ‘ITAK’s resolutions meant to cause political turmoil’ - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that the majority of resolutions adopted at the 15th National Convention of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) held in Vavuniya recently were meant to cause fresh political turmoil. Therefore, a tangible campaign was necessary to neutralise the ITAK’s threat , he said.  The ITAK is the dominant partner of the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which controls the Northern Provincial Council.  The ITAK adopted 15 resolutions at its three-day convention where veteran politician Mavai Senathirajah, MP was elected the ITAK Leader.  Senathirajah succeeded R. Sampanthan MP.  Alleging that almost all resolutions encouraged separatist sentiments thereby undermining the government of Sri Lanka, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa urged those among the international community supportive of the TNA’s strategy as well as other local political parties to closely examine the set of proposals at issue.  The Defence Secretary asserted that some of the proposals were akin to longstanding LTTE demands. An irate Rajapaksa took exception to the ITAK’s first resolution which calls for what the grouping calls autonomous rule in the North East based on the principles of self-determination and shared sovereignty within a united, undivided Sri Lanka.  Responding to a query, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said that the ITAK’s resolutions should be studied together with the LTTE’s Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals unveiled in November 2003. "How could we forget that the LTTE forwarded ISGA proposal to the then UNP-led UNF government through Norway on the basis of it being the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people", Defence Secretary said. The LTTE had the TNA’s backing to quit the negotiating table in April 2003 and then demanded an ISGA, the ex-frontline combat officer said.  Commenting on the ITAK’s second resolution for the full implementation of the Indo-Lanka accord of July 1987, Rajapaksa expressed surprise that the ITAK/TNA leadership couldn’t comprehend that its execution was subject to the peaceful disarming of all Indian trained terrorists groups by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF).  Defence Secretary pointed out that the ITAK’s declaration (resolution number 14) that the national question could be resolved only through maximum possible devolution of political power to a merged Northeast Province underscored the urgent need to review varying positions taken by key stakeholders on critical issues.  Rajapaksa stressed that the demerger of the Eastern and Northern provinces could not be made a political issue as the Supreme Court had declared in October 2006 that the September 1988 merger of the two provinces was illegal. He insisted that the re-merger of those Provinces was out of the question consequent to the Supreme Court ruling.  Referring to the resolution number 4 that dealt with the ongoing UN inquiry, the former Gajaba Regiment officer said now that the ITAK had urged Tamil speaking people to assist the UN investigation a genuine attempt could be made to ascertain the culpability of the ITAK/TNA in LTTE terrorism.  The Defence Secretary said: "The ITAK/TNA never contradicted a high profile report put out by the European Union Election Monitoring Mission in 2002 which alleged that the political grouping directly benefited at the Dec. 2001 parliamentary election from LTTE terrorism. Let those affected by ITAK/TNA/LTTE operations go before the UN. The EU report is in the public domain. Anyone with information regarding the anointing the LTTE by the ITAK/TNA as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people in the run-up to eelam war IV, too, should go before the UN." (island : 11 September 2014).

Missing persons Commission: Public Sittings in Killinochchi - The Presidential Commission investigating complaints regarding missing persons said yesterday that it will conduct public sitting in the Killinochchi District from September 27 to 30 2014. "27th September Central College, Mulankavil 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.; 28th September Central College, Mulankavil 9.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.; 29th September Poonagary Divisional Secretariat 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.; 30th September Poonagary Divisional Secretariat 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.; (for Skanthapuram GN Division only). New complaints from person/persons/organizations will only be received by the Commission from the Skanthapuram GN Division on 30th September 2014." (island : 09 September 2014).

 

External investigative authority vested on OHCHR exceeds its mandate - Lanka tells new UN Human Rights Commissioner: - Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha at 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday (8), welcoming the new High Commissioner Zeid Bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein on his appointment, said, the new commissioner’s wide experience in diplomacy, in-depth knowledge of the UN system and understanding and respect for social and cultural characteristics were useful assets that would guide the work of the OHCHR, consistent with the IB package and based on the fundamental principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, nonselectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation".   Ambassador Aryasinha observed that "despite Sri Lanka’s non-recognition of the politically motivated resolution on Sri Lanka during HRC 25, Sri Lanka would continue to engage with the regular mechanisms of the Council, and looked forward to the opportunity to engage during Sri Lanka’s fifth periodic report under the ICCPR next month -October 2014".  Ambassador Aryasinha also reiterated "Sri Lanka’s categorical rejection of the resolution and its call for a ‘comprehensive investigation’ by the OHCHR" and said "Sri Lanka will be addressing this issue comprehensively when the High Commissioner’s ‘oral update’ is taken up for discussion later in this Session".  A media statement issued by the Sri?Lankan Mission in Geneva said: "The resolution and its mandate for a ‘comprehensive investigation’ challenge the sovereignty and independence of a member state of the United Nations, are based on profoundly flawed premises inimical to the interests of the people of Sri Lanka and violate a fundamental principle of international law which requires that national remedies have to be exhausted before resorting to international mechanisms. As Sri Lanka and other countries have pointed out in the Council on several previous occasions, operative paragraphs 2 and 10 of the Resolution are mutually contradictory, in calling on both the Government and the OHCHR to conduct parallel investigations. What is most regrettable is that the intrusive external investigative authority vested on the OHCHR not only exceeds its mandate, but disregards completely the domestic processes in place in the country. It disrespects the inherent social, cultural and ethnic susceptibilities of the people of the country, jeopardizes the delicate process of reconciliation that is already underway, and militates against stability and peace in the country" (Island : 08 September 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina :07 September 2014). 

 

Janaka Perera case: Ex LTTEer gets 20 year RI - The Anuradhapura High Court today sentenced former LTTE colonel Shanmuganadan Sudaharan for 20 years rigorous imprisonment after being guilty of assassinating Major General Janaka Perera and 29 others (Daily Mirror : 05 September 2014).

Another news item in Divaina :06 September 2014.

 

War Crimes probe: Prince al-Hussein to present oral report on Sept 24 - GoSL has opportunity to counter allegations in Geneva - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Sri Lanka has decided against cooperating with the ongoing UN investigation into alleged atrocities committed during the war against the LTTE, but it will get an opportunity at the 27th Geneva human rights session later this month to counter allegations against political leadership as well as the military.  An authoritative government official told The Island yesterday that Sri Lanka would receive an advance copy of an oral statement scheduled to be made by United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein to enable the government to comment on it. Responding to a query, the official said that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would probably make available the document to Sri Lanka about 24 hours before the scheduled delivery of the statement.  Rupert Colville, spokesperson for Prince al-Hussein told The Island that the oral update would be made probably on the afternoon of September 24th. "It will be among several oral updates by the Office of the High Commissioner on various countries consequent to requests by the Human Rights Council. If earlier discussions overflow, there is a chance that the update on Sri Lanka may in the end be delivered on September 25, though they’ll try to deliver it as planned."  Asked whether the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had sought visas from the government of Sri Lanka for members of the expert panel, namely Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Silvia Cartwright, a former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and Asma Jahangir, former President of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan as well as members of the investigation team, Colville said: "As I’ve said before, we’re not going to go into each and every detail of what the inquiry team is doing.  That goes for all inquiries of this type, whether carried out by OHCHR or by independent Commissions of Inquiry."  The investigation team consisting of investigators, forensic experts, a gender specialist, a legal analyst, and other specialised staff is led by UN staffer Ms Sandra Beidas, formerly of the Amnesty International.  Prince al-Hussein’s predecessor, Navaneetham Pillay, in a letter to the External Affairs Ministry dated June 5, 2014, assured the government that it would be given the opportunity to provide comments on both oral and comprehensive reports before they were issued at the 27th and the 28th sessions, respectively. The External Affairs Ministry told The Island that Colville’s refusal to discuss the investigation undertaken by the team led by Ms. Beidas wasn’t surprising as he had already declined to name members of the team. The official was referring to a recent report in The Island. The UN couldn’t apply for visas without revealing the identities of the investigators, the official said, adding that perhaps the global body was planning to send here the three member expert panel instead of the investigators (island : 05 September 2014).

Tiger sentenced to 20 yrs RI for killing Janaka, 30 others - By Percey Kuruneru, Anuradhapura Corr - Anuradhapura High Court Judge Sunanda Kumara Ratnayake yesterday sentenced Shanmugan Sudhaharan, a former senior LTTE member, to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for the murder of 31 persons including retired Major General Janaka Perera and his wife Vajira in 2008.  Sudhaharan (46) a self-styled colonel of the LTTE had been indicted in the High court on two counts with conspiring and aiding and abetting the suicide bomb attack and was sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment on each count, for the sentences to run separately.  A resident of Chenkaladi in Batticaloa, he is the second accused in the case.When the case was taken up for hearing on August 22, Sudhaharan pleaded guilty and Judge Ratnayake put off the sentencing to yesterday. First accused Abdul Umar Hameed Hatthar of Maha Siyambalawewa, Medawachchiya pleaded not guilty and the judge fixed the hearing of his case to October 3, 2014 and ordered him to be remanded till then.The suicide bomb attack took place on October 06, 2008 and the victims included then UNP Opposition Leader of the North Central Provincial Council Maj. Gen Janaka Perera, his wife Vajira Perera, Councillors of the NCP, Sunil Dissanayake, A. Anurdeen, former Health Minister of the NCP, R.C.A. Johnpulle, Advocate A. C. S. Hameed, and Sirasa TV Anuradhapura Correspondent Rashmi Maharoof.A suicide bomber known as Wasanthan alias Yakkalamulla Thambiyar blew himself up around 8.32 am at a ceremony where the Maj. Gen. (retd.) Perera was present to declare open the NCP Opposition Leader’s Office at 1st Lane, Dharmapala Mawatha near the Old Bus Stand in the Anuradhapura town. It was Maj Gen Perera’s first public function after being elected to the post of Opposition Leader in NCP polling over 115,000 preferential votes at the NCP polls in 2008. Initially seven suspects were arrested over the suicide attack, but seven of them were released for want of evidence against them.  Deputy Solicitor General Chethiya Gunasekara appeared on behalf of the Attorney General’s Department.  Attorney-at-law A.K. Chandrakantha appeared for the second accused (Island : 05 September 2014).

SL takes Al-Qaeda threat seriously - Following al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s announcement of the formation of an Indian branch of his global armed group, Sri Lanka said it was taking the al-Qaeda threat ‘very seriously’ and would review its visa restrictions to prevent extremists entering the island, the AFP said. India placed several states on high alert on Thursday (Sept 4) after al-Qaeda launched a new branch to "wage jihad" in South Asia, seeking to invigorate its waning extremist movement.  Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri said on Wednesday the new operation would take the fight to Myanmar, Bangladesh and India, which has a large but traditionally moderate Muslim population (Daily Mirror : 05 September 2014).

Sri Lanka’s War on Terror: A Scorecard unmatched and Envied - by Shenali D Waduge- Sri Lanka showed how to win a War on Terror. Sri Lanka became the first and only country in the world to do so. Sri Lanka has also showed how to resettle, reconstruct demine and rehabilitate and even reintegrate former armed cadres another first of its kind. Sri Lanka offered a Presidential Pardon to all 594 LTTE child soldiers a feat no other country would consider. Sri Lanka has also shown development to areas that LTTE controlled for decades an achievement envied by the very parties that funded Sri Lanka’s terror. That last war victory came at the sacrifice of 6,261 personnel of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and 29,551 who were wounded since July 2006. In total close to 30,000 brave men laid down their lives to rid Sri Lanka of terrorism. Those that were on the other side surely have no right to preach now.Sri Lanka’s Government did not order its military to invade a sovereign nation. Sri Lanka’s military took on an internationally proscribed terrorist group banned by 32 nations after enduring and suffering 3 decades of terror. That military option was taken following failures by the UN and all those that claimed to have the solutions to Sri Lanka’s conflict. For 3 decades LTTE killed every day, every month and every year, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims homes mourned their dead successive Governments were coerced and feeble enough to continue peace talks, ceasefires, negotiations and even sign an agreement that demarcated territory for the LTTE. Would these entities be satisfied if LTTE were not militarily eliminated and LTTE were allowed to continue to kill every day, every month and every year because it secures their jobs and their careers?Anyone chirping ‘reconciliation’ needs to realize that Sri Lanka’s War on Terror was against Terrorists and not Tamils and it is not Sri Lanka’s problem that parties associating themselves with the LTTE are confusing Terrorists and Tamils as being the same. Sri Lankans do not wish to reconcile with Terrorists while Sri Lankans have had no problems living with Tamils. The confusions need to stop. We do not think it correct to presume that 295,873 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) were all LTTE and that was the number we continue to say were ‘civilians’ inspite of doubts! (LankaWeb : 05 September 2014).

Who needs political NGOs? What have they achieved? - by H. L. D. Mahindapala- Our political pundits, black-coated coconut-crackos at Hulftsdorp, NGOs, academics, media commentators and frustrated politicos hanging around in the opposition benches for decades, waiting to overthrow elected governments, have been announcing the death of Lady Democracy in Sri Lanka so many times and written so many obituary notices that the living can be excused for wondering why she has not been given a decent burial once and for all. One of the earliest instances of her death was announced by my colleague in The Observer, Gamini Windsor, who ran an ad in the Daily News in the seventies announcing the death of D. E. M. O’cracy” for which he was sacked by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s government which had taken over Lake House. Dr. N. M. Perera, a constitutional authority, moaned the death of democracy when J. R. Jayewardene replaced the Westminster model with the De Gaulllist presidential system. Various anti-establishment groups have on numerous occasions held post-mortems each time a bit of new legislation, or changes to old institutions, or abolition of existing ones, or appointments to strategic positions etcetera, etcetera occurred and delivered death certificates to confirm that Lady Democracy died under tragic circumstances. But as far as I know she has stubbornly refused to die. She keeps bouncing back teaching Lazarus a thing or two about rising from the dead. The latest undertakers of Lady Democracy are the worthies in the Friday Forum (FF). They are moaning publicly that rigor mortis has set in the body of Lady Democracy after the Ministry of Defence stabbed her with a paper circular limiting the questionable conduct of NGOs pursuing foreign-funded agendas. They argue that curtailing the activities of the NGOs would kill democracy forever and a day.. (LankaWeb : 05 September 2014).

LTTE Accountability & UN failure : 3 decades of UN inaction in Sri Lanka - by Shenali D Waduge - The last phase of the war suddenly became a concern to the UN and its associated bodies and they were seen frantically trying to forge some sort of deal with the GOSL using ‘civilians’ as an excuse. The frantic appeals made on behalf of ‘civilians’ that the LTTE claimed were voluntarily joining the LTTE became of more concern to the UN and associate bodies than the civilians that LTTE attacked throughout 3 decades of terror. While, UN attempts to bury its inaction through a report claiming it has failed what needs to be highlighted is that the UN failed 20million people throughout 30 years (LankaWeb : 04 September 2014).

Vaiko allowed to argue before tribunal on ban on LTTE - MDMK General Secretary Vaiko was on Wednesday was allowed to present his arguments before a special tribunal constituted by the Delhi High Court to look into the ban on LTTE as an "unlawful organization".  The tribunal headed by Justice G P Mittal had in July issued an advertisement calling for responses from the LTTE and any other persons on the review of the ban on the group.  The LTTE has been banned for a further five years under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the central government.  While Vaiko, known for his vocal support for Tamil people in Sri Lanka and the LTTE, was allowed to present his arguments in the matter, his impleadment application was dismissed.  The application, if it had been allowed, would have allowed him to present evidence and cross examine the evidence put forward by the government.  The tribunal will now examine the evidence brought before it by the central government and the government of Tamil Nadu before giving its opinion on whether a five-year ban on the group under the UAPA is correct.  The tribunal will now hold its hearing in Chennai on September 26 and 27, giving an opportunity to any person belonging to LTTE to appear and give evidence on why the ban on the organisation should not be upheld (Daily Miror ; 04 September 2014).

Ex-soldier who set himself on fire in protest against UNHRC probe dies - By Madura Ranwala - Retired army Sergeant (73) who set himself on fire in front of the Kollupitiya police station on Tuesday (September 02) died at the National Hospital, Colombo in the night.  The police identified the victim as Thellambura Vithanage Piyasena of No. 164/2, Pannipitiya Road, Halagoda. The postmortem examination was to be conducted last evening.  Addressing a media conference at the Media Centre of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development at Kollupitiya, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that he had retired on January 07, 1984 after serving the army for 22 years.  Brigadier said that he was a retired pensioner and had a very clean record.  According to police investigations, he had become a human torch after pouring petrol on himself complaining of unfair war crimes investigations being pressed against Sri Lanka by the UNHRC, the SSP said.  One of his daughters has told police that he had been worried and resentful that the UNHRC had launched ‘an unfair war crimes probe against Sri Lanka’. She has told police that her father told her and her sister that he would even die to defend the President, who had saved the country from terrorism for the benefit of all communities.  A few hours before he died, Piyasena told two TV channels while being treated at the Colombo National Hospital that he wanted to sacrifice his life in this manner because of the anti-Sri Lankan investigations against his motherland and he criticised an opposition Parliamentarian in Matara for partying with the anti-Lankan compaign (Island : 03 September 2014).

LTTE Accountability & UN failure : 3 decades of UN inaction in Sri Lanka - by Shenali D Waduge - The last phase of the war suddenly became a concern to the UN and its associated bodies and they were seen frantically trying to forge some sort of deal with the GOSL using ‘civilians’ as an excuse. The frantic appeals made on behalf of ‘civilians’ that the LTTE claimed were voluntarily joining the LTTE became of more concern to the UN and associate bodies than the civilians that LTTE attacked throughout 3 decades of terror. While, UN attempts to bury its inaction through a report claiming it has failed what needs to be highlighted is that the UN failed 20million people throughout 30 years (LankaWeb : 03 September 2014).

Response to the New York Times Editorial of- Aug. 23, 2014 - by Neville Ladduwahetty - The NYT makes stringent requirements of responders to their Editorials, such as not more than 150 words, full address and contact ##s, no release to any other publication, etc.etc.The following response was sent on Aug 26, 2014 complying with all listed responses. But it was not published. I feel free of the obligations to the NYT and so release it to the LankaWeb. ———- August 26, 2014; To: The Editorial Board, The New York Times; Ref: New York Times Editorial August 23, 2014: “Sri Lanka’s Intransigence”. Sri Lanka is being cited by you in the company of North Korea and Syria because of non-cooperation in the United Nation’s investigation. Israel also did not cooperate with the UN’s Goldstone investigation. Why is Israel not included in this list? The estimate of 40,000 Tamils dead is not by the UN. It is by a Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General, which also quotes the UN Country Team document that was NEVER RELEASED PUBLICLY, that “estimated a total figure of 7,721 killed and 18,479 injured from August 2008 up to 13 May 2009? (para 134 of PoE Report). Exaggerating civilian deaths to 40,000 is part of a political agenda. Such exaggerations are not unusual with political agendas. The NY Times priority is a call for prosecution. Sri Lanka’s was restoration and rehabilitation. Sincerely, - Neville Ladduwahetty (LankaWeb : 03 September 2014).

Apply Universal Jurisdiction to LTTE - by Shenali D Waduge - Today’s wars are not between States. IHL and associated treaties are meant for conventional wars and with terrorism not defined there is a big question mark as to how terrorists are to be charged for their crimes (war crimes and crimes against humanity). The Resolutions and investigation against Sri Lanka inspite of international laws in place has no scope for terrorists and given LTTE is an international proscribed terrorist organization the question is how will an international investigation charge LTTE for its crimes? We are not satisfied to have a Panel declare LTTE guilty on paper with the lame excuse that its Leader is no more. With recent concerns of LTTE raising its head in India, Australia and other parts it warrants for all the nations that continue to maintain the ban on the LTTE to apply universal jurisdiction against all individuals/organizations/fronts/campaigners/fund raisers and even sympathizers (even foreign passport holders) to be investigated and charged for crimes that took place across 3 decades by the LTTE upon innocent civilians in civilian territory and to civilian installations. Today’s ‘wars’ have been outsourced to groups of people armed to carry out terror. That outsourced terror has spread across the globe and account for 63 countries victims of 560 conflicts all involving militias, guerillas and separatist groups (LankaWeb : 02 September 2014).

The letter that New York Times refused to publish - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - Noam Chomsky, the left-wing critic of America, pointed out that the Western media falls in line with the foreign policy of the US State Department. Even the prestigious New York Times is no exception.  For instance, Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, popped in for three days and told the Sri Lankan media that Sri Lanka is the only country that has joined N. Korea and Syria in rejecting UN resolutions. This is factually incorrect. US and Israel have been among the nations that had rejected UN decisions. This was pointed out by me in July when Keshap made this statement which is miles away from the truth. Not surprisingly The New York Times, following the US State Department lies, has repeated it in its editorial attacking Sri Lanka in August.  The New York Times has the right to back any policy it wants. But it should not do so with lies. Besides, when its errors are pointed out it should have the decency to correct them.  The New York Times has sailed under the well-known slogan of: All the news that’s fit to print”. However, when it’s distortions are pointed out it is not considered news fit to print. The following letter was sent in response to its misleading editorial. Needless to say it was not published (LankaWeb : 02 September 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 31 August 2014). 

Ranaviru kids receive scholarships - A group of children of Ranaviru families were awarded with ‘Ranaviru Doo Daru’ educational scholarships by the Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development at a function held at the Ministry premises on August 29. This is the 16th phase of the scholarship awarding program and a total of 93 children received scholarships under three categories at the function chaired by Seva Vanitha Chairperson Ioma Rajapaksa . Students in grade one to five received Rs. 20,000.00 and children studying in grade six to eight received Rs. 30,000.00, while children studying in grade nine and above received Rs. 50,000.00. Children belonging to 67 Army, 13 Navy and 13 Air Force ‘Ranaviru’ families received these educational incentives. The ‘Ranaviru Doo Daru Scholarship Program’ is initiated by the SVU of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development to provide financial support for the education of needy children of the deceased/disabled personnel of Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Defence Force. Deputy Chairperson of the MOD (SVU) Indu Rathnayake, heads of Seva Vanitha Units of the tri-forces, senior tri forces officers were also present at the occasion (The Nation : 31 August 2014).

Indian police unearth ammunition with LTTE symbol - Hand-grenades and land mines, unearthed from Pacha Talamalai reserve forest near Puliyur in Mettur taluk on Tuesday night, belong to the LTTE, said Salem police, as the hand-grenades were found to be imprinted with LTTE logo. "We have seized more than 100 hand-grenades and landmines," a senior official from the investigation team told TOI. He said that all the shells were unused and could be exploded if filled with gun powder.  The officials also unearthed empty shells of hand-grenades and landmine shells on Wednesday morning. Earlier the police officials suspected that the seized materials might have been buried by LTTE members or forest brigand Veerappan's gang several years ago.  "Now we have checked all the empty shells and found 'LTTE' imprinted on them," the official said and added that the LTTE members who took arms training in Puliyur village in 1983 might have forgotten to take the ammunition supply with them while they moved out of the village. When contacted by TOI, Salem district superintendent of police R Sakthivel said that they sent a few samples to Chennai for forensic verification. "Though the shells were imprinted with 'LTTE' letters, we were not sure when those shells were manufactured. We have sent few shells to identify their manufacturing years," he said (Daily Mirror ; 30 August 2014).

Unused LTTE ammo with Tiger symbol found in TN – Times of India

Unused LTTE ammo with Tiger symbol found in TN – Times of India - Hand grenades and land mines found in Pacha Talamalai reserve forest near Puliyur in Mettur taluk on Tuesday night belong to the LTTE, Salem police said, stating that the explosives were imprinted with LTTE logo.  "We have seized more than 100 hand-grenades and landmines," The Times of India (ToI) quoted a senior police officer as having said. The official said that all the shells were unused and could be exploded if filled with gun powder.  The police also unearthed empty shells of hand grenades and landmine shells on Wednesday morning, according to the TOI report dated August 29 .  Authorities suspect that the seized materials might have been buried by LTTE members or forest brigand Veerappan’s gang several years ago. "Now we have checked all the empty shells and found LTTE’ imprinted on them," the official was quoted as having said. LTTE members who took arms training in Puliyur village in 1983 might have left them, police added.  Salem district superintendent of police R Sakthivel said that they sent a few samples to Chennai for forensic verification. "Though the shells were imprinted with ‘LTTE’ letters, we were not sure when those shells were manufactured. We have sent few shells to identify their manufacturing years," he said. He said that they had handed over all the shells and other materials to judicial custody (Island : 29 August 2014).

Sri Lanka: OHCHR Investigation per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 - Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.) Sri Lankan (Sinhalese)-Canadian, Canada;  Hon. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York; Hon. Ban Ki-Moon: Re: OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014 & ‘UN Chief encourages Sri Lanka to cooperate with the international inquiry’. It does seem that the UN has still not come out of the day-dreamer’s silly season when dealing with the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka. Just too bad!. What stymied me was to read what was reported from New York in ColomboPage : The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has encouraged Sri Lanka to cooperate with the international inquiry launched by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s war, his Spokesperson said.” Surely, you are not serious, are you, Ban Ki-Moon? For God’s sake give me a break. Give the Sri Lankans a break! Surely, you are not asking Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to endorse the cunning, fraudulent, the hammer-and-nail-hate-tantrums of your High Commissioner in Geneva. She gloated with the I finally gotcha, Sri Lanka” smile, when the Resolution A/HRC/25/1 in March 2014 granted her as the High Commissioner an investigative mandate in violation of HRC Resolution 60/251 and the IB package which was in direct conflict with her limits of authority thus making any findings null and void. For crying out loud, don’t you see this blatant aberration? Then there was her vulgar, cunning and fraud when she on her own extended the period of investigation from February 2002 to November 15, 2011, when the resolution covered the time line of February 21, 2002 to May 19, 2009. Who the hell does she think she is – the Hindu Goddess Sheba? Rein this out of control woman in, before she leaves your arrogant, cheating disingenuous institution. Show us that you really want to clean up this UN’s satellite office on Human Rights in Geneva. But here is what you and Navi Pillai missed by miles about President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka. This politician, a former human rights lawyer, has taken his responsibility as the leader of a nation of 22 million peoples seriously. When he took over his job given to him by a democratic vote by Sri Lankans, his people were shivering like fronds of Hikkaduwa beach coconut palms in the tropical breeze every time they stepped out of their homes, not knowing whether they will return home alive to their loved ones, or would return in a puzzle of bloodied head, limbs, heart and bones in a wooden casket, having been blown to smithereens by a Tamil Tiger bomb placed under a seat of a bus or a train or at a busy street corner. These were the most ruthless terrorists in the world you said, who were aided and abetted by countries like India, Norway, Canada, UK, US and several others to create Sri Lanka a killing field. And what did your UN do about it. You all did a despicable sweet nothing, Ban. And that is a raw fact (LankaWeb ; 29 August 2014).

Work with existing powers before asking for more devolution - Basil tells TNA - The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) should work with the existing powers before demanding more devolution, Sri Lanka’s Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said on Thursday, according to The Hindu newspaper.  "They have not done anything yet," he said, addressing the meda on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a new bank loan scheme launched by his ministry.  The Hindu said: "His comments come less than a week after the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which leads the Northern Provincial Council, met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. On the TNA’s visit to New Delhi, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa said: "We knew they were planning to go. Some others, former politicians, also seem to be trying for an appointment, but the TNA got it."  While the Sri Lankan government was yet to hear about it from the Indian government formally, India had acted "professionally and responsibly as always," he said.  In the meeting with Mr. Modi, the TNA sought India’s help in pressuring the Sri Lankan government to devolve more powers to the provinces as per the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, which followed the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987. Mr. Modi is said to have reiterated India’s position on the matter, assuring the visiting Tamil leaders that India was committed to engaging with Sri Lanka on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and "going beyond," as was promised by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier.  Speaking on the Northern Provincial Council’s role in development projects in the island’s former war zone, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa said the government’s development work in the north had slowed down because of little cooperation from provincial government, pointing to the delay in completion of the railway line to Jaffna. Attributing it to inadequate action by the NPC — clearing squatters and making certain roads available for the project — Mr. Rajapaksa said "We are willing to work with them if they work with us."  The ruling coalition, he said, was privately engaging with certain members within the TNA who were open to working with the government (Island : 29 August 2014).

Reporter Terry Glavin on Sri Lanka’s ethnic cleansing of Tamils - Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor (Letters), THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, Dear Editor: How wrong Terry Glavin was when he said, “Let’s say, too, that the reason Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka last November was mostly because 300,000 Tamil-Canadians have had to watch helplessly as their families back home were being subjected to ethnic cleansing”, in his essay ‘Look to our diasporas for foreign policy in put ‘.  This is utter nonsense and how wrong he is. When 27,000 Sinhalese who had lived in the north of Sri Lanka for generations were kicked out having been terrorized by the Tamils between 1971 and 1981, and that was ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese by Tamils.  When in August 1977, 400 Sinhalese undergraduates and lecturers at the Jaffna University were stoned and chased out of the campus by the Tamils and were bused south lying on the floors dodging of the hail of rocks and stones, and that was ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese by the Tamils.  In October 1990, 100,000 Muslims were given 24 hours to get out of the north leaving all their valuables and gold at the nearest Mosque, making Idi Amin look an angel who gave three months for the Ugandan-Indians to leave Uganda. That was ethnic cleansing of the Muslims by the Tamils.  Liberating 295,873 Tamils by 19 May 2009, by the Sinhalese army soldiers who were herded like unwashed cattle as a human shield for 30 months from the west coast to the east coast by the Tamil Tigers was not ethnic cleansing of Tamils by the Sinhalese, but liberating the Tamils by the Sinhalese from their Tamil Tiger terrorists. These are all recorded historical facts that no Tamil can dispute.  Where did Terry Glavin get all his information about the Tamils being ethnically cleansed in Sri Lanka? And this is where Stephen Harper got is cues wrong which made his foreign policy on Sri Lanka look so silly and juvenile and isolating Canada from the rest of the 51 Commonwealth sister countries at the November 2013 Summit in Colombo. This was all about the Tamil votes in nine ridings in the Greater Toronto Area at the 2015 federal elections and nothing else (LankaWeb : 28 August 2014).

LTTE’s largest training camp at Kolathur - The village of Kolathur, 11 km from the Mettur dam in Salem district, was one of the places in Tamil Nadu where the cadre of the LTTE were imparted armed training in the early 1980s to fight the Sri Lankan forces.  The 1983 riots in Sri Lanka brought the ethnic issue into a sharp focus, and the island nation was unable to deal with the anti-Tamil violence effectively. This was a cause for grave concern to the Indian government. The public sentiments in Tamil Nadu turned strong, resulting in a forceful demand for India’s military intervention.  At that juncture, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to offer military training to the cadre of different Tamil militant groups. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran, too, supported the move, political observers and people familiar with those developments recall. The camps were held from 1984 in various parts of the country, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, to train the militants in the use of modern arms. The camps were under the control of the Central agencies. However, the Union government claimed that they were meant to train the militants in self-defence. The largest LTTE camp was located at Kumbarapatti in Kolathur (Daily Mirror : 28 August 2014).

US institution carries out satellite survey of Jaffna HSZ - Following request by British NGO - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Moon panel member, Sooka and Norwegian producer of ‘My daughter the terrorist’ are involved in the NGO project.  Sri Lanka’s primary High Security Zone (HSZ) in the Northern Peninsula has recently come under satellite surveillance consequent to a request by a UK-based NGO, namely the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. The Geo-spatial Technologies and Human Rights Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has obtained/studied high resolution satellite images of the Palaly-Kankesanturai zone.  The UK NGO is based at Grayston House, Charles Square, London. The project is meant to closely examine the developments that had taken place in the area since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.  The strategic Palaly air base and Kankesanturai harbour are located within the studied zone. Successive governments expanded HSZs, particularly in the Jaffna theatre in accordance with overall security strategy to meet the growing threat posed by the LTTE. The Indian army, too, maintained HSZs during its deployment here (July 1987-March 1990).  Among the advisory council members of the UK based NGO are Norwegian producer of My daughter the Terrorist (which dealt with female LTTE suicide cadres preparing for missions) Beate Arnestad, Nirmanusan Balasundaram, who fled Sri Lanka during the war and was on the payroll of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies in Sri Lanka, Prof. Adele Barker, who has been critical of Sri Lanka’s victory over the LTTE, one-time Deputy Australian High Commissioner in Colombo Bruce Haigh, former Sri Lankan journalist J. S. Tissainayagam and member of the UNGS Panel of Experts’ Yasmin Sooka. South African born Sooka joined two of her colleagues in recommending war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka.  The US institution has also obtained satellite images of Vanni east front, where the Sri Lankan Army fought a series of battles during May 2009. The study had been carried out on the request of the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) made on May 10, 2009. The study had focused on satellite images obtained during the early part of 2009 of the Civilian Safety Zone (CSZ).The Sri Lankan military pointed out that the study revealed 1,346 burials in three separate locations within the CSZ, though some of them were of those who died fighting for the LTTE. A senior official told The Island that the examination of satellite images obtained during 2009 early part would help refute unsubstantiated allegations made by a section of the international community.  The military said that since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the government had gradually reduced the strength of the Army deployment in the Jaffna peninsula. At the height of the conflict, the government maintained four Divisions, including 53 and 55 (fighting formations) in the peninsula, though they were relocated after the conclusion of the war (Island : 27 August 2014).

So-called NGOs are not innocent - By Nalin de Silva- Courtesy Island - There are attempts by some people who are mainly interested in maintaining the western Christian hegemony to paint a rosy picture of the Western Governmental Organizations in the country as innocent outfits. These organizations are referred to as NGOs the name given by the westerners themselves, and our so called intellectuals who can imitate but not create any knowledge, continue to use the tag the Non Governmental Organizations. The moment one identifies the WGOs as NGOs their structures are covered and the people get the impression that these organizations are innocent civil society organizations such as Mahila samithis, Maranadhara Samithis (Funeral aid societies) that depend mainly on the members themselves. These latter societies may get a contribution in kind or money but the societies are maintained mainly by the membership fees and may be funds collected by the members. The funds are usually collected from the villagers but occasionally they may go outside the particular village but very often will be confined to the boundaries of the country (LankaWeb : 27 August 2014).

Incompatible UNHRC and UNSG’s panel of experts guidelines - By Neville Ladduwahetty- Paragraph 10 (b) of the UNHRC Resolution of March 2014 on Sri Lanka calls for the investigation of alleged HUMAN RIGHTS violations during the period February 2002 to May 2009. The UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts, on the other hand, states that alleged violations during the "final states of the armed conflict" should be investigated on the basis of provisions of HUMANITARIAN LAW. These incompatible guidelines would set in place different parameters as to how accountability issues are investigated.  The UNSG’s Panel of Experts opined that International Humanitarian Law is what is applicable based on a ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for Armed Conflicts. The applicability of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts is corroborated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well. Since the Panel of Experts concluded that the conflict in Sri Lanka had reached the threshold of an Armed Conflict, HUMANITARIAN LAW should apply. Therefore, the ruling by the Panel of Experts has greater legal validity over the UNHRC Resolution to use HUMAN RIGHTS LAW as the basis on which to investigate the alleged violations.  HUMANITARIAN LAW is the body of Law that governs Armed Conflicts between States and conflicts within States that reach the threshold of an Armed Conflict as defined by the ICTY and/or the ICRC. The Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocols II of 1977 and the corpus of Customary Law developed by the ICRC form the body of Humanitarian Law that operates during conflict.  HUMAN RIGHTS LAW is the body of Law that citizens of States are entitled to from their respective Governments. These rights are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and a host of other International instruments. These rights are compromised depending on the intensity of a conflict (Island : 26 August 2014).

Norway reveals LTTE ‘human shields’ at the onset of eelam war IV - GoSL, civil society yet to conduct comprehensive study - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The recently launched Narrative III examined eelam war IV (August 2006-May 2009) with the focus on the plight of the Vanni civilian population trapped between the advancing Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the LTTE. The authors of Narrative III, Messrs Godfrey Gunatilleke (Marga Institute), Jeevan Thiagarajah (Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies) and Asoka Gunawardene (Marga Institute) dealt with a range of accountability issues during the last stages of the conflict. Having divided the Vanni war into two phases (phase I-SLA advance from Madhu to Kilinochchi and phase II from Kilinochchi to Nanthikadal).  The liberation of Madhu on April 24th, 2008 had been the first significant battlefield victory achieved by the 57 Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias. It was the first fighting Division launched on the Vanni front in early March 2007 under the command of the then Brigadier Sumith Manawadu. The then Army chief, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka placed Dias at the helm of 57 Division amidst initial setbacks. It would be pertinent to mention that the 57 Division had fought a series of devastating battles over one-year period before it could bring Madhu, the first major civilian center under, government control (Island : 26 August 2014).

Tamil Parents continue to demand their missing children from TNA’s Ananthi Sasistharan  - by Shenali D Waduge - Ananthi Sasitharan is a TNA elected member of the Northern Provincial Council. She is also the wife of LTTE leader Elilan. Elilan was responsible for forcibly conscripting large numbers of Tamil children during the final stages of the war. Ananthi however, filed a court case and went global, crying over her ‘missing husband’ and projecting herself as a voice of ‘missing Tamil children’. On 5th June 2014 was a day when the ‘hunters became hounded’ and Ananthi had to face a barrage of protestors demanding from her the whereabouts of their missing children. The same protestors gathered in July demanding from Ananthi where their children were. The same protestors arrived on 25th August 2014 making the same demands. This time though Ananthi was missing in action what was also missing was Sri Lanka’s media and so far not one NGO or human rights organization have cared to air across mainstream media the cries of these people asking from TNA’s Ananthi Sasitharan what she and her husband did with their children.  Yet, Ananthi Sasitharan is enjoying stardom. She was given VIP treatment in Geneva in March 2014, a much hyped publicity was given when she spoke about her ‘missing husband’ and ‘missing children’ during the time allocated for NGOs representing causes of other countries. She was pictured gleaming with the US ambassador and Stephen Rapp. Since her election she has been on sponsored visits to USA, Germany, Denmark and Norway and visits to South Africa, France, Belgium, Singapore, Australia are on the pipeline. Her husband Elilan, a senior LTTE leader, is the same Elilan that was responsible for taking scores of children and forcibly conscripting them to the LTTE during the final stages of the war. During the cease fire agreement of 2002 as LTTE’s political commissar for Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts, Elilan, was engaged in taxing Tamils and forcible recruitment during a supposed ceasefire. Elilan incidentally was also responsible for blocking the water supply of the Mavil Aru river which is a crime against humanity depriving water to people. Elilan husband of Ananthi’s importance in the LTTE hierarchy is such that upon Tamiselvan’s death in 2007, Elilan was placed in charge of conscription to the LTTE. The nature of conscription in Mullaitivu by Ananthi’s husband has been carefully omitted from entering the mainstream media by the LTTE fronts. Their stories would put to shame the concocted lies taking centrestage. This is why we continue to question why not a single high profile journalist, not a single NGO/INGO, not a single human rights organization, foreign parliamentarian not even the noisy parker foreign envoys in Sri Lanka have cared to ask these 350 families what they accusing Elilan and Ananthi of. Instead, Ananthi is playing the role of victim and all these parties are propping her up as a victim (LankaWeb ; 25 August 2014).

UNHRC Investigation – If LTTE is found guilty….who among the living will be held accountable? - by Shenali D Waduge - This question needs to be asked and answered some time or the other and sooner the better. We are well aware that the LTTE ground leadership is no more including the LTTE leader – V. Prabakaran. However, over the years there have been a host of people living in Sri Lanka, living overseas who have been directly and indirectly part of the LTTE. Unless these names are out in the open identified as ‘members’ of the LTTE Eelam ideology and declared LTTE partners in crime, the entire UNHRC investigation is nothing but a sham and one that is being set up to take ONLY the GOSL to the dock.  Therefore, if ‘both sides’ has any meaning at all we need to put a list of all those that have been by their actions linked to the LTTE, by their association part of the LTTE, by accepting LTTE funds been associated with the LTTE over the years and it need not necessarily be confined to 2002 – 2009 though we may have to offer some leniency to those who openly gave up association with the LTTE (LankaWeb : 25 August 2014).

lslamic terrorism threat to Sri Lanka : Gotabaya

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 24 August 2014). 

Wigneswaran seeks Treasury approval for CM’s fund - By Chris Kamalendran - The Northern Provincial Council has sought Treasury approval to operate a ‘Chief Minister’s Fund’ despite objections by the Governor, a spokesman for the Chief Minister’s office said. The Council had granted approval for the establishment of the fund which hopes to attract aid from foreign donors and well-wishers. Similar funds have been set up in three provincial councils — the Southern, Sabaragamuwa and the Uva PCs. The proposal was sent for endorsement by the Governor, Major General (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri, but he turned it down on the basis that a ‘Governor’s Fund’ was already in operation, the Chief Minister’s Coordinating Secretary M. Manmadaraja said. “Though we sent the request to the Governor it was not mandatory to get his approval. The Chief Minister has now sent the request to the Treasury to operate the fund,” he said.   The move to establish the fund came after a provincial minister obtained Rs. 5 million from well-wishers in Australia for public use but deposited the money in his personal account. The Province’s Health Minister, Dr S. Sathiyalingam, had collected the money from the Tamil diaspora in Australia promising it would be used to take care of handicapped people and others in need.  However, Chief Minister Wigneswaran this week told the council meeting that the Government was closely monitoring the financial transactions of the council and therefore establishing a ‘chief minister’s fund’ would be important to maintain transparency. He said that under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution such funds could be set up (Sunday Times ; 24 August 2014).

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Terrorist rehabilitation program, a model for other countries - Prof Rohan Gunaratna - International Terrorism Expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna said that the Government’s terrorist rehabilitation program was a resounding success today and a model for other countries.  Prof. Gunaratna who delivered a special lecture, “India under Modi: A turning point in Indo-Lanka relations” at the Parliamentary Complex on Wednesday said the government had rehabilitated 11,800 LTTE cadres within four years.  No country has rehabilitated terrorists and integrated them into the mainstream society in such a short time. “Within four years, 11,800 LTTE cadres who were rehabilitated had returned to their homes. None of them returned to violence.” He said Sri Lanka had six or seven rehabilitation programs for LTTE cadres such as education, religious, vocational, social and family, psychological and reintegration. Sri Lanka did an excellent job in rehabilitating those LTTE cadres and none of them went back to terrorism. Prof. Gunaratna said the Government had several important phases in its military operations against LTTE terrorists. One was the military phase where the LTTE was dismantled. The second was its humanitarian phase of the resettlement of nearly 300,000 displaced persons. The other was the demining.  The socio-economic phase was another important aspect. When the rest of the country had seven percent economic growth, the economy of the North grew at 22 percent. Priority should be always given for the physical infrastructure development. The economy of the North cannot be improved without putting physical infrastructure in place. The Government and the private sector should play a crucial role to link the North to the South socially, economically, politically and psychosocially, he said (Sunday Observer : 24 August 2014).

Int’l panel receives briefing from military- Domestic war crimes probe - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Chairman of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) appointed to advise a presidential commission inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the conflict, Sir Desmond de Silva has been briefed by top security forces commanders as regards the operations conducted during eelam war IV, with the focus on the last phase. The period from January to May, 2009, is considered the last phase.  Retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama heads the three-member commission.  The briefing took place soon after President Mahinda Rajapaksa named Sir Desmond, a British national of Sri Lankan origin as well as Sir Geoffrey Nice (UK) and Prof. David Crane (US) to the advisory panel in the middle of last month. Subsequently, President Rajapaksa named two more panelists- an IndianAvdhash Kaushal, a human rightsactivist chairing the Dehradun-based NGO Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra, and Pakistani legal expert Ahmer B. Soofi.Responding to a query, sources said that except for one or two senior officers, who had commanded ground troops during the final phase, almost all others appeared before the IAP chief. The army launched the Northern offensive in early March 2007 on the Vanni Central front, while troops were still battling strong LTTE units in the Eastern Province. The government brought the entire EP under its control in July 2007.The army deployed five divisions, namely 57 (Central front), Task Force I/58 (Mannar front), 59 (Weli Oya front) and 53 and 55 (Jaffna front) in addition to several Task Forces to annihilate LTTE fighting units in the Northern region. The Task Force I/58 Division and 59 Division commenced operations in September 2007 and January 2008, respectively.  The army brought the war to a successful conclusion on May 19, 2009 with the killing of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.  The navy explained its efforts, particularly during the last few months meant to rescue civilians fleeing the war zone in boats. The navy also facilitated the transfer of wounded from the war zone in ships chartered by the ICRC to Pulmoddai, where an Indian medical team was in charge of medical relief operations (Island : 23 August 2014).

‘Pulipaarvai will glorify cause of LTTE’ - CHENNAI: It may have just been an unfortunate coincidence, but the director of controversial film Pulipaarvai found himself reiterating that his film would "magnify and glorify the cause of the Tigers (LTTE) and the great leader Prabhakaran" on the day Congressmen celebrated as Rajiv Gandhi’s 70th birth anniversary. "When every Tamilian watches this film it will light a fire in him and he will feel a righteous anger because of what happened there (in Sri Lanka)," Express News Service (ENS) quoted the film’s director Pravin Gandhi as having said, with an extra gust of emotion.  The following is the August 21 datelined ENS report posted on the online edition of The New Indian Express: "Pulipaarvai, a film that is based on the last days of the LTTE’s struggle against the Sri Lankan army and is based on Channel 4’s footage of Prabhakaran’s son being killed, has been at the receiving end of pro-Eelam groups. Just like Santosh Sivan’s Inam, groups have accused Pulipaarvai of essaying the Tigers and Eelam Tamils in a poor light. The producer, director and the actor essaying the role of Balakumaran Prabhakaran spoke to the press in the wake of a massive protest when the film’s audio was launched last Saturday.  A lot of the outrage has been over the depiction of the LTTE supremo’s son as a child soldier. Gandhi said that the scenes had been removed. "As per Seeman’s suggestion, we have removed those scenes. It was only supposed to be imagined by one of the characters, but we have done away with it now." Seeman and Pazha Nedumaran were shown the film in a special screening recently. In an attempt to pacify the protestors, producer S Madhan said that he would not release the film until every protestor had withdrawn objection. "Both Seeman and Nedumaran have suggested some cuts and we are making the changes. I invite every person from these groups to watch the film and unless they are all right with it, I will not release it," he said.  He let on to Express that at least three scenes had to be reshot, while at least 50 changes needed to be effected - between scene cuts and edits (Island : 23 August 2014).

The OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - This letter was Emailed to Ms Sandra Beidas who is the coordinator for the Investigation against Sri Lanka to put on record that there is another side of the story - The OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka quotes the Resolution :In its resolution A/HRC/25/1 adopted in March 2014 on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”, the United Nations Human Rights Council requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to “undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders”. The OHCHR Resolution passed at the last session in March was to cover 1. Both parties (LTTE and Sri Lankan Government) 2. Period covered by the LLRC (2002 to 2009) But how is that outgoing Commissioner Navi Pillay has arbitrarily gone beyond the mandate and decided to extend the period to 2011? This investigation has to be treated as null & void by the unbiased international community if it goes beyond the UN mandate (Of course even otherwise) as the GoSL has categorically refused to participate as it’s illegal. It’s a known truth that the Navi Pillay used the infamous falsified Darusman Report, Fabricated and manufactured Channel 4 docs, Tamil Net, HRW, AI, ICG etc and reports from LTTE Diaspora to manufacture her report against Sri Lanka. According to her latest statement made to the Panel saying that “there is a wealth of information outside Sri Lanka that panel can obtain”, I presume she would have meant the above mentioned biased sources. However, Sri Lankan Government has categorically rejected the report and its recommendations for an international investigation on war crimes against country specific Sri Lanka, refused to participate in the investigation.The three member panel will first investigate into the alleged war crimes against both GOSL and LTTE. Well, say hypothetically they will bring charges against GOSL but how is the panel going to bring charges against now militarily non-existent LTTE. Of course, there are still few remnants of original LTTE hard core supporters operating in USA, UK, Norway, Canada, Australia, India and France. To name a few, once Legal advisor to LTTE V.Rudrakumaran of TGTE founded in USA and now spread to other countries in cyber form, Adele Balasingham who is leading a lavish unhindered life in UK albeit LTTE was banned who was the leader of the LTTE women suicide Cadre, Father Emanuel who compared murderer Prabhakarn to Jesus Christ operating from Germany under the banner of Global Tamil Forum, Suresh Surendiran of British Tamil Forum operating from London despite LTTE terrorist outfit continues to be banned in UK, Nediyawan from Norway who took over the reign from KP as International operation head, Canadian Tamil Congress and Australian Tamil Congress. Will the panel bring charges against the names mentioned above who were actively involved with LTTE then and now. Since the LTTE military hierarchy has now been completely wiped off, the Three Member Panel should bring charges against atrocities committed by LTTE on these remnants of LTTE mentioned above as they have blood in their hands for the atrocities committed from 1977 with the killing of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Thuraiappah (Sri Lanka News Online ; 23 August 2014).

Investigate on Sri Lanka - a violation of the time frame given under UNCHR resolution - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - As can be seen from the flowing facts, the ‘time frame’ covered under the UNCHR Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 has been extended by the Navi Pillay’s controversial Panel by misinterpreting the time frame covered in the LLRC. Under the terms and reference of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka published in the web page http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/OISL.aspx, , the ‘time frame’ of investigation is defined as the period under investigation is that covered by the LLRC, that is, from 21 February 2002 until 15 November 2011, when it presented its report to the President of Sri Lanka”. Time Frame covered in UNCHR Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 Section 10 (b) of the UN HRC resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 dated 26 March 2014 states as follows. To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders;” Time Frame covered in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) As per the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lessons_Learnt_and_Reconciliation_Commission,the ‘time frame’ given in the LLRC is as follows. “To inquire and report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21st February, 2002 and 19th May, 2009, namely:.. ” Thus the above extension of time is s a blunt violation of the time frame given by the Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/25/1. This is a clear indication of the direction as to what we will get at the end of its so-called investigations. As per the previous UN reports and the way things are happening, such as the infamous Darusman Report, it is justifiable to believe that the ‘final’ report has already been cooked up & ready for presentation at the appointed time (Sri Lanka News Online ; 23 August 2014).

lslamic terrorism threat to SL : Gotabaya - In a paper published in the latest issue of the US Defence Department’s journal “Prism”, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has reiterated his belief that Islamic terrorism poses a threat to Sri Lanka.  Since the LTTE’s defeat, some of the Muslim groups in Lanka have begun to engage in activities that go “far beyond self-protection”, he said in the journal brought out by the Center for Complex Operations (CCO).  “There is information that some of these groups have even tried to link up with global Islamic terrorist organisations. This is a situation that requires careful monitoring,” Gotabaya said. “Some Islamic groups in Lanka have started to establish ties with LTTE-linked agents to create further problems,” he further said.  According to Gotabaya, the increasing insularity of Lanka’s ethnic groups is at the root of the problem. “Rather than identifying themselves on the basis of nationality, the communities of Sri Lanka have begun to identify themselves on the basis of ethnicity or their religion. The cross-border links that can arise as a result of such insular ethnic or religious identification are also troublesome,” he said.  “There are some foreign groups that wish to encourage Lankan Muslims to identify themselves more with the global Muslim community, thereby reducing their integration within Lanka.” The increasing insularity and cohesion amongst minority ethnic groups has also led to the emergence of hard line groups from the majority community, the top Lankan security official observed (Daily Mirror :22 August 2014).

Janaka Perera killing: 2nd accused pleads guilty - The second of the two accused, indicted by the Anuradhapura High Court on charges of assassinating Major General Janaka Perera and 29 others in a suicide bombing, pleaded guilty to the charge before North-Western Provincial High Court Judge Sunanda Kumara Ratnayaka. This case was taken up for hearing today in the Anuradhapura High Court. The second accused Shanmuganadan Sudaharan is a resident of Chenkalady in Batticaloa and an ex-colonel of LTTE. He was remanded till September 5.  After the indictment was read out to the second accused, his lawyer A.K. Chandrakanthan said his client had willingly made his confession in the presence of the then Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri.  The lawyer said his client confirmed that the confession which was read out was the one made by him and requested the court to transfer him to another prison because of the threats he would be subjected to from the other terrorist suspects in the Anuradhapura Prison.  The Judge directed the Prison Superintendent to transfer the accused to Welikada Prison and with the confession made by the accused being accepted by Court, Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri ordered that the witness be released.  The Attorney General had named Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri as a witness in this case because the second accused had made the confession in her presence when she was Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate.  The two accused were indicted in the Anuradhapura Court on 48 charges. Of the nine suspects arrested earlier seven were released by Court because of the lack of sufficient evidence. One hundred and fifty eight people were named as witnesses in this case. Major General Perera and 28 others including senior lawyer A.C.S. Hameed, Attorney M. Anurdeen and Attorney Thanuja Rajapaksa were killed in a suicide bomb attack on October 6, 2008 (Daily Mirror ; 22 August 2014).

ON THE TAMIL PROBLEM - Nalin de Silva - The days when it was claimed that there was an ethnic problem in Sri Lanka are over. It appears that India is of the opinion that the problem in Sri Lanka is linguistic and not ethnic. There were others who said that there was a conspiracy (kumanthranaya) by the West and it was the work of Uncle Sam. Though USA is in the forefront of the activities against Sri Lanka it is not that country that initiated the problem in Sri Lanka.  The conspiracy theorists, they are not theorists in any sense of the word as used in Western knowledge as these people are not capable of creating any new abstract theories on anything, have no explanation of a phenomenon, and just come out with the word conspiracy, without analyzing and offering some appropriate explanation.  These people should be called conspiracy dreamers but often they are considered to be the cream of intellectuals in Sri Lanka by vociferous politicians who have no future in politics involving people (people politics) but continue to be in media politics thanks to proliferation of electronic TV channels and FM radio (LankaWeb : 22 August 2014).

TNA seek Indian help to resolve Tamil issue - A delegation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on today and said India can play a major role in resolving the ethnic Tamil problem in the island nation.  "India's involvement in the resolution of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is vital," TNA leader R Sampanthan said after meeting Swaraj here.  "They (people who live in Sri Lanka) have their roots in India. Their culture is Indian and everything is Indian. So, I think India is one country that can play a major role," he said.  The delegation comprising six TNA MPs held discussion on various issues and complained about the alleged attempts by the Sri Lankan Government to change the democratic composition of the Northern Province.  "We have explained the position currently prevalent on the ground in the north and the east... The difficulties people are facing, the aggressive program implemented by the Sri Lankan Government to change the democratic composition of the northern and eastern provinces and the cultural and linguistics identity of the areas," he said. Accusing the Sri Lankan Government of being not interested in any political solution, Sampanthan said steps have "not been taken to implement the 13th amendment for devolving powers to the Tamil minority".  "We have also talked about various other matters that are of concern of Tamil people and requested that some action can be taken by India. India should be pro-active in dealing with these questions," he stressed.The delegation's meeting with Swaraj was cordial, he said, adding the MPs are meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (Daily Mirror : 22 August 2014).

Making a submission to the so-called UN War Crime panel, rejected by the Sri Lankan people via the Parliament, is indirect way of accepting its credibility.

Sampanthan-led TNA team in New Delhi to meet PM Modi

UN likely to intervene in Tamil asylum-seeker case - The United Nations may become involved in the case of the Tamil asylum seekers who were detained on an Australian customs boat, with a court hearing to take place in Canberra in October.  A brief high court directions hearing in Melbourne on Thursday resulted in Justice Kenneth Hayne setting a date of 14 October and 15 October for the full court case.  The legal team representing the asylum seekers indicated that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Australian Human Rights Commission were looking to intervene in the case.  George Newhouse, a lawyer for the asylum seekers, said the UN and other human rights organisations were “following the case very closely”.  “What Australia does on the high seas does affect international law and the approach of other countries,” he said. “It’s likely we’ll see intervention from human rights organisations both here and internationally.  “It would be highly unusual for the United Nations to intervene in a high court case in Australia. It shows the high level of concern internationally over Australia’s treatment of vulnerable men, women and children. This is a very serious case where 157 people were effectively abducted on the high seas and that’s not the behaviour the United Nations wants to see.  “This case is about the legality of holding people prisoner like this and, furthermore, the legality of putting them on little red lifeboats and pushing them off to a third country.” (Daily Mirror : 21 August 2014).

A Lesson from Dr. Subramaniam Swamy to Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils and Muslims - by Shenali D Waduge - Known for his candid demeanor and straight talk, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy did not mince his words during his eagerly awaited speech at the 4th consecutive Defense Seminar held at the Galadari Hotel from 18-20th August 2014. Encapsulating the gist of Dr. Swamy’s message was the need for minorities in particular the Sri Lankan Tamils to become stakeholders of the Sri Lankan nation and not think themselves separate entities needlessly inclined towards voting for their own only or expecting and appealing for external parties to come to their aid.  What was made clear through reference to Rajiv Gandhi was that India today acknowledged the ‘mistake’ his mother Indira Gandhi made in training and aiding Sri Lankan militancy that gave birth to a host of armed Tamil movements which ultimately ended up with LTTE after LTTE had killed off all the other leaders.  Acknowledged also was that today India under Modi is happy that LTTE is no more and India is happy that Sri Lanka took the decision to ‘fight to finish’ a victory that provided ‘security for India’ that culminated in the end of the LTTE except for what Dr. Swamy termed as the ‘financial orphans’ who need to once in a while cough LTTE ideology to get allocations from the LTTE kitty now involved in numerous other international illegalities.  The next part of Dr. Swamy’s speech alluded to the elections that enabled a clear majority and established how the unification of the Hindu majority could create an outright majority. The lesson in this for minorities was very simple.  In continuously self-alienating, complaining of what is not given against not appreciating what is enjoyed, demanding what cannot be given, looking from the lens of rights without responsibilities the insinuation implied was that in the event the majority unites not only will the minorities become insignificant, the external players that have preyed upon the minorities for their own agendas will also walk away having realized that they are now irrelevant.  In what can be described as an excellent piece of advice to the minorities and relevant to both India and Sri Lanka, Dr. Swamy’s request for minorities to become stakeholders and to think strategically and not emotionally or ethnically is important and minority leaders are best advised to realize the new dynamics at play.  Expanding what Sri Lanka can accept as the new Modi doctrine is the new path that India espouses to take wherein India’s national interests would not bow down to narrow local interests. Honorable as this new shift is, the Indian Central Government reaction and action following a graphic that appeared on a Sri Lankan Government website for which an immediate apology was offered and yet for over a week an unwarranted show of misbehavior was allowed certainly questions the manner India’s Central Government remains to be haunted by State theatrics. Nevertheless, the fact that India has announced a new shift in its policy elevating itself to a newer plane has to be appreciated and commended (LankaWeb : 21 August 2014).

Sampanthan-led TNA team in New Delhi to meet PM Modi - 13 A: TNA wants BJP-led govt to implement Congress project - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will reiterate its long standing demand that India intervene to ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment when it meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  The TNA will also press India to take up with President Mahinda Rajapaksa his promise to implement of the 13th Amendment and go beyond it.TNA National List MP M. A. Sumanthiran yesterday said that as the Sri Lankan government hadn’t kept its words repeatedly to India meant to ensure meaningful devolution, the TNA intended to take up the entire gamut of issues with India. The then President JRJ introduced the 13th Amendment in accordance with the Indo-Lanka accord finalised in July 1987 under a threat of an Indian invasion. It was however subject to the Indian Army disarming all Indian trained northern terrorist groups within 72 hours. Attorney-at-law Sumanthiran was responding to The Island before leaving for New Delhi for a series of meetings with political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior External Affairs Ministry officials. Trincomalee District MP, R. Sampanthan leads the TNA delegation. The team includes General Secretary of the TNA as well as the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) MP Mavai Senathirajah, MP Selvam Addaikalanthan (TELO), MP Pon Selvaraja and Suresh Premachandra (EPRLF). Sumanthiran said that the TNA would discuss the ground situation in the Northern and Eastern provinces.  Government sources told The Island that the TNA had conveniently forgotten that full implementation of the 13th Amendment wouldn’t be possible due to the de-merger of the Eastern Province from the Northern Province during eelam war IV due to the intervention of the Supreme Court. The TNA’s demand wasn’t realistic, sources said, adding that India realised that the first Northern Provincial Council couldn’t be constituted until the eradication of the LTTE.  An Indian diplomatic source said that arrangements had been made for the TNA to visit Delhi subsequent to a request made by the grouping. The TNA wanted to make representations to the new Indian leadership, the source said.  The Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) routed the then ruling Congress Party led coalition at parliamentary elections in May, 2014. The TNA was expected to raise with the Modi government Sri Lanka’s refusal to devolve land and police powers, military deployment in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, military interference in civil administration, fishing issue, possibility of direct Indian investments/aid to the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council as well as the ongoing UN war crimes inquiry into alleged atrocities committed by the security forces during the conflict, sources said. The previous Congress government withheld support to a US-led resolution adopted in March 2014 at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meant to launch an external investigation into accountability issues here.External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that the primary reason for the TNA’s visit to New Delhi could be to secure India’s support for the ongoing UN investigation. A senior official claimed that India’s refusal to publicly cooperate with the investigation had placed the TNA in a difficult position. Responding to a query, sources said that the TNA could be under pressure from those who had moved the resolution 25/1 in Geneva to help change India’s position ahead of an oral presentation by the UN human rights chief on the status of the ongoing investigation to the UNHRC next month (Island : 21 August 2014).

Ambassador Aryasinha Identifies Global Challenges to Sri Lanka as a Rising Nation - Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka Geneva - Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinhahas said, “while we have defeated the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the organization, its ideology and its operations are very much alive in a number of Western countries. Immediately, this remains a challenge to speeding up the pace of reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and eventually, a potent danger to Sri Lanka as a rising nation”.  Addressing the session devoted to the global challenges to Sri Lanka as a rising nation at the Army Seminar 2014, he said “besides the socio-economic challenges to Sri Lanka that emanate from the global sphere which has already been exhaustively analyzed in the keynote address, there were three sets of global challenge Sri Lanka would face as a rising nation. First the actions of some states in the international system, second those arising from the actions of sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora and third the challenges emanating more specifically from the hardcore LTTE remnants presently spread across various parts of the world” (LankaWeb : 21 August 2014).

Call for expanded UN probe divides TNA ahead of party convention

Call for expanded UN probe divides TNA ahead of party convention - Top leadership assures inquiry into N&E PC members’ move - By Shamindra Ferdinando - General Secretary of the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well as its dominant partner, Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi, Mavai S. Senathirajah, MP, yesterday said that the party hadn’t authorised any of its members to seek a wider UN investigation against Sri Lanka.  National List MP Senathirajah said that the party was inquiring into circumstances under which a group of 33 members of the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils had called for the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to expand its ongoing inquiry to investigate alleged atrocities committed by successive governments against Tamil speaking people since 1974. The MP was responding to a query by The Island as regards the latest move made by the TNA in the run-up to the UNHRC session next month. Senathirajah said that the leadership wasn’t aware of the provincial councillors’ move.  The Island on Tuesday revealed the TNA?Councillor’s request to outgoing UNHRC?Chief Navi Pillay. The UN recently launched the inquiry under the supervision of British national Sandra Beidas, formerly with the London headquartered Amnesty International. The investigation focuses on the period from Feb 2002 to May 2009. In a letter dated August 17 addressed to UNHRC Chief , 33 Tamil National Alliance members of the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as well as the UPFA controlled Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) asked the UN agency to ascertain whether Sri Lanka committed genocide. They have requested the UNHRC to set up an investigation body in Tamil Nadu due to Sri Lanka’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation.Among the signatories are Northern PC Deputy Chairman M. Anthony Jeyanathan and Ministers, Thambirajah Gurukularajah, Balasubramanium Deniwaran and Dr. Pathmanathan Sathiyalingham.  The five-party TNA alliance consists of the ITAK (Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi), TULF, TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. Three of them are former Indian trained terrorist groups.Well informed sources told The Island that Northern Province Chief Minister, C. V. Vigneswaran had been angered by the unexpected move. Sources said that the retired supreme court justice had expressed his displeasure to those responsible for the plea to Geneva. CM Vigneswaran wasn’t available for comment. Responding to another query, sources said that Indian authorities, too, had been disturbed by the TNA move. India strongly opposed the setting up an external investigation when the UNHRC adopted US-led resolution at the last Geneva sessions in March. Sri Lankan authorities brought the latest development to the notice of top Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) official, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, who is in Colombo to attend the fourth edition of Defence Seminar. Dr. Swamy lashed out at the TNA during subsequent meetings with the local media. The Geneva issue could cause unnecessary friction in the run-up forthcoming ITAK convention in Vavuniya, where veteran politician Senathirajah was now expected to be elected its leader. The four-day event is scheduled to begin on September 6 (Island : 20 August 2014).

Sri Lanka says will refuse entry to UN investigators

SL says will refuse entry to UN investigators - It is the first time that Rajapakse has said UN investigators will not be allowed into the country, effectively barring them from face-to-face access to Sri Lankans wanting to testify.  COLOMBO, August 19, 2014 (AFP) - Sri Lanka will not grant visas to UN investigators probing war crimes allegedly committed during the island’s decades-long separatist conflict, President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday.  Sri Lanka has refused to accept the authority of the UN Human Rights Council, which voted in March to investigate allegations that the military killed 40,000 civilians in the final months of the separatist war, which ended in 2009.  But it is the first time that Rajapakse has said UN investigators will not be allowed into the country, effectively barring them from face-to-face access to Sri Lankans wanting to testify."We will not allow them into the country," said Rajapakse, who is under international pressure to cooperate with the UN-mandated investigation.  Rajapakse said however that his government was cooperating with all other UN agencies.  "We are saying that we do not accept it (the probe). We are against it," he told Colombo-based foreign correspondents at his official residence.  "But when it comes to other UN agencies, we are always ready to fully cooperate and fully engage with them," he said.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other leaders have urged Colombo to cooperate with the UNHRC after ending a prolonged separatist war that pitted ethnic minority Tamil rebels and the largely Sinhalese army in a drawn-out ethnic conflict.  Outgoing UN rights chief Navi Pillay earlier this month suggested that her investigators looking into allegations of mass killings may not have to travel to Sri Lanka at all.  She said there was a "wealth of information" outside the country. Her remarks prompted allegations from Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry that her investigation was on a "preconceived trajectory" and that her "prejudice and lack of objectivity" were unfortunate.  Colombo insists that its troops did not commit war crimes while crushing the Tamil Tiger rebel movement at the end of a conflict which stretched for more than three decades and claimed more than 100,000 lives.  Pillay, who visited Sri Lanka last year, has previously accused Rajapakse’s government of becoming authoritarian, and warned that rights defenders and journalists were at risk in the country even after the end of the war.  The government conceded a degree of ground last month when it asked a panel already investigating missing persons to expand its work and investigate actions of both troops and Tamil rebels.Rajapakse said Tuesday that he was naming two more foreign experts — an Indian and a Pakistani — to join three other international legal experts already on a panel of advisors helping the presidential Commission of Inquiry.  Rajapakse said he was willing to give "even two more years" to the commission to complete its work. The commission said it was probing 19,471 cases of missing persons as of Tuesday and completed hearings only in respect of 939 cases.  The president on Tuesday added Indian rights activist Avdhash Kaushal and Pakistani lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi to join British lawyers Desmond de Silva and Geoffrey Nice and US law professor David Crane, all former UN war crimes prosecutors.  The president denied that the foreigners were named as part of a whitewash and insisted that the government was serious about investigating rights abuses. "We appointed these foreign experts because the commission itself asked for it. They (the commission) thought it would be helpful if we had these experts to advise them," Rajapakse said.  In a government decree published last month, Rajapakse said the commission would investigate the military’s "adherence to or neglect... of laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law".  The commission is the latest investigation initiated by Colombo. Experts and activists have said earlier attempts amounted to a whitewash (Island : 20 August 2014).

TNA twisting the knife? - In an unexpected turn of events, a group of 33 TNA Provincial Councillors has written to the outgoing UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay calling for expanding the UNHRC war crimes probe to inquire into the atrocities allegedly committed by the SLFP and UNP governments against the Tamils since 1974. Their objective, as stated in their letter, is to have the UN ascertain whether genocide was committed here. They want the UNHRC to operate from Tamil Nadu in conducting the probe as Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate. (They seem to have forgotten that India, too, has denied the UNHRC permission to use its soil for the war crimes investigation against Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu has no say in the matter.). Why have the TNA councillors made such a move at this juncture when everything seems to be going well for it? They would not have done so without the blessings of the party leadership though Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has not signed their letter to Pillay. Interestingly, among the signatories are some prominent members of former terrorist groups which fought alongside the Sri Lanka army against the LTTE under UNP and SLFP governments. One of them, PLOTE?leader and former MP Dharmalingham Sithadthan, backed the SLFP-led People’s Alliance government formed in 1994!. It would have been advantageous for the TNA to stick to the time period determined by the UNHRC and be satisfied with what it has already achieved without asking for more in a bid to twist the knife and running the risk of opening up a can of worms in the process. If the UNHRC probe is to be expanded by any chance as the TNA wants, it will have to cover crimes allegedly committed by all sides including successive governments, the military, the LTTE, other armed groups and even the Indian army during its operations in the North and the East. Such an investigation will place the UNP, some of whose prominent members are supportive of the ongoing war crimes probe, in an embarrassing position; what they want the UNHRC to do to the Rajapaksas will be done to them as well! (Island Editorial ;19 August 2014).

National Security non-negotiable - Sri Lanka Army Chief

A strategic LTTE-TNA miscalculation and events leading to eelam war IV - by Shamindra Ferdinando- The Marga Institute (MI) and the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) on August 15 launched Issues of Truth and Accountability Narrative iii Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka with the participation of a section of the Colombo based diplomatic community at the BMICH.  Although the organisers wanted to launch the book before the 25th sessions of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council last March, they couldn’t meet the deadline. The MI and CHA declared that their effort was meant to present an ‘alternative narrative of the events of the last stages of the war. Godfrey Gunatilleke, Jeevan Thiagarajah and Asoka Gunawardene who spearheaded the project had been influenced by the Report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts’ on Sri Lanka, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), Amnesty International (AI) as well as the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) Jaffna. They focused on special UTHR reports bearing numbers 32 and 34 that dealt extensively with the final phase of the conflict. The team also took into consideration various other publications, including those issued by the Sri Lankan military, Petrie report as well as the International Crimes Evidence Project (ICEP).  Messrs Gunatilleke, Thiagarajah and Gunawardene as well as those who had worked behind the scenes to produce Issues of Truth and Accountability Narrative iii Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka without doubt made a significant contribution to post-war efforts to comprehend the annihilation of the LTTE, widely believed to be invincible on the battlefield. They should be commended for recognising the significance of a statement made by war-time US Defence Advisor in Colombo, Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Smith that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran hadn’t agreed to surrender, contrary to reports (page 43). A section of the US official’s statement as well as a part of statement issued by the State Department contradicting the then Colombo based officer are reproduced in pages 116 and 117. In fact, The Island exclusively revealed the US official’s comments (Sri Lanka Defence symposium: Now, US suspects credibility of LTTE surrender offer with strap line Dismisses KP, Nadesan as ‘mouthpieces’ with no real authority-The Island, June 3, 2011).  The statement was made on June 1, 2011 at the first edition of the Defence Seminar. Lt. Col. Smith was responding to a query posed by retired Indian Maj. Gen. Ashok Kumar Metha to Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, the first General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the celebrated 58 Division on the second day of the three-day conference that dealt with the combined security forces campaign against the LTTE. In the backdrop of the US relentlessly pushing for war crimes investigation targeting the government of Sri Lanka, it was the most important statement made (from Sri Lanka’s point of view) during four editions of the defence symposium (fourth one ends today-August 20). Unfortunately, the government never made a real effort to build its defence on the statement made by the US official. Issues of Truth and Accountability Narrative iii Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka emphasised that the US official would have been privy to US efforts (page 43). (island : 19August 2014).

Unite against the west - By Nalin de Silva - What is the most important function of a government of any country? The governments whether elected according to western democracy or not have to look after the security of the state and maintain the sovereignty of the nation. The other functions of the governments include providing health, education, employment, food, childcare, and maintaining democracy, freedom of expression, individual rights are all secondary. What is the use of democracy if we can elect only stooges of the west as the Presidents, Prime Ministers etc.? It is unfortunate that we are all victims of western education that teach us to maintain the security and sovereignty of the western states at any cost to the non western states. The knowledge that is disseminated at schools, universities and other such institutes are created in the west that maintains its hegemony through other means as well. The western education produces in general a set of people who cannot think outside the western box and even indigenous systems of knowledge have come under the hammer of western concepts. In Sri Lanka we are worse than most other Afro Asian countries as free education has closed the eyes of many people to indigenous systems. We would attempt to interpret Bududahama (Buddhism to use the western word) Vedakama (healing systems) and Govikama (so called agriculture) to suit the western concepts and very often adopt western systems that do not suit our conditions. For example our western educated pundits have converted Bududahama to some kind of rationalism and an empiricism that has done away with Samsara as taught in Bududahama as well as Hindu Dharma.  The western states were not built in a day and they have been evolving from the Fifteenth Century onwards. The individual freedom is emphasised in the western books on political science and other social sciences as against collectivism of Catholic Chinthanaya but is never practiced in the western countries. Individual freedom that includes freedom of expression, human rights etc., was brought to the forefront as against the state that dominated during the European Medieval period based on Catholic Chinthanaya, but it was easily confined to the text books and journals published by so called learned societies (Island : 19 August 2014).

TNA asks UN to probe atrocities under SLFP, UNP govts since 1974 - By Shamindra Ferdinando- The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has urged the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to expand its ongoing inquiry to investigate atrocities committed by successive governments against Tamil speaking people since 1974. The UN recently launched the inquiry under the supervision of British national Sandra Beidas, formerly with the London headquartered Amnesty International. In a letter dated August 17 addressed to outgoing UNHRC Chief Navanethem Pillay 33 members of the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as well as the UPFA controlled Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) have asked the UN agency to ascertain whether Sri Lanka committed genocide. They have requested the UNHRC to set up investigation in Tamil Nadu due to Sri Lanka’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation. The five-party TNA alliance consists of the ITAK (Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi), TULF, TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. Three of them are former Indian trained terrorist groups.Provincial Councillors referred to the burning of the Jaffna library during JRJ regime in 1981 as one of the atrocities committed against the Tamil community. They also demanded investigation into setting up of Sinhala settlements in the northern region also during the UNP regime. Among the signatories are former members of parliament Dharmalingham Sithadthan, Gnanamuththu Krishnapillai and M. Kanagalingam Shivajilingam. Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of one-time hardcore LTTE cadre in charge of Trincomalee district Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan too, signed the petition.However, Northern Province Chief Minister and retired justice C.V. Wigneswaran wasn’t among the signatories.A senior government official told The Island that Dharmalingham Sithadthan of the PLOTE had been one of those who could shed light on India’s Congress Party subverting Sri Lanka leading to violence. The official pointed out that Sithadthan had publicly accused the India’s premier intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of assassinating two TULF MPs, including his father V. Dhamalingham in 1985. The other victim was M. Alalasundaram. Dharmalingham alleged that the TELO carried out the assassinations at the behest of the RAW. Sithadthan could also explain his group’s role in the attempt to assassinate the then Maldivian President Gayoom in November 1988. The attempt was made by Indian trained PLOTE terrorists who launched a sea-borne assault only to be thwarted by Indian troops. Responding to a query, the official said that a comprehensive investigation would expose those responsible for destabilizing Sri Lanka for strategic reasons (Island ; 19 August 2014).

National Security non-negotiable – Army Chief - Army Chief Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake yesterday said that the three-decade long war against the LTTE had taught Sri Lankans many valuable lessons, particularly the pivotal importance of national security and the need to pursue it at any cost.  The Army Chief was addressing the inaugural sessions of the Defence Seminar - 2014, under the theme, Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation at Colombo Galadari Hotel.The arrival of the day’s Chief Guest Minister of External Affairs, Prof G. L Peiris, Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera flanked by Secretary to the President, Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P. B Jayasundera and Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa heralded the ceremonial inauguration of the three-day sessions.  The moderator for the proceedings, Brigadier Ralf Nugera, Director Training at Army Headquarters summarised how the series of Defence Seminars took shape after the first one in year 2011 as a brainchild of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The following are excerpts of Commander’s speech at the inaugural ceremony; (Island : 19 August 2014).

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014 - by Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Ontario Canada; August 17, 2014 - Hon. Ban ki-Moon, Secretary General, UNO Copy to: President, UNHRC, Geneva Copy to: Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Right, Geneva; Hon. Ban ki-Moon, OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014 - I am writing to you as a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin who is at a loss to understand the high handed manner in which senior officials on the United Nations Organization act in violation of their mandates defined by the UN Charter and Specific Resolutions which outlines the limits of authority. It is regrettable that the UNHRC adopted the above Resolution at its sessions held in March 2014 granting the High Commissioner an investigative mandate in violation of HRC Resolution 60/251 and the IB package, which is in direct conflict with her limits of authority thereby making any findings null and void. Furthermore, the Operative Paragraph lacks clarity when it refers to the engagement of so called ‘relevant experts’ without proper definition for the purposes of assisting the High Commissioner, leaving room to outsource the investigation to external sources as opposed to an investigation by the OHCHR, leading instead to an international investigation mechanism as a result of interpretation of ambiguous language contained therein. Also, it has to be pointed out that this Operative Paragraph which requests the OHCHR to conduct an independent investigation is clearly inconsistent with Operative Paragraph 2 which requires the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged violations (LankaWeb : 18 August 2014).

Mullaitivu District Secy. to solve land problems on LLRC recommendations - By Franklin R. Satyapalan - District Secretary for Mullaitivu Nogalingam Vethanayagam said that he would take steps to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) by solving longstanding land problems of the people of the district during mobile land clinics to be held on September 04, 05 and 06.  "We have taken action to solve as many land problems that have arisen following the liberation of the country in 2009."  The district office of the Survey Department in Mullikulam is scheduled to be opened this morning (19) by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Land Development Siripala Gamalath with the participation of the Surveyor General (SG) P. M. P. Udayakantha.  He said that the mobile land clinics were scheduled to be held in the five Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the district with the participation of relevant state officials including the new Survey Superintendent of the Mullaitivu District H.D. Niroshan Caldera (Island : 18 August 2014).

Response to Senator Christine Milne: OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lankan War Crimes - by Janaki Chandraratna – Perth Australia; Dear Senator Christine Milne Leader of the Australian Greens; Dear Ms. Milne; Investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka; I write in reference to your letter dated 3 January 2014 to the High Commissioner Navi Pillay requesting her to include Australia as a venue for the above investigation due to the presence of a large Sri Lankan Diaspora community. I guess you refer to the LTTE members rather than Sri Lankan Diaspora. In support of your request you mentioned Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s report ‘Island of Impunity?’ as a source of Australian research that had uncovered evidence for the above investigation. I guess you are not informed or have chosen to ignore the censure of this report by informed sources. Although I have no issue with your request I am saddened that a responsible political leader as yourself, has not yet understood the carnage that has been created in the world by foreign intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign States, in particular by the support given to the activity of terrorist groups. It is surprising that you have not noticed that the Western intruders make a quick exit when these countries are on the boil declaring that local issues need to resolved by the locals and criticize the locals for the lack of ingenuity to handle the respective situations. The investigation into alleged war crimes is a similar spurious intervention by the West in support of the LTTE terrorist group, which is proscribed in many countries, as the most brutal terrorist group in the world. Needless to say this illegal investigation has set back the peace process in Sri Lanka by many years as the LTTE proxy party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has rejected the peace initiatives of the Sri Lankan Govt., hoping for a future division of the country by the West. It is extraordinary that you have not noticed that practically all Asian countries have rejected the entry of Pillay’s colleagues to investigate Sri Lanka from their shores. Did it not occur to you that this is because these countries believe the investigation is biased, unlawful and is a gross violation of rights of a Sovereign State? (LankaWeb : 18 August 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 17 August 2014). 

TNA’s confrontational politics come under fire - by P. Krishnaswamy - The TNA came under fire from senior Tamil political leaders for its confrontational politics towards the Government’s public welfare measures.  Tamil United Liberation Front Leader (TULF) V.Anandasangaree and Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Minister Douglas Devananda said that the TNA is deliberately blocking, the implementation of the Rs.20 billion Iranamadu Water Supply Scheme for political reasons, as it would benefit people in Jaffna and Kilinochchi.  The project is a long-felt need of the people, he said. Instances where they had obstructed similar welfare projects had also been brought to his notice. He compared them to a “coffin seller” who benefits from people’s deaths. Peace was restored in the Northern province after a long drawn out war against terrorism and the Government’s concerted efforts to develop the region are facing obstacles due to the TNA’s attitude, he said. “They do not do anything and neither do they allow others to do so” and this is very distressing, he said. People should realise their true nature for their own good, he said. Anandasangaree held discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa over three years ago on the Iranamadu scheme and had also presented some proposals. He also discussed the matter with the TNA leaders but they do not consult him on any matters concerning the people’s welfare, he said (Sunday Observer :17 August 2014).

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka - by Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya, Melbourne Australia - UNOG-OHCHR The Chairman, Dear Sir/Madam, Your mandated inquiry into alleged Human Rights Violations is for the period year 2002 to May 19th 2009. You have exceeded your authority by extending this period 15th of 2011, obviously your intention is to pry into internal affairs of Sri Lanka administration. It has been crystal clear since the conclusion of the brutal conflict in Sri Lanka all UN affiliated organizations have been parroting the concocted allegations against Sri Lanka word to word as they appear on the Tamilnet online forum! Your obstinate decision without paying attention to due process makes a mockery of the UNHRC constitution. This action in itself is a violation of your jurisdiction!We Sri Lankans vehemently protest not only to this illegal extension of investigative period but also for the whole charade! (LankaWeb : 15 August 2014).

Pillay trying to influence OHCHR investigations: EAM - The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay was seeking to influence the OHCHR investigation process, Ministry of External Affairs charged today.  The Ministry said in a statement that it regretted the comments made to the media by Ms Pillay stating that the United Nations could conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country. Full statement (Daily Mirror :14 August 2014).

Questions for Navi Pillai’s unnamed International Probe Team and facts for intelligent mind searching, before coming to conclusions - By Charles.S.Perera- If they have no answers or if the answer is no” to most of the questions, the team and the three advisors should resign if they have any self-respect, as there cannot be a probe against Sri Lanka Armed Forces if evidence presented to them are beyond reasonable doubt.To be accused for a crime the crime should be pre-meditated , deliberate and intended. The Sri Lanka Armed Forces were carrying out a war” against terrorists who were not fighting according to any convention, who had no human considerations. It was a terrorist war. In such a war there is no winner. Because in Sri Lanka the winner won over the terrorists who were the winner’s own people turned terrorists, who forced a war upon themselves.Sri Lanka armed forces during the last phase of the war were fighting against the terrorist who were not visible shooting from behind their human shield of TYamil civilians. If there were civilian deaths, who could really recount as eye witnesses who killed whom, unless the dead come to life !!! (LankaWeb : 13 August 2014).

Can HRW's interpretation holding Syrian civilians a war crime be applied to Sri Lanka? - by Shamindra Fedinando - New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently warned that holding of civilians could amount to a war crime.  The AFP in a Beirut datelined story quoted HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson as having said that individuals and countries that backed groups involved in hostage taking could be complicit in war crimes. Whitson was commenting on Syrian armed groups holding 54 persons, including 34 children hostages for an entire year to win concessions from the Syrian government, including exchange of hostages for detainees in state custody.  "Civilian lives are not pawns for fighters to trade. The hostages should be let go immediately," the AFP quoted Whitson as having said, while citing the Syrian government giving armed groups safe passage out of the besieged Old City of Homs in May this year in return for the release of 40 hostages as an example of the Opposition’s despicable strategy.  Whitson claimed that the HRW had identified several individuals, mostly from Gulf countries responsible for funding those fighting the Syrian government.  The UN, now investigating accountability issues in Sri Lanka cannot ignore HRW’s statement which dealt especially with the issue of hostages in conflict. In fact, other international human rights organizations backing UN war crimes targeting Sri Lanka cannot take a position different to that of HRW as regards the hostages crisis in Northern Sri Lanka during the last phase of the conflict.  The HRW statement was issued as fighting continues in Syria. The Sri Lankan government should ask HRW whether its position on the Syria hostage taking situation applies to war-time Sri Lanka too. Had HRW been genuine in its concern for those trapped between the Syrian army and armed groups funded by Western powers, how could it ignore the situation here five years ago? (Island : 12 August 2014).

Stop foreign diplomatic corps involvement in local politics - by Sam Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - According to media reports, a tense situation prevailed at a meeting organized by an NGO named, "Right to Life Human Rights Centre" involving families of disappeared persons from the North and representatives from US, France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland missions in Colombo, when, another NGO, the "Dead and Missing Person's Parents Front", sought access to the meeting, demanding that their grievances be heard too.  Later the US, France, Germany, Britain and Switzerland issued statements condemning the incident and urging the government to enforce the rule of law.  The external affairs ministry, in response, hit back at the diplomatic corps based in Colombo for organizing events for a particular region and community in Sri Lanka, that could lead to ‘volatile situations giving rise to the perpetuation of mistrust amongst communities’ and urged the diplomatic community to "be more conscious of local sensitivities when attending events of an emotive nature."  Foreign interference, both political and economic, with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka was minimal prior to 1977. Sri Lanka became an active member of the non-align movement and in early 1970s and the late Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected as the chairperson of the movement. She nationalised foreign owned businesses such as estates, oil distribution and insurance with hardly any problems. The only threat she had to face was the 1962 abortive coup orchestrated by the top brass of the police and armed forces. Almost all countries including the West and the Soviet bloc came to assist Sri Lanka when 1971 uprising broke out.  With the emergence of open economy policy and the short-sighted foreign policy of the government elected in 1977, various forms of foreign interference started emerging. But, the situation took a change for the worse following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the weakening of the NAM.  India became the first country, since independence, to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, in the late 1980s with the so called Indo-Lanka Pact of 1987 and the induction of Indian troops (IPKF). India had to pay a heavy price for its blunder. Norwegians became the second country to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, under the guise of ‘peace facilitation’. Simultaneously, various meddlesome NGO started emerging (Island : 12 August2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 10 August 2014). 

A Special Web-Supplement to commemorate the Heroic Sons of Sri Lanka who laid their lives to preserve the Unity of Mother Lanka 22-years ago, on 8th of August 1992

General Denzil Kobbekaduwa - hero and a genuine leader - On the 8th of August in 1992, a landmine planted by the LTTE killed Lt General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and the cream of the top military brass, Major General Vijaya Wimalaratne, Rear Admiral Mohan Jayamaha, Colonel H. R. Stephen, Major Nalin Alwis, Colonel Yasodha Palipana, Colonel T. Ariyaratna, Lt Commander Asanga Lankatilaka, Lt Commander Chandima Vijayapura, and Corporal Jagath Wickramaratna at Arali Point while riding in their vehicles out a tactical mapping operation. Never has this country of ours, was ever jolted with shocking news of this nature, plunging the nation into mourning.  A great military leader beloved by his men, respected by his colleagues and loved by the people, unluckily missed. We can at least be proud that we still have a few gallant heroes trained by him and trod along tracing the Tiger trail.  Lt General Denzil Lakshman Kobbekaduwa was born on July 27, 1940 into a wealthy family in Kandy as the second child of four. He had his education at Trinity College, Kandy, where he excelled in sports especially in rugby.  He joined the Sri Lanka Army in May 1960 and proceeded to UK to undergo his basic military training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. On successful completion of his training he was commissioned elevating to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps on 3rd August 1962.  As a young officer, Lt Kobbekaduwa was a cheerful, energetic and efficient officer, who won the heart of every person who acquainted with him. He excelled as an exciting rugby player having played for his school, regiment, Army, Defence Services and Sri Lanka.  He also contributed tremendously to boost up rugby in Sri Lanka by refereeing, coaching and administering the game. During his career he showed his ability in his profession and in the field of sports as a dynamic leader in both fields which enabled him to lead the country to win the highest laurels at all levels.  He was also a capable instructor who trained officers and men of his own regiment, the Armoured Corps, cadets and young officers at the Sri Lanka Military Academy and students of the first staff course at KDA.  Taking a keen interest he trained officers and men from all the three services and the Police in high intensity security operations and the gathering of intelligence. His dedicated interests in training enabled many officers and men to benefit from his vast experience and knowledge. He was a competitive, inspiring and courageous leader who had a varied career.  It was in 1979 that General Kobbekaduwa was posted to Jaffna with the initial selected team of officers to wipe out terrorism in the North. From this period up to 1992 he had been a frontline officer who through his aptitude, dedication, determination and efforts tried to bring peace by winning the hearts and minds of the people.  He made a tremendous contribution to the defence and security of this country during this tenure. He was instrumental in research and development to the use of armour and mechanised vehicles which enhanced the tactical mobility of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.  During his 31 year career he followed several courses in UK. His contribution to the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1989, through his vast operational experience has been highly rated by his colleagues and directing staff. His qualities as a man and a soldier have made them predict a bright future for this gallant officer.  During his distinguished military career he had been duly recognised by being awarded Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Army 25th Anniversary Medal, President's Inauguration Medal, Armed Services Long Service Medal, Vadamarachchi Operation Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama and Rana Wickrama Padakkama. He was posthumously awarded Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Ranasura Padakkama (twice), Uttama Seva Padakkama and Desha Puthra Sammanaya .  General Kobbekaduwa had a natural flair to be bold, ability to correctly assess the situation, conceive many original and workable plans, and inspire his troops with confidence in his will to win and his absolute determination to execute the task despite all obstacles which made him the most able gentleman General to the core.  His charming character enabled him to make friends with religious and community leaders where his awareness of the problems, and quick solutions, appreciation of the suffering of the masses of this country quickly made him rise in stature and reputation.  General Kobbekaduwa dedicated his efforts through discussion and deliberation for a joint solution to peace, which was well received by the politicians, government officials, NGOs, religious dignitaries social workers, and above all by the common people of this country.  This Sandhurst - trained General was undoubtedly the man for the crisis, where his sole effort was to secure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka whilst protecting peace loving citizens of this country. He dedicated himself to defend and provide security to our motherland, which undoubtedly will be a hallmark in our history.  The whole nation will salute you forever Sir, (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 08 August 2014).

Sonia Gandhi Felt LTTE had 'Mole' in 10 Janpath - The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or the LTTE had a 'mole' in 10 Janpath (official residence of Congress Party President), and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination was part of a conspiracy "hatched by several influential people in faraway places", says former home secretary RD Pradhan.  "Someone inside 10 Janpath provided crucial information to the mole," says Mr Pradhan in his recently released book, My Years with Rajiv and Sonia, but he does not identify the 'mole'.  "I know for sure that Sonia Gandhi, who was away in Amethi virtually throughout the 1991 Lok Sabha election campaign, feels the same way," he claims in the 311-page book.  Mr Pradhan, who later became the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, says although many suspects were arrested and some convicted for the former prime minister's 1991 killing, "I think it is ordained that the truth shall not come out".  Mr Gandhi was the opposition leader when he was blown up at an election rally site near Chennai by a woman suicide bomber of the LTTE on May 21, 1991.  The LTTE denied any involvement, but Indian investigators claimed the Tamil Tigers assassinated Mr Gandhi to avenge the earlier deployment of the Indian Army in Sri Lanka's northeast.  Mr Pradhan, who joined Rajiv Gandhi's team later, said, "On the basis of hindsight, one must admit that in the entire security planning in Delhi, the possibility of the LTTE making an attempt on the life of RG (Rajiv Gandhi) had been overlooked".  He says he once saw some Sri Lankans seated outside the 10 Janpath office of Vincent George, a long-time aide to the Gandhis.  "Obviously they had a contact at 10 Janpath who could arrange secret meetings with RG that not many knew of. I certainly did not," he says.  According to Mr Pradhan, the one person who could have saved Mr Gandhi was then Tamil Nadu governor Bhishma Narain Singh. Tamil Nadu was then under President's Rule. "Wasn't it the governor's responsibility to go into the whole security matter thoroughly? I have my doubts whether he applied his mind to the complexities involved," he says.  Mr Pradhan says that he specifically telephoned the governor to review the security arrangements for Mr Gandhi, who was leading the Congress's election campaign.  Once Mr Gandhi was killed, Mr Pradhan says, he told the governor to resign if he had any self-respect and take the responsibility for the Tamil Nadu Police's failure to protect the former prime minister. "I used very harsh language while talking to him (governor). What I said to Bhishma Narain Singh that day could be interpreted as my giving vent to anger, sorrow and mental agony, but the fact remains that despite several warnings, the governor did not apply his mind or use his powers to ensure adequate security." "He was the only one who could have stopped Rajiv Gandhi from visiting Sriperumbudur (the assassination spot) that night even after RG had landed at the Madras (Chennai) airport," says Mr Pradhan.  As a former home secretary, says Mr Pradhan, he was aware of the threats to Rajiv Gandhi's life.  "RG was the prime target of several organisations, including those of Sikh militants, the Sri Lanka-based LTTE and even the USA's Central Intelligence Agency (according to some sources). The Americans did not exactly appreciate RG's pan-Asian role and were wary of his returning to power with a fresh mandate," he claims (The Nation : 08 August 2014).

War crimes probe goes ahead with int’l advice - Indian and Japanese experts to be appointed to advisory panel - By Shamindra Ferdinando - With President Mahinda Rajapaksa broadening the mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons, the commission will shortly call for information from public as regards new matters under its investigation.  Chairman of the Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama yesterday said that fresh information would be sought from the public or any other party having data pertaining to accountability issues.  Asked by The Island whether the commission would have to be renamed because of the vastly expanded mandate it had received in accordance with a gazette notification issued on July 15, 2014, Paranagama said that would be President Rajapaksa’s prerogative. Responding to another query, Paranagama said that there were several issues to be tackled next week. The other two members of the commission are Ms. Suranjana Vidyaratne and Ms. Mano Ramanathan. Appointed in August 2013, the Commission had been tasked with inquiring into disappearances though a new mandate was given last month, Secretary to the Commission H. W. Gunadasa told The Island yesterday.  President Rajapaksa on Tuesday revealed plans to include three more panelists in an International Advisory Council (IAC) now in place to help the investigation. President Rajapaksa initially appointed Sir Desmond de Silva, former UN Chief War Crimes Prosecutor in Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Nice, formerly with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and David M. Crane, Chief Prosecutor of the Special Courts for Sierra Leone.  Authoritative sources said that Sri Lanka was seeking Indian and Japanese representatives in the IAC. Gunadasa said that newspaper advertisements would be published shortly seeking information regarding the following matters: (Island : 08 August 2014).

Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa -  by Ranjith Soysa - "When you are inspired by some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds.. Your mind transcends limitations. " Patanjali. Lt Gen DenzilKobbekaduwa‘s life was snatched away on 8th August 1992 leaving ever grateful millions of Sri Lankas in tears. He was a gentle soldier who led his team tactfully and bravely infusing confidence and inspiration to all who came into contact with him. The strategy and tactics he employed in the battlefield are legendary in that maximum results were achieved with the minimum use of resources causing least dislocation to the civilians. The recapture of the Elephant Pass in 1991, the liberation the Eastern Province and the Adampan Operation were some of the more significant and memorable battlefield achievements of this military leader.One important quality of this great soldier was his inborn sense of justice and fair play. He won the hearts and minds of civilians as well the fighting cardres. He lead from the front and was able to convince his forces that it was their own war as well as most of the civilians that it was much better to live in a free society than under the terrorists. His humanitarian approach towards the civilians won him plaudits from UNHCR. Even after he was heavily wounded the late Lt Gen Kebbekaduwa at the site of the blast said, "I am alright; see what can be done to others." The legend of DenzilKobbekadwa will continue to inspire Sri Lankan soldiers forever.The following quote from ‘the Lost Art of War; reminds us of the peerless calibre of this gentle giant."Commanders must be just: If they are not just they will lack dignity. Commandeers must be human: if they are not human their forces will not be effective. Commanders must have integrity: without integrity they have no power…." (Island : 07 August 2014).

Tribute to a Fallen Naval Hero: Rear Admiral Mohan Jayamaha - by Rear Admiral Shemal Fernando, RSP, USP, psc- In the annals of the Sri Lanka Navy history, the year 1992 is perhaps the most devastating and within a span of mere 100 days the cruelty of terrorism snatched away the lives of two of the most admired naval officers who were groomed to steer the glorious naval service.  The 8th of August and 16th of November were the two days of destiny or fate and both Rear Admiral Mohan Jayamaha, the Commander Northern Naval Area and Admiral Clancy Fernando, the Commander of the Navy had to made the ‘Supreme Sacrifice’.  This tribute is to mark the 22nd death anniversary of Rear Admiral Mohan Jayamaha who was killed along with eight gallant officers when the vehicle in which they were travelling was blasted by a pressure mine at Araly junction on Kayts Island in the Northern peninsula. The sudden demise of Rear Admiral Jayamaha was an irreplaceable loss to the Sri Lanka Navy as he was third in the line of succession and just 43 years in age. In that eventful year the executive branch officers of the Sri Lanka Navy comprised of only one Vice Admiral, one Rear Admiral, two Commodores, four Captains and eleven Commanders. He aptly portrayed good mannerism, gentleman qualities and exemplary character that are essential attributes of a naval officer and was able to win the hearts and admiration of his superiors, contemporaries and subordinates. In the struggle to save our country from the ruthless terrorists, he was executing his responsibilities in the Northern Naval Command with fervent dedication to the admiration of the Command.I was then serving as the Aide and Personal Secretary to the Commander of the Navy, Admiral Clancy Fernando and accompanied the admiral who travelled to Marawila to attest at a service wedding of a naval officer. We were on our return journey to Colombo and whilst passing Bolawatte junction, the Duty Staff Officer at Naval Headquarters called the Admiral on the Com Set and the admiral responded.  Rear Admiral Conan Anthony Mohan Jayamaha was born on 12th January 1949 at Durdans Hospital, Colombo. He had his entire education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, where he excelled as an athlete. He joined the Sri Lanka Navy as an Officer Cadet on 1st July 1969 and successfully completed the training with the 1st Intake of Cadets at the renowned Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee, winning the Sword of Honour.  He was promoted a Midshipman on 1st July 1970 and subsequently to the rank of Acting Sub Lieutenant on 1st January 1972 before being commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant on 1st July 1973. He became a Lieutenant on 3rd February 1974 and was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant Commander on 3rd February 1982. In appreciation of his valuable contributions and unblemished record of service, he was promoted to the rank of Commander on 1st January 1985 and later as a Captain on 1st January 1987.  On 24th December 1988, he was appointed the Commander Western Naval Area and subsequently headed the Directorates of Personal and Training as well as Operations. He was promoted to the rank of Commodore on 1st April 1990 and assumed duties as the Commander Northern Naval Area on 11th November 1991, in which appointment he served until his untimely death (Island : 06 August 2014).

MR: Int’l Advisory Council will be expanded further - GL stresses commitment to domestic process - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The government is planning to expand the International Advisory Council (IAC) tasked with advising a presidential commission probing disappearances during the conflict as well as accountability issues pertaining to Eelam War IV.  President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday announced the move at a meeting with editors and representatives of print and electronic media at Temple Trees. The government was in the process of bringing in three more international panelists, he said.  The government has recently appointed the IAC and expanded the scope of the mandate of the Commission. The Advisory Council comprises three legal luminaries. Sir Desmond de Silva was appointed its Chairman while Sir Geoffrey Nice, and Prof. David Crane are its current members.  Responding to a query, the President stressed that the appointments had been made consequent to a request made by Chairman of the Missing Persons Commission retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama.  The term of the Presidential Commission investigating alleged disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces was extended to Feb. 15, 2015. The announcement was made shortly after the conclusion of the Temple Trees meeting.  External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris explained measures taken by the government to strengthen the domestic investigative process as well as Sri Lanka’s decision to reject the operative para of the UNHRC resolution calling for an international inquiry into alleged atrocities committed during the conflict (Island : 06 August 2014).

There was an ‘LTTE mole’ in Rajiv’s home, claims his aide - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, August 5: Did an LTTE mole find his way to Rajiv Gandhi’s residence here, 10 Janpath, and pass on crucial information before his assassination? In a book published early this year, a former aide of the Gandhis points in that direction. He also claims that even Sonia Gandhi feels the same way. "There is yet another angle that emerged as the enquiries of the two commissions (Verma and Jain) progressed. There is no doubt in my mind that a ‘mole’ from the LTTE had found refuge in 10 Janpath," writes RD Pradhan in his book, "My years with Rajiv and Sonia". "Although many suspects were arrested and some convicted, I think it is ordained that the truth shall not come out. It seems to me to be part of conspiracy hatched by several influential persons in faraway places. Someone inside 10 Janpath provided crucial information to the mole. I know for sure that Sonia Gandhi, who was away in Amethi virtually throughout the 1991 Lok Sabha election campaign, feels the same way," he further writes.The Justice Verma Commission looked into the security lapses leading to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination while the Jain commission looked into the security lapses.  "In my view, only the Tamil Nadu administration could have had some inkling of the LTTE’s evil intentions. The LTTE had lulled everyone into complacency while undertaking preparations to assassinate RG (Rajiv Gandhi). The LTTE had succeeded. But both the IB (Intelligence Bureau) and the Tamil Nadu Governor (Bhishma Narain Singh) had failed in my view," he writes in the chapter, ‘Could Rajiv Gandhi’s life have been saved’?  Pradhan worked as Union Home Secretary for one-and-a-half years with Rajiv Gandhi when the latter was Prime Minister. He was also in charge of Sonia Gandhi’s office in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) between during 1998-2003.He also writes that overbearing security annoyed Rajiv Gandhi, who was prime minister during 1984-89. Once he threw the switch keys of his three escort vehicles into a flowing drain and drove off in anger. The incident occurred on June 30, 1985, the day Air Chief Marshal LM Katre died after a heart attack. Despite the driving rain, the PM and his wife went over to the late air chief’s residence to offer their condolences. Separate security cavalcades accompanied them.When Rajiv stepped out and saw the massive security, he asked a police officer to ensure that the convoy did not follow him. "However, when he got into the vehicle along with Sonia Gandhi, he found that the entire fleet of cars was moving behind.Apparently, the police officer had not understood his instructions," recalls Pradhan.  "He stepped out into the torrential rain and, as he walked past the cavalcade, which had come to a halt, he opened the doors of the escort vehicles and pulled out the switch keys of three cars. The assistant commissioner of police, who was at the tail end, rushed to where the PM was standing. He was shocked when the PM opened the door of his car and took away the keys without uttering a word. He then moved to two other vehicles and did the same. "Before returning to his own vehicle, he threw all the keys into the storm water drain and drove away. The ACP gaped at him in a state of shock, not knowing what to do. All the six security cars were stranded in the middle of New Delhi’s Rajajji Marg in the pouring rain," writes Pradhan..  "To add to their woes, the security staff had lost the wireless communication link with the PM’s vehicle and did not know where he had gone. They were in a state of panic. Only after 15 minutes did they come to know that the PM had reached his house," he further writes (Island : 06 August 2014).

War crimes probes: Sri Lanka suffers for want of cohesive planning - Pathetic failure to exploit Wiki Leaks, US Defence Advisor’s declaration baffling - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The Sri Lankan government should have anticipated the latest move against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the human rights front. With war veteran Rajapaksa being the subject of a recent Congressional hearing meant to explore ways and means of prosecuting him as a US citizen for alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of eelam war IV, the government can expect a hardening of the UN position also on the human rights issue.  The Congress was told that the most obvious federal criminal statute is the War Crimes Act of 1996, which applied to U.S. citizen Rajapaksa. In case, the Justice Department felt that there was insufficient evidence for a criminal indictment, it could consider pursuing civil liability.  In fact, the US revealed its intention to zero-in on Rajapaksa over accountability issues a couple of months after the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. The US project came to light when the then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Sarath Fonseka was on a private visit to the US. Although the Department of Homeland Security refrained from interviewing the General following strong objections by the Sri Lankan government, Professor of Law Ryan Goodman, who is also the Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice raised the possibility of using various statements made by the former army chief against Defence Secretary Rajapaksa before Congress. Goodman made his presentation titled ‘Road Map II: Legal Avenues to Prosecute a US Citizen for War Crimes—The Case of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ on July 30.  Goodman wants to exploit Rajapaksa and Fonseka having dual Sri Lankan and US citizenship to prosecute the Defence Secretary on the basis of Fonseka’s testimony. Goodman wouldn’t have gone before Congress, unless he was convinced the US administration was serious about opening a new front against Sri Lanka. Goodman called General Fonseka a long term permanent resident of the US aka green card holder. Obviously, Goodman wanted to use Gen. Fonseka, a green card holder to prosecute Defence Secretary Rajapaksa though the writer inadvertently identified both Rajapaksa and Fonseka as dual Sri Lankan, US citizens in a front-page news item headlined Newest moves on war crimes exploit Gota’s & Gen SF’s US citizenship in the August 2 edition of The Sunday Island (island : 05 August 2014).

A response to K.Vigneswaran - "Full implementation of 13 - A" - By Neville Ladduwahetty - Dr. K. Vigneswaran’s (KV) response (The Island, July 28, 2014) to my article of June 9, 2014 titled "India’s call for full implementation of 13-A" has been given a different title: "Full implementation of 13-A". The difference between them says it all. My article was addressed specifically to India, and was intended to bring to the attention of the new administration of India under Prime Minister Modi, the factual situation regarding 13-A. On the other hand, KV has indulged in a comparative presentation of constitutional provisions of 13-A in Sri Lanka vis-à-vis constitutional provisions for States in India, completely missing the thrust of my article and going off on an excursion of his own creation.  Starting from paragraph 1 of my article, reference is made to Prime Minister Modi , and I specifically state that "The following are the realities that India should be aware of ", and went on to cite 10 specific facts that "India should be aware of". The focus of my article was to bring to India’s attention the near identical provisions that exist between those granted to States in India and to Provinces in Sri Lanka under 13-A, in respect ONLY of Executive and Legislative powers starting from Article 153 onwards and how 13-A was operating on the ground. It was not a comparison of the scope of devolved powers in the 2 countries.  KV having conceded that "certain sections of the 13th Amendment is near identical to that in the Indian Constitution", goes on to state that "its scope and extent have been deliberately undermined by…a separate Provincial Council Act". As proof he states: "The recommendations of the Governor has to be obtained prior to placing the statutes before the Provincial Council". This provision in the Act does not apply to every statute. Section 24 applies primarily to issues relating to finance and any others that come within the jurisdiction of the Governor. Refer Section 24 (a) to (d) and 24 (2) and (3). The limitation provided for in Section 24 is as it should be, because the Governor is responsible for all Executive functions including Finance. To interpret and imply that it applies to all statutes is to be disingenuous (Island : 05 August 2014).

SC: Chief Secy. does not come under CM - By Chitra Weerarathne - The Chief Secretaries appointed to provincial councils by the Executive President do not come under the Chief Ministers, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has unanimously determined.  The SC said that since the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C. V. Wignaswaran had on July 28, 2014 unconditionally withdrawn a document P10, which asked the Chief Secretary Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh, to have her leave and travel approved by the Chief Minister, there was no need to inquire into the alleged fundamental rights violation case filed by Mrs. Ramesh.  The apex court upheld the contention that the Chief Secretary was appointed by the President and was directly responsible to the President, for appointment, transfer, removal. However, all public officers were governed by the directions of the Public Services Commission for leave, retirement, dismissal from public service etc. In the province, the administrative activities are governed by the Provincial Council Act of 1987, as amended thereafter.  The Chief Secretary should work in collaboration with Chief Minister within the Provincial Council Laws.  On March 24, 2014, the Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition of Mrs. Ramesh. She alleged that the document P10 was arbitrary. The court suspended the operation of P10 till final determination subsequently on July 28, the Chief Minister unconditionally, withdrew P10. Yesterday, the proceedings of the case were terminated.  K. Kanag Ishwaran PC appeared with M. A. Sumanthiran for the first respondent C. V. Wignaswaran.  Gomin Dayasiri appeared for the petitioner, Mrs. Ramesh. The Deputy Solicitor General, Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General. The order was by the Chief Justice Mohan Pieris with Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Rohini Marasinghe agreeing (Island : 05 April 2014).

Addressless Tigers may get ex-parte justice in India - The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal in India has run into an insurmountable logistical snag. It has scheduled a hearing on September 03, when a representative from the unlawful LTTE has to appear and reply to a show-cause notice as to why the five-year ban imposed on the outfit by the Indian Union should not continue, but the banned group no longer has any address.  The notice was issued by the Tribunal on July 17, but no one knows where to send it and therefore, it has not been directed to anyone; it is just addressed to the banned outfit.  It was due to such problems, that the Indian Parliament passed an amendment in 2013 by which the ban period for any outfit found to be engaged in ‘unlawful activities’, inimical to the state or to the cause of humanity can be extended from two to five years, according to the Indian Express (IE)  IE reports that thereafter, the Indian government using that amendment clamped a five-year ban on LTTE in February 2013. But, bound by law and international norms, it set up a Tribunal under Delhi High Court judge G P Mittal to adjudicate on the matter—"whether or not there is sufficient cause of declaring the LTTE as an Unlawful Association as required" by the Act.  But Justice Mittal and the Tribunal were in a spot when they tried to issue the show-cause notice. The Tribunal did the next best thing and sent the notice to the Union Home Ministry.  The Ministry of Home Affairs, too, was no less flummoxed. Not knowing where to forward it, the Ministry has put it up on its official website hoping someone would respond. Simultaneously, it has also sent a copy to the state police in Tamil Nadu, in case they could locate an address. Last heard, the TN police are considering putting out a notice in the newspapers, to see if any one responds.  "They cannot maintain any office here in India as it’ll then be immediately sealed and people arrested under the Act. It’s a curious situation, but the law has to be followed, however grave and overwhelming the reason for banning the organisation," a source explained. In case no one turns up, the Tribunal will take an ex-parte decision endorsing the five-year ban. Till then, they are quietly looking for an Eelam activist (island : 03 August 2014).

Islamic extremists spreading tentacles – JHU Accuses Muslim leadership of keeping mum

What is this Agreement ??

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 03 August 2014). 

US gunning for Gota? - Attempts are being made by some quarters in the United States to frame war crimes charges against Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in respect of the incidents that had allegedly taken place during the last lap of the war against the LTTE.  Ryan Goodman, co-editor-in-chief of Just Security, who had made a presentation at a congressional briefing recently on issues of accountability in Sri Lanka has pointed out the legal avenue to prosecute Rajapaksa as a US citizen for war crimes.  “The most obvious federal criminal statue in the War Crimes. Act of 1966, which applies to US citizen like Gotabaya,” he argued. He had further contended that the Justice Department could also consider pursuing civil liability if there were insufficient evidence for a criminal indictment (Daily Mirror ; 02 August 2014).

MONEY TALKS FOR THE NGOs - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - Today’s Daily News (31/7/2014”) reported Quote “ GOVTs FUND NGO GRAVY TRAIN “-Three NGOs get Rs. 618.33 m. Donors gave Rs. 618.33 million to three NGOs - Centre for Policy Alternatives received Rs. 277 million, National Peace Council received Rs.171 million while Transparency International received Rs.174 million. Unquote”.  Where have these funds gone other than enhancing their personal lavish life styles and anti-Government propaganda. Presumably they would have been spending some of these funds to buy some local media too to propagate their hidden agenda. No wonder that the heads of these three organizations have been spreading anti- Government and anti-Sinhala Buddhist Stanza instead of constructive criticism of the governments. No wonder they can afford to have cocktail parties in plush hotels every other day. If you go to the plush Restaurants and five star hotel Restaurants, you will observe at least 50 % of the diners are top heads of NGOs. No wonder the axiom MONEY TALKS.  We have not forgotten how CPA, NPC and TI have been molly codling, appeasing and white washing LTTE terrorist out fit over the years. They still continue to do so even today by teaming up with LTTE supportive international Tamil Diaspora and bring false allegations against the present government at every turn. The agenda of these NGOs and many other NGOs is to destabilize and carry out regime change in Sri Lanka so that an Anglo-Saxon supported regime can be brought in. The previous governments and the present Government have been naïve for not strictly monitoring these NGOs activities and its funds given by foreign Governments and their nefarious Agencies.  It’s time that the Sri Lanka Tax office gone deep into the operations of these organizations including some other NGOs to verify whether they come under the categories of non-taxable entities. The Tax Office should also verify the personal tax files of the top hierarchy of the NGOs to ascertain whether they are tax payers or not. It is learnt that the Government has decided to bring more stringent laws to monitor the NGO sector and it’s vital that Government should not leave any loopholes to enable them to seep through the law.

Ex-Indian Foreign Minister: JRJ feared a coup; Rajiv rushed IPKF IPKF went in without clear briefings or objectives ... - By S Venkat Narayan Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, August 1: Rajiv Gandhi, during his tenure as prime minister in 1987, gave orders to send Indian troops to Sri Lanka without consulting his Cabinet colleagues or top officials, India’s former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh has claimed in a television interview.  In an interview to Headlines Today broadcast on Thursday to promote his autobiography One Life is Not Enough which hit the stands on Friday, Singh said Gandhi took the controversial decision while he was in Colombo attending a reception given by then Sri Lankan President JR Jayewardene, without taking the advice of any of his officials.  According to Singh, shortly after signing the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement (ISLA) on 29 July 1987, Jayawardene asked for troops because he feared a coup against him and Gandhi instantly agreed.  The Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) had arrived in Jaffna in the early hours of July 30.  Singh said that by the time he and PV Narasimha Rao, who was also in Colombo with Gandhi, found out, the order to send troops to Sri Lanka had already been issued.  Initially, the IPKF was sent to the island’s Northern and Eastern provinces to disarm the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other Tamil rebel groups that were waging an armed guerrilla war for Eelam, a separate homeland for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils.  The IPKF disarmed the smaller rebel groups, which promptly laid down their arms. But LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran refused to give up arms and fought the IPKF. Ranasinghe Premadasa, who succeeded Jayewardene as President, provided weapons to the LTTE to fight the IPKF because he wanted the Indian troops out of the island. He even threatened to commit suicide if India did not withdraw the peace-keepers. Singh also claimed that Rajiv Gandhi naively trusted LTTE chief Prabhakaran. Natwar said that after Rajiv Gandhi met Prabhakaran, he asked the PM if he had got anything in writing from Prabhakaran (Island : 01 August 2014).

Islamic extremists spreading tentacles – JHU Accuses Muslim leadership of keeping mum - by Harischandra Gunaratna - Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe yesterday alleged that some Muslim political leaders in Sri Lanka were opportunists and hypocrites as they turned a blind eye to atrocities committed by Islamic extremists in many parts of the world while claiming that Muslims were ill-treated in Sri Lanka.  He was addressing the media in Colombo yesterday. "Terrorist organisations like Taliban and ISIS already have a foothold in Europe and are spreading their tentacles to other parts of the world which has been raised in the House of Commons by British Prime Minister David Cameron.  Sri Lanka was no exception, he warned. The Islamic extremist organisations had declared that they would create an Islamic kingdom encompassing West Asia, North Africa and Sri Lanka.Warnasinghe alleged that several incidents where Muslim extremists attacked innocent people in this country had gone unreported as the media institutions were under pressure from certain powerful elements."Muslim extremism has to be nipped in the bud by the government before it is too late," Warnasinghe added (Island : 31 July 2014).

MoD responds to US embassy allegations pertaining to accountability issues - The Ministry of Defence alleges that perceptions of the Colombo based US Embassy officials about reconciliation in Sri Lanka seem to be fashioned primarily on the interests of pro-LTTE diaspora and likeminded elements within the country. The US mission, it says, largely ignors ground realities as well as the tremendous progress in Sri Lanka since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya has issued the following statement on behalf of the Ministry of Defence: "Departing from all accepted norms of respectful engagement, which should characterise diplomatic exchanges between countries, the US Embassy officials in Colombo, continue to make allegations against the Government of Sri Lanka through a section of the press and social media. The attempt appears to be to sensationalize issues rather than find answers to certain concerns that they may have on issues in the country. It is emphasized that this kind of action does not support meaningful engagement at any level."The latest comes in the form of comments made by the Embassy Spokesperson regarding the Commission of Inquiry on disappearances and the recent appointment of an international advisory panel. The broad, sweeping allegations made by these officials therein, are without any factual basis."In its comments, while welcoming a credible investigation, the US Embassy spokesperson says that there are "numerous reports of widespread threats and intimidation by security forces against witnesses and potential witnesses to the Commission". To date no evidence to substantiate this claim has been brought to the attention of any Government authority. If indeed the US Embassy was genuinely concerned regarding threats to witnesses, specific details of such incidents and reports should have been made available to the Government for a response. The Government of Sri Lanka rejects unreservedly these baseless and uncorroborated statements and repeated attempts by the US Embassy in Colombo to malign the conduct of Sri Lanka’s security forces (Island : 29 July 2014).

Don’t take part in Lanka defence meet - Vaiko - MDMK, an ally of BJP in Tamil Nadu has urged the Union government toshun a defence conference organized by the Sri Lankan Army next month.  "It is shocking to learn that an Indian delegation, comprising senior military personnel, officials and BJP leaders, including Subramanian Swamy, will be participating in a defence conference organised by Sri Lanka," the Indian media quoted MDMK General Secretary Vaiko as having said in a statement issued in Tamil Nadu.  The three-day conference is scheduled to begin on on August 18. Reiterating his charge that Sri Lanka had committed genocide and annihilated Tamils using even banned chemical weapons, Vaiko said the Centre’s pro-Lanka stance had led to doubts whether India was going to bury justice by joining hands with the Sri Lankan government. "At a time when several nations are urging an independent, international probe into the genocide in the United Nations Human Rights Council, an Indian delegation participating in the Lanka defence meet is unpardonable," he was quoted as having said.  On the remark attributed to senior BJP functionary Seshadri Chari in Singapore that "India’s foreign policy cannot be determined by considering Tamil Nadu and West Bengal," Vaiko said the view was ‘poisonous" and deserved to be condemned (Island : 29 July 2014).

A contradictory US diplomatic cable from Colombo How the media influenced Blake to believe P’karan, 300 terrorists committed suicide on the night of May 16/17 - by Shamindra Fedinando - Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the Sri Lankan government has spent a colossal amount of taxpayers’ money to counter war crimes allegations directed against the leadership, political as well as the military.  Expensive foreign PR firms have engaged in unsuccessful propaganda campaigns on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka. The foreign PR projects were in addition to the government’s own initiatives, both here and abroad. The passage of US led resolution 25/1 in March meant that government efforts have pathetically failed and the administration is now under investigation. The resolution paved the way for the appointment of a team of investigator under the leadership of Ms Sandra Beidas, formerly of the London headquartered Amnesty International.  Sri Lanka’s decision not to cooperate with the UN investigation team, will not have a bearing on its final report scheduled to be revealed at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) next March. Sri Lanka will have to face the consequences in spite of New Delhi strongly opposing the investigative mechanism. In fact, India’s criticism of what it called an intrusive mechanism is irrelevant as as far the Western block seeking a regime change here is concerned. Having backed two previous resolutions moved by the US in 2012 and 2013, India skipped the vote this year. With the recent appointment of an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to the Presidential Commission to investigate cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the government should re-examine the entire gamut of issues. The government shouldn’t hesitate to closely study projects undertaken by foreign PR firms on its behalf. Consequent to the broadening of the scope of the Presidential Commission’s mandate, it is of pivotal importance to thoroughly examine the entire range of accusations, as well as Sri Lanka’s response. Sir Desmond de Silva functions as Chairman of the IAP which comprises Sir Geoffrey Nice and Professor David Crane. The three-member Presidential Commission, comprises Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs. Suranjana Vidyaratne and Mrs. Mano Ramanathan (Island ; 29 July 2014).

Investigate NGOs - Investigate NGOs including their objectives, activities, sources of income, expenditure, derived benefits and periodic reporting - The non-government organizations (NGOs) operating in Sri Lanka which are mainly funded by foreign sources are a direct threat to the social cohesion, peace and harmony of Sri Lanka. They should be investigated immediately so as to separate those abiding by the law and delivering benefit from those that are acting as agents of foreign agents subverting the harmony and democracy in Sri Lanka while swindling the vulnerable public.  Furthermore, transparent reporting would put an end to corruption that is rampant in this sector. The history of the conduct of some of the NGO activities demonstrate contemptible efforts to not only swindle the nation of benefits expected by honest sponsors of some of these NGOs but also undermine the social fabric of the Nation. Some of the initiatives funded foreign governments organisations peddliing anti- national and anti - government agenda. Examples of such activities include but not limited to:

1. Supporting LTTE terrorism directly and indirectly.

2. Underwriting media efforts of LTTE sympathetic fronts.

3. Strengthening of the separatist ideology for the balkanization of Sri Lanka.

4. Denigrating the Sinhala Buddhists and launching programmes to destroy the country’s heritage thus weakening the Nation.

5. Assisting directly and indirectly, plans to destabilize Sri Lanka and her people.

6. Direct and indirect involvement in unethical conversions and the formation of radicalized extreme religious groups.

7. Direct involvement with forces which are seeking "a regime change" thus undermining the democratically elected Government.

8. Funding of the media and other foreign agents disseminating misinformation.

9. Associating and working in partnership with anti-Sri Lankan foreign organizations contrary to the conditions of NGO registration in Sri Lanka.

10. Illegal, improper and questionable receipt of funds and expenditure of the NGOs

11. Misuse of funds so received contrary to the conditions of registration of the NGOs in Sri Lanka and the constitutions of these NGOs.

In a recent article, an eminent Sri Lankan journalist pointed out that foreign donors funded

(See details in Island ; 27 July 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 27 July 2014). 

Poor turnout: Pro-LTTE demo in Glasgow on low key

Pro-LTTE demonstrators waving Tamil Eelam flags during last week’s protest in Glasgow, Scotland.

Poor turnout: Pro-LTTE demo in Glasgow on low key - As President skips Commonwealth Games opening - By Sujeeva Nivunhella, in London-With "security concerns" keeping President Mahinda Rajapaksa away from attending last week’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the planned pro-LTTE demonstration opposite the Celtic stadium lost its steam. "The number of activists expected to turn up for the demonstration dwindled as news spread that the President would not be coming for the event", sources said.The organizers were expecting a huge turn-out, but eventually a few hundred assembled at Barrowfield Street prior to the opening ceremony to go ahead with the protest despite the Sri Lankan leader’s non-attendance, they said.The protesters openly waved Eelam flags, shouted anti-Sri Lanka slogans and were attired in T-shirts sporting Prabakaran’s photograph despite the LTTE listed as a proscribed terrorist outfit in the UK, the sources said."This was shocking", one witness said. The demonstrators were given a free hand with the British authorities turning a blind eye, they asserted.Some of the placards the protesters displayed carried slogans such as "Not just war crimes, its planned genocide", "Our Nation, Tamil Eelam", "Sri Lanka is a shame to the Commonwealth", "Suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth", "Sri Lanka must end occupation of Tamil Eelam", "We want independent, international investigation".Although there were over 30 centres in the UK to pick up Tamils for the demonstration with free transport provided, the turn-out from other key cities across Europe was very poor, the sources said.The organizers were banking on thousands of pro-LTTE Tamils for the demonstration, but it was a big disappointment. They seem to have lost steam after President Rajapaksa’s decision to keep away, they said.While the pro-LTTE lobby claimed that Rajapaksa did not attend the ceremony because of their planned demonstration, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris said last week that the President decided to keep away due to "security concerns".The organizers were expecting the Sinhala community to stage a counter demonstration in support of the President, as on previous occasions, but there was none, Tamil sources said.Meanwhile, a day prior to the opening ceremony, a book titled "Britain’s Dirty War Against the Tamil People, 1979 – 2009" written by Phil Miller was launched at the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Glasgow. Author Phil Miller is a researcher for Corporate Watch in London. He also reported on British involvement in crushing the 1971 JVP uprising in Ceylon and planning the 1984 Golden Temple raid in Amritsar, as well as Downing Street’s backing of British mercenaries in Uganda during the 1980s (Island : 26 July 2014).

Sri Lanka Govt. initiative makes OHCHR probe redundant

Govt. initiative makes OHCHR probe redundant - By Neville Ladduwahetty - It is clear from the text of the UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 of March 26, 2014 cited below that the expanded mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons would make any investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) redundant.  Paragraph 2 of the text to UNHRC Resolution "Calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law…" (Island : 24 July 2014).

MR shuns C’wealth event in UK due to ‘security concerns’ - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Taking into consideration the failure on the part of the British government to restraining the UK based LTTE groups during his previous visits, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against attending the World War I Commemorative Service for the Commonwealth at Glasgow Cathedral on August 4.  External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, has, in a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as well as Minister of Equalities stressed that the decision to skip the Commonwealth event had been taken due to the British government’s failure on previous occasions to rein in LTTE groups, though the LTTE remains proscribed in the UK. Alleging that the British law enforcement authorities turned a blind eye to violent protests against the Sri Lankan delegation including President Rajapaksa himself, Prof. Peiris has recalled how bottles and cans were thrown at the car carrying President Rajapaksa.  Responding to a query by The Island, a spokesperson for the British High Commission said: "This is a matter to pursue with the Sri Lankan government, but, yes, we were informed."  Referring to President Rajapaksa’s visit to London in June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prof. Peiris has pointed that the diaspora groups disrupted the visiting Sri Lanka’s itinerary though the main event wasn’t targeted.  The Cameron government has been informed that the Sri Lankan government felt that it is unsafe for President Rajapaksa to participate at the early August event due to LTTE groups taking advantage of the situation to launch protests (Island : 23 July 2014).

BJP admits Indira created terrorism, reassures non-interference - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Having acknowledged that former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had blundered by providing weapons training for Sri Lankan terrorist groups in the 80s, Chairman of the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) Committee on Strategic Action, Dr. Subramanian Swamy on Monday (21) emphasised that India wouldn’t intervene in post-war Sri Lanka under any circumstance.  The BJP is the dominant partner in the National Democratic Alliance (DNA).  One-time Indian Foreign Secretary J. N. Dixit too, faulted Indira Gandhi for giving active support to Sri Lankan terrorist groups.  The former Union Minister Swamy recalled several failures on the part of successive Sri Lankan governments to address the national issue.  Referring to the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam pact finalized on July 26, 1957, Swamy called it a missed opportunity. The BJP official blamed Sri Lanka for not honouring it.  The agreement envisaged the creation of regional councils in accordance with an overall plan to give a certain level of autonomy to Tamil speaking people. Due to intense pressure from the majority community, the then Premier Bandaranaike abandoned it in May 1958.  Swamy was addressing a panel discussion titled India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world at the BMICH. Arranged by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, the event brought four other eminent BJP personalities including Dr. Seshadri Chari of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Other panelists were Dr. Swapan Dasgupta, Prof. Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Suresh Prabhu.  The BJP delegation basically asserted that the Tamil issue shouldn’t be allowed to undermine Indo-Lanka relations. Swamy said: "De-link Indo-Lanka relations from the Tamil problem," while emphasizing the pivotal importance of economic development as well as closer regional cooperation among SAARC grouping. Swamy declared that Sri Lankan Tamil factor had never been an issue there and heavy electoral defeats experienced by those who campaigned on that particular issue at the recently concluded parliamentary polls revealed the true position. According to him, it hadn’t been an issue at 2009 elections either.  Swamy said that as an Indian he was delighted to see the annihilation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Asserting that Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism was unparalleled, outspoken Swamy endorsed the political leadership given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the war effort. The Indian said that forcible recruitment of child soldiers was now a thing of the past. Due to the end of conflict, children now returned home after having attended schools, Swamy said, adding that husbands too, could come back after work.  Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan, MP, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, Chairman of UNP Leadership Council and parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne and UPFA MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe were among those present at the meeting.  Having briefly discussed the circumstances under which Prime Ministers were appointed in the post-independence era, BJP leader and Premier Narandra Modi wasn’t the nominee of any particular group or person, Swamy said. The BJP official went on to underscore the qualities of Modi vis-a-vis those who had held that position before, while highlighting the new Premier’s decision to invite President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his swearing in ceremony in spite of substantial opposition. The invitation extended to President Rajapaksa was in line with Premier Modi’s efforts at having closer relations with all SAARC countries, Swamy said. Commenting on new Indian foreign policy, Swamy said that Israel, Iran, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia had been selected for special initiatives.  While condemning SAARC as a weak organisation, Swamy stressed the need to restructure SAARC without delay. He said that Premier Modi was keen to revive the grouping (Island ; 22 July 2014).

Army Corporal who joined tigers also extradited from Malaysia - By Norman Palihawadana - A Sinhalese who was arrested in Malaysia along with three LTTE cadres was a former Army Corporal who had joined the Tigers with the intention of making more money, police investigations revealed.  He was extradited to Colombo, last Friday by the Malaysian authorities along with the three Tamil Tigers.  Ex-corporal had met LTTE leaders after deserting the army.  Police investigations are on the telephone conversations he had with people in Sri Lanka while he was in Malaysia (Island : 22 July 2014).

How the ICRC exonerated SLA from genocide charge - War crimes: The relevance of a secret US missive from Geneva - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka (1997-2009) commissioned by the Norwegian government largely dealt with eelam war IV. The report, officially released in September 2011 by Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) much to the surprise of those wanting to blame the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) for the bloody end to the conflict examined a series of classified US diplomatic cables that shed light on the situation here. The evaluation team which commenced data collection in September 2010 included Gunnar M. Sørbø (Social anthropologist, team leader), Jonathan Goodhand (Development studies, deputy team leader), Bart Klem (Geographer, conflict analysis, monitoring and mediation),Ada Elisabeth Nissen (Historian, archival studies) and Hilde Beate Selbervik (Historian, overview of Norwegian aid to Sri Lanka).  The evaluation team, in its final report acknowledged that the examination of confidential US diplomatic cables released through whistle-blowing Wiki Leaks relating to Sri Lanka had been useful. However, the team admitted that Wiki Leaks released what it called new material of relevance to assess the situation in Sri Lanka and that such information couldn’t be evaluated.  Had the LTTE not resumed the war in early August 2006, leading to its eventual battlefield defeat in May 2009, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have been discussed extensively in US diplomatic cables, primarily originating from Colombo. But there had been references to Sri Lanka in diplomatic cables originating from New Delhi as well as London. But perhaps, the most important cable relevant to Sri Lanka originated from Geneva soon after the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka never exploited the situation to its advantage. Surprisingly, even five years after the war the government is yet to examine all available information to counter accountability issues. Had there been a cohesive effort on the GoSL’s part, it could have successfully challenge war crimes accusations, including genocide, targeting the Vanni population (Island : 22 July 2014).

Political Islam is a global problem and not confined to Sri Lanka alone

Is another ‘decapitation drama’ on its way? - By S Akurugoda - It is learnt from media reports that the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, arrived in Sri Lanka with a delegation of officials. According to the reports, Ramaphosa has been appointed South African President Jacob Zuma’s Special Envoy to help consolidate peace in Sri Lanka In a statement, Ramaphosa said he would meet the Sri Lankan government, Opposition parties, citizens and try to help the Sri Lanka with the Truth and Reconciliation process, their own constitutional reform and ‘make sure Sri Lanka does indeed become a stable country where they will enjoy human rights.’ The above statement reported to have been made by Ramaphosa is in contrary with the National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s statement that his party has no objection to the visit since the Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella had said Ramaphosa is visiting the country as a ‘tourist’.  We also learnt from media reports, few months ago, that there was an offer from the South African President who visited CHOGUM to provide support to the reconsolidation by way of a mediator (similar to that provided by Norway since the inception of so-called peace processes). In fact, based on the above information, the NFF made its protest against the proposed mediation of South Africa saying that if the government allows Ramaphosa’s planned visit, it would compel them to take a decision on their future with the alliance.  Ramaphosa concluded his visit after meeting a number of political leaders including the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister GL Peiris, the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and NPC Chief Minister J Wigneswaran and a visit to the Northern Province. He is expected to brief South African President Jacob Zuma on his engagements in Sri Lanka Thus, whatever the ministers proclaimed, it is understandable even to a 3rd or 4th year student that a foreign delegation comprising country’s Deputy President, a Minister, government officials and some members of NGOs (so-called civil societies) are not visiting us as just tourists!  It looks like our rulers never learn from the past experiences. There are many examples, throughout our history and even during the last three decade, of how our rulers allowed foreigners to intervene to resolve our own internal matters and got into trouble as a result of such actions. India, our neighbor, is the first country came to interfere after the independence, initially, by way of arranging ‘Thimpu Talk’ to find a ‘peace’. What happed later are well known and need not repeat here. How many lives we lost during that period? The infamous Norway extended their hand, far from the European Continent, with the same message of ‘peace’ during Chandrika’s rule and we were in a real mesh until 2009. How many lives and how much worth of property we lost during that time? Soon after the Prabhakaran-Ranil Pact (MoU prepared by Peace Maker Norway) was signed, I remember, an article written by Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara titled ‘Sama Diyareddde’ appeared on a newspaper (in March 2002).(The Nation : 20 July 2014).

Malaysia sends home three LTTE suspects - According to Police they have been handed over to the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) and were now being detained and questioned Three of the four suspected LTTE members arrested recently in Malaysia have been sent back to Sri Lanka on Friday (July 18) night, police said yesterday. The men had been taken into custody on July 3 by Malaysia’s Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division. Accordingly, Edmond Singaraja alias Seelan alias Sashi, Anguru Kankanamge Indika Sanjeewa alias Mohammed Sanjaya Abdul and Abdul Saleem bin Mohammed were returned to Sri Lanka by Malaysian authorities. They have been handed over to the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) and were now being detained and questioned, police said. However, there was no mention of the fourth suspect in Malaysian custody, identified as Sornalingam Puvaneswaran alias Eesan, being handed over to Lankan authorities. Puvaneswaran is alleged to be a member of the LTTE’s intelligence wing. According to Australian media reports, he had fled Sri Lanka in 2009 and had been granted asylum and permanent residency in Australia. He had been living and working in a Melbourne suburb while lobbying for his wife and two children to join him on a family reunion visa. Puvaneswaran’s family had moved to Malaysia sometime back and he had reportedly travelled to Kuala Lumpar last month to visit them.His family has denied accusations he has any LTTE links. Australian media had also reported that Australian high commission officials in Malaysia were providing consular assistance to Puvaneswaran. It was unclear whether Puvaneswaran’s status as an Australian permanent resident had resulted in him being kept in Malaysia while the other three were handed over to Sri Lanka. According to some reports, Indika Sanjeewa, who was arrested by Malaysian authorities and handed over to Sri Lanka on Friday, was a former officer holding the rank of captain in the Sri Lanka Army and had allegedly collaborated with the LTTE during the war. He had allegedly supplied vital information to Tiger Intelligence head ‘Pottu Amman’ in return for money. Sanjeewa, who had deserted the army, had fled to Malaysia in 2009 soon after the war ended where it is suspected he continued to collaborate with the overseas network of the LTTE.The Nation made repeated attempts to contact Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya to verify these reports, but he was unavailable. Seelan alias Sasi, is also reported to be a member of the LTTE’s intelligence wing. He is alleged to have been involved in the 1999 assassination attempt former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Seelan had reportedly held an accredited refugee card issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Abdul Saleem bin Mohammed is alleged to be an associate of another Sri Lankan national, Zakir Hussain, who was arrested in India in May while plotting attacks on foreign consulates and other installations on Indian soil (The Nation : 20 July 2014).

Weekly Defence Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 20 July 2014). 

Political Islam is a global problem and not confined to Sri Lanka alone - by Shenali D Waduge-The propagandists enjoy flashing across mainstream media to project the notion that Muslims are targeted only in Sri Lanka and only by Buddhists. We know that is not so. Every country around the globe including the 57 Muslim countries of the world are having issues with Muslims. If it is not about Muslims and non-Muslims the conflicts surround Muslims against Muslims. The problem is not a small one especially when 23% of the world is Muslim (1.62billion). If Islam is a religion of peace exactly how has Muslims ended up in arms fighting either themselves or non-Muslims? Is the violence the fault of non-Muslims or is it found in the religious texts of Islam? What needs to be accepted by all Muslims is that leaving aside hyped propaganda, a problem does exist. If it is not to do with Muslims-Muslims it is Muslims vs Non-Muslims. Given that there are always the mischief makers looking to make personal gains from these conflicts, the most important question is what are we going to do about the problem or in particular what does the Muslim world propose to do about the problem. They can either deny or decide to resolve the issue at 2 levels: the Muslim-Muslim differences and the Muslim-Non-Muslim integration. In both issues the inability to co-exist takes centre stage. How can Muslims co-exist because if they cannot co-exist amongst themselves how can they co-exist with non-Muslims and who or what is stopping them from co-existing is what Muslims need to now identify?The general allegation is that non-Muslims do not understand Muslims or Islam. We can next ask whether do Muslims understand themselves or Islam because the factions and differences are so strong that violence has become the only chosen way of silencing the other. The Muslim world cannot deny Muslim attacks on Muslims.The primary issue is that Islam the religion of peace, the foundation of a world civilization does not add up with ground realties and these realities pervade worse in countries where Muslims are in charge of their own. Almost all majority Muslim nations are backward, people are illiterate and women are abused. There are only 500 universities in the 57 Muslim countries in the world whereas in US alone there are 5758 universities and 8407 in India. Literacy in the Muslim world is just 40% (LankaWeb ; 19 July 2014).

Making a submission to UN War Crime panel means accepting its credibility.

Sri Lanka Govt has rejected it.

Rauf Hakeem should have been sacked from the Cabinet (Divaina : 16 July 2014). 

Are we giving into Foreign Conspirators? - By S. Akurugoda - According to a shocking news item appeared in the front page of The Island dated 27th June 2014, under the heading 'Ahead of Presidential polls: Government troubled by US-funded project', US was planning to fund those who have been opposed to SLFP-led coalition, through local NGOs to implement a project called 'Election Support through Voter Education' programme, in accordance with an overall plan to undermine the government.  Manipulation of public opinion by making use of the media and the lobbyist NGOs, who were none other than paid agents of the spy agencies, is the usual method adopted by these superpowers to create disharmony and distrust, ill-will among communities and thereby loss of faith on the country's rulers, leading to 'regime change'. Foreign interference and conspiracies are not new to us. It has been there throughout the history. The foreigners exploited the eager to power of our leaders and resulted disunity among the population to achieve their ulterior motives. Portuguese skillfully exploited the rift between the kings Bhuvanekabahu, the ruler of Kotte, against his own brother, Mayadunne. As a result, both the King Bhuwanekabahu and his son Dharmapala became puppets of Portuguese. The Foreign power, not only made his son a puppet, but converted him to Roman Catholicism.  The fate of the Kandyan kingdom was another case of point. The rift between the King Sri Vikrama Rajasingha and his chiefs were exploited by British imperialists to capture the entire country. In a proclamation dated 10th January 1815, The British Governor Robert Brownrigg announced that the war was being undertaken 'on behalf of the oppressed Kandyan people who were to be protected from the depredations of their ruler'. Thus it is the same tactics that these westerners are making throughout the world, even today, under the guise of 'human rights' to keep the world under their control.  The exploitation of weaknesses of personalities, such as a burning desire for revenge or voracious hunger for power, is the strategy adopted by spy agencies throughout the world including those who are interested in destabilizing Sri Lanka. Although their strategies may be different, the ultimate goal of the spy network of the west and that of the region are the same - creating widespread unrest to ensure that we remain a poor nation forever, thus paving the way to interfere in the internal affairs of our country in the guise of helping and providing so-called 'solutions' for our problems. Unfortunately, their task of exploitation appears to be somewhat easier due the local support extended by some of the most undisciplined treacherous politicians who run to them seeking intervention for almost every domestic political issue without exceptions (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 03 July 2014).

How Credible are the Three Members panel Appointed by Navi Pillay - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - UNHRC Commissioner Navi Pillay recently appointed a three member panel to investigate into alleged Human Rights Violations by Sri Lanka during the war against the most brutal terrorist out fit in the world. Navi Pillay branded her panel as three distinguished people and they are Martti Ahtissari-a Nobel Peace prize laureate, Asma Jahangir - prominent lawyer and a Human Rights Activist from Pakistan and Sylvia Cartwirigt- a supreme Court Judge From New Zealand. No wonder US hailed Navi Pillay for the selection of the panel as she has always carried US agenda to appease the American politics and the west (Sri Lanka News Online ; 15 July 2014).

There is a possibility that some individuals and groups may appear before the UN Panel or make submissions against the accusations level against our security forces and the government, misbelieving that the Panel could be educated with the other side of the story (Click for details).

Investigate and Regulate Foreign Funded NGOs - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - According to a news item appeared in Daily Mirror dated 9th July 2014, under the subject 'NGO’s to defy Defence Ministry ban' J.C. Weliamuna of the Lawyers Collective said the government is misguided in its thinking that NGOs and civil society organisations are enemies and is working for international community. Another so-called human rights activist, Nimalka Fernando , while exposing how she is going to defy the Defence Ministry's directive, has said she has the  democratic right to criticize the unconstitutional manner in which the country is being governed, where the president makes the decisions without so much as consulting the cabinet. The parliament is reduced to a mere rubber stamp. There should not be any question as to the right of the people to criticize the government, yet, let us go through some of the statements of these NGO kingpins made in the past for various issues to see the extent of damage caused to the country, as a whole, and to find out to whom they are serving. The evidence of such statements is easy to find, one has only to read the anti-national statements made by these organisations (Sri Lanka News Online ; 15 July 2014).

The Curtain Must Fall on the Errant NGO’s - by Dr D.Chandraratna, Perth -  The leader of the opposition has found it fit to stand up for the freedom of expression, which on the face of it is a darn good thing. But without knowing the ground realities superficial talk of freedoms is pure bourgeois political titillation. The big picture is to make the entire country a safe place for freedom of expression by making sure that everybody’s freedom of expression, safety and particularly freedom from death are made secure for all times. If not, the brouhaha that Mr. Wickremasinghe is creating amounts to mere posturing for cheap popularity.  Freedom of expression, political enfranchisement, emancipation from indenture, which we won after thirty long years are worthy freedoms to be preserved. While we like to see fewer restrictions of freedoms there are necessary limitations especially when interest groups and other foreign parties are lurking in the embassies to incite violence and ethnic hatred. The NGO agenda approved by foreign donors has to be vetted and regulated to prevent unrest in the country. Hate and umbrage speech has to be curtailed and along with it those who incite and encourage others as we saw in the time of the LTTE. A UNICEF consultant was participating in street marches in Jaffna it was once reported. While many other countries may believe that genuinely dangerous ideas cannot survive for long in a free country, ours is different because realistically many different communities and different religions coexist in a limited space with a fair modicum of suspicion. Usually those who espouse dangerous ideas become fools subject to ridicule but we are still not at that level of liberalism like developed democracies in the Western World. They are the lucky countries for they do not have fractious polities, and even if they did, the commonality of racial supremacy and the willing subordination of others to such supremacy make them strong and resistant to dangerous speech. The freedom that we enjoy today is not a luxury yet. It may be some years before we also can be open and free like those robust democracies (LankaWeb ; 14 July 2014).

Govt. to implement 13-A without police powers, rejects TNA demand (Click here for details)

Read more about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in Sri Lanka

SC asks counsel to work out settlement - Wigneswaran-Vijayalakshmi legal wrangle - By Chitra Weeraratne - The Supreme Court yesterday advised counsel to try and work out a settlement and restore goodwill between Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran, a retired Supreme Court judge and Chief Secretary of the Northern Province Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh. It should be done for the sake of good governance, the court said.Mrs. Ramesh has complained of an attempt to unlawfully remove her and a circular according to which pubic servants of the North cannot travel out of the province without the Chief Minister’s permission; public servants cannot communicate with the government without permission from the Chief Minister.The petitioner Mrs. Ramesh has said that though the chief Minister said those circulars would be revoked he has not done so.The SC directed the counsel concerned to make sure that the aforesaid circulars were withdrawn officially.Mrs. Ramesh has claimed that she was appointed by the President and only he could remove or transfer her.The case will be called again on July 28, 2014. Counsel Gomin Dayasiri appeared for the petitioner, Mrs. Ramesh.Counsel K. Kanag Ishavaran P.C. appeared for first respondent C. V. Wignaswaran. Counsel M. A. Sumanthiran appeared with Viran Corea for the Ministers of the Northern Province who had intervened. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Justice Buwanaka Aluwihara (Island ; 15 July 2014).

NGOs GAVE LTTE WEAPONS – PM of Sri Lanka - Letter of instruction to request NGOs to act within agreed boundaries These type of reminders go out in other countries as well - by Sandasen Marasinghe and Disna Mudalige -Daily News - It is a well known fact that several NGOs have exceeded their remits even to the extent of procuring weapons for terrorists, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratna said in Parliament yesterday.  However, he said, the government was not intending to control Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) but merely reminding them to act in accordance with the mandates they are pledged to.  He made these observations in Parliament yesterday in response to a special statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe under Standing Orders querying if the letter dated July 01, 2014 issued by the National Secretariat to NGOs, was to control the NGOs.  The Prime Minister said the letter issued was not an order but a letter of instruction to request NGOs to act within the agreed boundaries and not to engage in any other action outside the original mandates.  Prime Minister Jayaratne also said that these type of reminders go out in other countries as well (LankaWeb : 11 July 204).

GA Chandrasiri re-appointed NP Governor - Rejecting repeated calls by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to replace Major General (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri as the Governor of the Northern Province during his first term, President Mahinda Rajapksa yesterday gave him a second term.   Chandrasiri was sworn in for a second term as the Governor of the Northern Province by the President at Temple Trees yesterday The Governor will hold office for a period of 5 years as per the Sri Lankan Constitution. He was first appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province on 12th July 2009, the very same day he retired from the Sri Lanka Army.  Chandrasiri served in the Jaffna Peninsula on two occasions. He was the Divisional Commander of the Jaffna based 52 Division from 2002-2003 and later from December 2005 to January 2009, functioned as the Security Forces Commander of the Peninsula (island : 11 July 2014).

Army recruits first batch of Tamil tradesmen from Mullaitivu - By Madura Ranwala - The Army on Wednesday (09) recruited its first batch of Tamil youth from Mullaitivu as tradesmen.  Earlier, army recruited 30 female Tamil civilians in the area, who were willing to join the army and they now have started their career in the army after undergoing successful training.  The newly enlisted batch was addressed by the 59 division Commander, Major General A. S. de Z Wickramaratne under the direction of Security Force Commander, Mullaitivu, Major General Jagath Dias. Speaking in Tamil he stressed that as soldiers they should join hands with one and all develop the country as members of one family. They will have to undergo 16-week weapon training and also will be able to serve in the same district (island ; 11 July 2014).

Australia intercepts people smuggling attempt - 41 Lankan illegals handed over to SLN - By Franklin R. Satyapalan - In a media statement issued by the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Patrol yesterday (07) it said that Australia and Sri Lankan Government’s had moved swiftly to return a group of 41 Sri Lankan nationals who attempted to arrive illegally by boat to Australia as part of a maritime people smuggling venture.  It stated that the suspected illegal entry vessel (SIEV) was intercepted by Border Protection Command (BPC)West of Cocos (Keeling) island in late June and at no stage was the vessel in distress.  People should not trust the lies of people smugglers and seek to come to Australia illegally by boat. It was dangerous and the Australian Government’s strong border protection policies under operation Sovereign Borders meant they would never succeed, it said.  Meanwhile when contacted Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the Australian government on Sunday returned 41 Sri Lankan nationals who had attempted to enter Australia illegally.  The Commander said that all of those returnees were brought to Southern Naval Command Headquarters in Galle on Sunday before being handed over to Sri Lankan Law enforcement authorities for further investigation.  Reports said that 37 of the returnees belonged to the Sinhalese community whilst the remaining five belonged to the Sri Lankan Tamil community.  He said that Australian naval vessel had handed over those 41 Sri Lankans to Sri Lankan Naval (SLN) officials on board SLN vessel Samudhara deployed in Southern waters off Sri Lanka on Sunday morning (Island : 07 July 2014).

13th Amendment to the Constitution ..... Are we back to a Square-one ?

Click here to read more in Sunday Diviaina - an Article by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya

Independence of police under 17-A not possible under 13-A - by Neville Ladduwahetty - Recent incidents in Alutgama and Beruwala have highlighted once again the need to address issues relating to Law and Order in Sri Lanka. The strongly held belief is that the Law and Order situation could be considerably improved by restoring the provisions for a National Police Commission as provided for in the 17th Amendment. In the background, there is also the demand for the "full implementation of the 13th Amendment", which would involve devolving Police powers to the Provinces.  It is an accepted fact that for the Rule of Law to prevail it is imperative that the Police who are responsible for maintaining Order should be independent of political or other patronages. If the intent is to depoliticize police functions by bringing it under the purview of a National Police Commission, the question arises whether such an independent arrangement could coexist with the Police powers devolved under the 13th Amendment ........... The fundamental premise for maintaining effective Order in a society is to ensure structural arrangements that make it possible for the Police to function free of political or any other influences. While the intent of the 17th Amendment was to establish an independent National Police Commission to meet such an objective, the already enacted 13th Amendment constitutionally provides for an arrangement that creates opportunities for political influences to affect policing functions. This could cause the policing functions throughout the country to be seriously compromised. Furthermore, the coexistence of the 17th Amendment and the 13th Amendment simultaneously, would mean the creation of an independent National Police force but with a politicized Provincial Police Force. Therefore, since it is the 13th Amendment that constitutionally provides for politicization of Police functions, Police Powers must be withdrawn from the 13th Amendment (Island ; 19 June 2014).

Why Hakeem is still with Govt, if so ashamed

Listen to the reply by Minister Champika Ranawaka

TNA leader rejects LLRC,welcomes UN probe - By Saman Indrajith - TNA Leader R Sampanthan told Parliament yesterday that his party unequivocally welcomed the UNHRC investigation into the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.  Participating in the debate on a motion by a group of UPFA members, the TNA leader said the forthcoming investigation by the United Nations was not against Sri Lanka; it was against the perpetrators of gross violations of human rights law. It is against the culture of impunity that affected the entire country. It was against the disappearances of youth in the North as much as it was against past disappearances of youth in the South. It was against the crimes committed at Weliweriya, Mullivaikkal, and most recently Dharga town. It was against the crimes of the LTTE and it was against the crimes of the regime. For those reasons, the TNA unequivocally welcomed this investigation into alleged atrocities committed by both sides. We look forward to the investigation as an opportunity for the Tamil people to introspect on the crimes committed in their own name, the TNA?leader said.  "We call on the government to accept the investigation as an opportunity to dramatically break with the past and usher in a new era of justice, reconciliation and harmony against all Sri Lanka’s peoples."  The TNA leader said that his party had no faith in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which had no direct mandate to address accountability issues. "Though the LLRC did not have a direct mandate to address accountability issues, it did, however, possess a mandate with respect to ensuring ‘national unity and the non-recurrence of ethnic tensions in the future.’ It is in this context that the LLRC sought to deal with the question of accountability. The TNA in its response to the LLRC expressed disappointment with respect to the Commission’s findings on accountability. The LLRC’s analysis was flawed for a number of reasons including weaknesses in methodology and in the application of international law to the facts surrounding the last stages of the war (island ; 17 June 2014).

JHU wants all religious asylum seekers deported - by Maheesha Mudugamuwa - Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday requested the government to deport all religious asylum seekers specially from India, the Maldives and Pakistan as it could be a tremendous problem to Sri Lanka.  The minister’s comments were made following violent clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwala on Sunday. According to Minister Ranawaka in 2013 around 1,200,000 tourists had arrived in Sri Lanka. Among them around 400,000 tourists were from India, the Maldives and Pakistan. About 1,488 had been registered as religious asylum seekers.  The minister stressed that the government should immediately take measures to deport religious asylum seekers.  Ranawaka said "We call on the Buddhist public not to be fooled by false rumours. Do not be instigated by false rumours. A very tragic incident has taken place. We urge the nation to remember that issues can only be solved through peaceful means. Buddhists should take the lead in this. Matters will only get worse if you take the law into your own hands."  "Incidents of this nature occur when people feel that the law is not being fairly implemented," he added (Island ; 17 June 2014).

How Tamil Nadu lifeline prolonged war- Shocking Norwegian link with Dalit Panthers - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Two pairs of Inshore Patrol Craft (IPCs) intercepted two LTTE craft north of Talaimannar on the evening of July 28, 2007. The confrontation took place well within Sri Lankan territorial waters. The IPCs swung into action soon after the enemy craft moved across the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary, alongside a cluster of Tamil Nadu fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters. At the time of the incursion, there had been at least two Indian naval vessels deployed in the area. Having spotted the LTTE craft among the poaching Tamil Nadu craft numbering about 60, the IPCs blocked the cluster. The navy used loud hailers to order the poachers to return to Indian waters, forcing the LTTE craft to move away from the cluster and speed towards Vidathalthivu, a strong point north of Mannar (The then Brigadier Shavendra Silva’s formation tasked with clearing the coastal region up to Pooneryn was several months away from Vidathalthivu). The navy believed that the fishing fleet was providing cover to the LTTE craft moving from Tamil Nadu to the Vanni. Although the LTTE fired two rounds of rocket propelled grenades as well as a light machine gun, the navy destroyed both, killing at least six men. The dead included a senior cadre who had lost a leg during a previous confrontation with the military. The navy believed that some of them took cyanide to avoid being captured (Sea Tigers among Tamil Nadu fishing fleet with strap line Senior cadre among six killed in SLN operation-The Island July 30, 2007).  The widely circulated Dinakaran, affiliated to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s DMK, alleged that the SLN had targeted the LTTE craft off Dhanuskody at the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary.  It was the first major confrontation since Indian and Sri Lankan naval representatives met on July 13, 2007, on-board SLNS Sayura close to the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary. The delegations were led by the then Northern Naval Commander, Rear Admiral S.R. Samaratunga and Commodore Van Holtern, the senior officer in charge of Tamil Nadu. The SLN called for increased cooperation between the two countries to prevent the LTTE from using Indian waters as well as the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet for its advantage. The meeting took place in the backdrop of two serious atrocities committed by the LTTE, namely the massacre of a group of fishermen from Kanyakumari and the seizure of Sri Krishna, a Tamil Nadu trawler along with its 12-man crew (Indo-Lanka naval delegations meet on-board SLNS Sayura-The Island July 16, 2007). The previous article dealt with the Kanyakumari massacre as well as the seizure of Sri Krishna leading to its destruction in the Maldivian waters (Island : 17 June 2014).

Weerawansa accuses Northern CM of adding to people’s woes - Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa found fault with Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran for not attending a ceremony at Gurunagar, Jaffna to declare open a condominium project yesterday. After declaring open the housing scheme renovated at a cost of Rs 110 million, Weerwansa said, in his address, that Wigneswaran had been formally invited to attend the opening ceremony. His name, too, has been included in the plaque of the opening ceremony. Instead of informing his invitees, Wigneswaran had told a web site that he would not attend the ceremony as the Tamils in the North would interpret has participation as an act of betrayal.  Wigneswaran had also said that whatever development activity that took place in the North should be done by the Northern Provincial Council, Minister Weerawansa claimed. "Over 160 families have benefited from this housing scheme. Their houses were destroyed by the LTTE 29 years ago. If we are described as traitors for rebuilding this country and providing houses for the Tamils, we are ready to accept that description. People would decide whether providing houses for them amounts to treachery or not." Minister Weerawansa said the actions of Northern Chief Minister would not lead to true reconciliation and healing of wounds; they would only worsen the situation. "We have saved the Tamilians from the clutches of the LTTE and are rebuilding their lives. The Chief Minister should have been with us at the forefront of this exercise. It is so sad that he, too, is contributing to alienation and estrangement of communities which need to be guided towards harmony," he said.  Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda, Jaffna District EPDP MP Silvestry Alantine, Governor of the Northern Province Maj Gen (retd) G. A. Chandrasiri, Jaffna Mayor Yogeshwari Thankunaraja, Cuban Ambassador in Sri Lanka Indira Lopez, representatives of the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka top officials of the Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities were among those present (Island : 15 June 2014).

Weekly Defence Colunm by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina; 15 June 2014)

Pillay appoints controversial Beidas for Sri Lanka probe - By Chamara Sumanapala - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay has finalized the appointment of UN Official Sandra Beidas as the Senior Coordinator of the forthcoming investigation into human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes that allegedly occurred in Sri Lanka during the seven year period from 2002 to 2009. It is expected that Beidas will formally call on Sri Lanka’s Envoy to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha within the next few days.Pillay has taken this step as per the mandate given by the Resolution on Sri Lanka passed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva recently. As per the resolution, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will provide an oral update in September 2014. A comprehensive report will be filed at the UNHRC session in Geneva in March 2015. While the whole investigation process is unacceptable for the government, the appointment of Beidas as the Senior Coordinator of the investigative team has raised grave concerns. Beidas, a British national, who has earlier worked for Amnesty International, joined the UN more than fifteen years ago. She has worked in several countries including Haiti, Congo and Nepal.However, in recent years, Beidas was the cause of some controversy in Africa. She has been declared “Persona Non Grata” by both Somalia in 2011 and South Sudan in 2012. Persona Non Grata is the most serious form of censure a government can take against a person with diplomatic immunity and often used by governments as symbolic expressions of displeasure. In March 2011, the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic declared Beidas “Persona Non Grata.” She was accused of secretly traveling to Mogadishu and also to Galmudug and Puntland areas. Meanwhile, in November 2012, South Sudan also declared her “Persona Non Grata” accusing her of writing a false report, a move the UN criticized (The Nation : 15 June 2014).

Cooperate with UNHRC – UNP tells Govt. - The United National Party (UNP) has requested the Government to cooperate with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHRC) in investigating alleged war crimes, according to a statement released by the party’s media unit.The UNP, in the statement, has pooh-poohed the Government’s decision to let Parliament decide whether Sri Lanka should cooperate with the UNHRC team. The main Opposition has thus highlighted the fact that the government is ‘playing politics with the national question and toying with the grave threat that it is posing in the international arena’. The UNP has blamed ‘egregious errors committed by and the lackadaisical inaction displayed by the ruling family cabal’ for putting the country in a ‘precarious plight’. Claiming that there are institutional flaws that prevent a credible internal investigation, the UNP states that it is prepared to support the Government to restore the systems and institutions of democratic governance, ‘provided it will pledge to restore the 17th Amendment and prioritize a return to civilized values and the rule of law’ (The Nation : 15 June 2014).

UNHRC ­war crimes probe: UNP to move amendment to govt.’s parliament resolution - Participation in debate would depend on acceptance of amendment - by Zacki Jabbar - The UNP said yesterday that its participation in next week’s debate on a resolution to be moved by the government seeking parliamentary approval to call on the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) not to proceed with a war crimes probe against the Sri Lankan military would depend on the acceptance of an amendment it was planning to move.  Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga told The Island that the UNP’s involvement in the debate on the government’s motion would depend on its amendment being entertained.  Asked what the amendment would be, he replied that the exact wording of it would be decided on by the UNP parliamentary group which would be meeting on Tuesday morning.  Some tough questions including the failure of the Rajapaksa government to consult the legislature before and after the UNHRC adopted the resolution against Sri Lanka in March this year would be raised, informed sources said. "They are trying to shift the blame for their lack of foresight and diplomatic skills on to the legislature."  Colombo District UNP leader, Ravi Karunanayake MP said that the UNP agreed with the government’s position that the security forces had not committed any war crimes."So what is there to hide behind a resolution calling on the UNHRC not to conduct an inquiry," he queried.  When motions trying to stall the investigation process are adopted, the world would think that there was something to hide, he said, adding "Unless, of course, the decision makers are seeking cover for actions. Our job is to protect the security forces, sovereignty and integrity of the nation and not to cover up for politicians whose actions have resulted in Sri Lanka being crucified and humiliated internationally." (Island : 13 June 2014).

Special Rapporteur has exceeded his mandate - SL - The Sri Lankan government charged the Special Rapporteur (SR) on the Human Rights of IDPs of exceeding his mandate, during the Interactive Dialogue at the 26th Human Rights Council session.  Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha in his statement at the Interactive Dialogue on the SR Dr. Chaloka Beyani’s Mission to Sri Lanka, said the mandate has been exceeded by several references and recommendations incorporated in his Report on Sri Lanka including the alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights, the Panel of Experts Report on Sri Lanka and allegations of impunity of security forces.  “The references and recommendations remain at the level of unsubstantiated uncorroborated generalisations or allegations and have exceeded his mandate as stipulated in Council Resolution 5/2,” he added.  Ambasssador Aryasinghe further stated before the Council that the comments and recommendations on Dr. Beyani’s report have also compromised the impartiality and objectivity principles central to the Code of Conduct of Special Procedures Mandate Holders. “We note that these references are retained in the SR’s Report in spite of the Government’s request that they be deleted,” he said while reiterating the need for special procedures mandate holders to adhere to the Code of Conduct in the execution of their respective mandates.  These statements were made following the address of UN Special Rapporteur on IDPs Dr. Chaloka Beyani at the Interactive Dialogue in which he called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to address grievances of IDPs residing in protracted displacement.  While welcoming the efforts by the Government to develop infrastructure in the conflict affected areas and the de-mining operations carried out in the areas, he stressed on the importance of the post-conflict reconstruction and development being focused on building livelihoods underpinned by durable solutions for IDPs. He had also stressed on the importance of providing durable housing, access to social services and livelihood opportunities to IDPs (Daily Mirror : 13 June 2014).

Police trace heroin haul to Tigers - By Norman Palihawadana - Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana yesterday said that the suspects taken into custody along with more than 85 kilos of heroin on Wednesday morning had close links with LTTE elements active overseas.  The duo had been posing off as top businessmen in Colombo, he said.  Investigations had revealed that the drugs were regularly supplied to the suspects now in custody by LTTE supporters who were making a strong bid to revive the now decimated LTTE and heroin was the main source of income of the Tigers, the police spokesman said.  The police were trying to ascertain under whose name the car used by the suspects had been registered, he said. "We are also trying to find out with whom one of the suspects had been conversing over the phone just before their arrest." The police would seek the assistance of the Interpol to nab those linked to the racket overseas, he said.  The arrest of others linked to the drug ring was imminent, he added (Island ; 13 June 2014).

Govt. has no option but to face UN probe – UNP - By Shamindra Ferdinando - President’s Counsel and UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday said that the government had no option but to face the proposed UN investigation conducted in terms of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council resolution 25/1. The former President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Rajapakshe was responding on behalf of the UNP to the SLFP’s decision that Sri Lanka’s participation in the investigative process would be decided by parliament.  The government had absolutely no discretion in this matter, MP Rajapakshe said, urging the government to successfully counter serious accusations or face the consequences. The investigation is expected to focus on allegations pertaining to the massacre of 40,000 civilians during the final phase, coordinated artillery fire on civilians, purposely depriving civilians of food and medicine, targeting medical facilities, systematic rape of both LTTE combatants and civilians and conducting a war without international witnesses. The UNPer said that parliament’s opinion on this particular issue was irrelevant; therefore the government couldn’t be guided by a decision taken by the House. Asked whether he believed the government should cooperate with the UN, the Colombo District MP said that it should realise that it couldn’t overcome the problem by engaging in propaganda exercises.  Welcoming the decision to brief the House as regards the proposed UN action, Rajapakshe said that delaying tactics would be counter productive.  Referring to a letter received by External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris recently from High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay informing the government of the proposed probe, Rajapakshe said that parliament’s position would depend primarily on the SLFP.  The SLFP with 117 members, excluding Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is the largest single group in parliament. The UNP group comprises 42 members with the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the third position with 13 members.  The UNP MP said that whatever the position taken up by UPFA constituents, the SLFP alone could provide the required approval (Island : 11 June 2014).

India’s call for ‘full implementation’ of 13-A - By Neville Ladduwahetty- When Sri Lanka’s President met India’s newly elected Prime Minister Modi at the latter’s inaugural ceremony, it was widely reported that Mr. Modi had called for the "early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution", and that Sri Lanka should "expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka".It is too early in the day for Prime Minister Modi to have been aware of all the facts associated with the 13th Amendment. Notwithstanding this, for Prime Minister Modi to call for the "full implementation of the 13th Amendment" means that he was influenced by an outdated text handed to him by a bureaucracy that is evidently unaware of the prevailing ground realities in Sri Lanka, including the extent to which the 13th Amendment has been implemented.The following are the realities that India should be aware of:1. That India was intimately involved in the actual drafting of the 13th Amendment. 2. That the framework of the 13th Amendment is modeled on arrangements in India for devolving power to its own regional states. This is clear from the fact that the scope, extent and even the wording in the 13th Amendment is strangely near identical to that in the Indian Constitution’s Article 153 onwards.3. That India, by ensuring that the powers devolved to Sri Lanka’s provinces were near identical in extent and scope to those in its own states, made sure that the extent of devolution for the Sri Lanka’s provinces was neither more nor less than constitutionally granted in India.4. That devolution under the 13th Amendment works when the Governor responsible for Executive functions and the Provincial Council responsible for Legislative functions cooperate for the benefit of the citizens they serve.5. That except for the fact that under the Indian Constitution the Governors are appointed by the President of India who is the Head of State and vested with all Executive powers (Article 53), and the Governors under the 13th Amendment are appointed by the Executive President of Sri Lanka (Article 154B (2)), the powers and functions of under both arrangements are near identical in scope and content.6. That the Tamil political leadership finds powers devolved under the 13th Amendment insufficient. However, any attempt to revise it upwards would precipitate similar demands in Tamil Nadu; a process that could reverberate throughout India with serious consequences to its stability and territorial integrity. 7. That in Sri Lanka, any attempts to revise the 13th Amendment upwards to meet the aspirations of the Tamil community would be resisted by the majority in the South, and attempts to revise it downwards to meet the concerns of the majority in the South would be resisted by the minority in the North. 8. That if the Tamils of India are able to fulfill their aspirations for equality, justice, peace and dignity under the prevailing constitutional provisions for devolution in India, it should be equally possible for the Tamils of Sri Lanka to meet their aspirations for equality, justice, peace and dignity under the near identical devolved powers. 9. That the Province as the devolved unit is not only a threat to the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka but to that of India as well. 10. That devolution of power under the 13th Amendment has been in operation in 7 Provinces since the late 1980s and with the end of the war, is now in operation in all 9 Provinces of Sri Lanka. Police powers have not been granted to any of the Provinces due to security reasons; a fact that should be recognized and appreciated by India in view of attempts within India to revive the LTTE. Land powers were in a recent ruling by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court declared as vested in the Republic (13th Amendment, Provincial Council List, Appendix II), and therefore cannot be included as a devolved subject. However, this does not in any way prevent Provinces from securing land for bona fide provincial projects (Island : 08 June 2014).

Forty ex-LTTE members may get employed in Singapore firm - More than 40 former members of the LTTE who have successfully undergone rehabilitation under a government programme are likely to get employed in a construction firm in Singapore.  "A construction company in Singapore has expressed its interest in recruiting 40 rehabilitees who have received vocational training," the PTI quoted Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj Gen Jagath Wijetilleke as having said.  Currently, there are 132 former members of the LTTE undergoing rehabilitation out of a total of nearly 12,000 former cadres who had either surrendered or been taken into custody following the end of the war in 2009.  Of those rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, more than 230 have qualified to pursue higher education while 35 are currently studying at universities.  The welfare of those already reintegrated are constantly being monitored by the government, government officials said.  They said it was being done to ensure the successful and sustainable socio-economic reintegration of all rehabilitated ex-combatants and their families in the respective districts with the help of all government and corporate sector institutions, INGOs, NGOs and the community.  After completing the government-sponsored rehabilitation programme, ex-combatants become eligible to receive loans up to Rs. 250,000 at a minimal interest rate to start livelihood projects. So far, 1,773 rehabilitated ex-combatants had received these soft loans and many more applications were being evaluated, Wijetilleke was quoted as having said. In addition to the loan facility, the bureau is also exploring ways to provide the rehabilitated individuals with employment opportunities abroad.  The rehabilitation process includes professional training courses in areas such as mechanical skills, information technology, agriculture, animal husbandry, beauty culture, food processing, education, handicraft, carpentry and construction, among others. Many are currently employed in both government and private sectors.  The rehabilitation process also provides psychological assistance, education, sports, and spiritual, religious and cultural empowerment.  Following a recommendation by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, a special committee was appointed to study the cases of detained LTTE suspects and expedite legal action where necessary (island : 08 June 2014).

Sri Lanka Missing Persons Commission: 40,000-225,000 accused of being killed but only 18,590 missing complaints filed - by Shenali D Waduge - The Presidential Commission to investigate cases of Missing Persons was appointed on 14th August 2013 its mandate was to cover alleged abductions or disappearances during the period June10, 1990 to May 19, 2009. Its mandate was thereafter extended to cover period from 1983 to 2009. The 3 member commission headed by Maxwell Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs Dimingu Vidyaratne and Mrs. Mano Ramanathan will hand over their report by August 12, 2014. With less than 2 months is it not strange that none of those confidently quoting Tamil civilian dead during the final stage of the war have come forward to log their dead with names.  The first public sittings were held in Kilinochchi in January 2014. By February the Commission had received 4000 complaints. The complaints now number 18,590 of which 5000 are those filed by families of missing soldiers. What is interesting is that the foreign nations in particular the West from whom the Chairman had sought assistance through the External Affairs Ministry to trace the ‘missing’ had refused to help locate the persons living in foreign shores. A position that we find difficult to comprehend in view of these nations insisting that Sri Lanka count the dead – if they are not cooperating can they complain?.  What must be said is prior to counting the dead we need to ascertain that they were living in the first place. Sri Lanka cannot count living corpses and claim them dead! We may be able to produce the some of the dead if the countries keeping them may like to disclose names of all ‘refugees’ living in their countries.  What emerged no sooner the decision to military defeat the LTTE was decided was an international campaign to discredit the Sri Lanka and carry out the propaganda that genocide was taking place. What is interesting to note is that these campaigns were associated with the same sets of people that had close links with the LTTE over the years. It was a foregone conclusion that Sri Lanka had no chance of competing or challenging the lies and distortions being propagated internationally via publications, documentaries, books, debates and discussions. The panelists, the reviews, the moderators all part of the same syndicate and quoting each other and giving awards amongst each other (LankaWeb : 08 June 2014).

Navi Pillai’s Controversial Picks: Sandra Beidas – South Sudan’s expelled UN officer & Dame Silvia Cartwright to lead investigation on Sri Lanka - by Shenali D Waduge - When the country given independence in July 2011 by the West declares a UN Human Rights Officer, a persona non grata and expels her from the newly independent country in 2012, it is unusual news. Her crime, South Sudan declared was ‘unethical reporting’ as she had doctored records. Somalia too had banned 2 officers working for the UN Human Rights Commissioner – Sandra Beidas was one. Juxtapose that with Navi Pillai’s decision to appoint the same person and we have a foregone conclusion on where the investigation on Sri Lanka is likely to lead. To add to credibility is the appointment of Dame Silvia Cartwright who was a judge on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to head the investigation against Sri Lanka. Defense lawyers sought her removal as she had been having secret meetings with the prosecutors. It would be nicer if the UN giving itself mandates to conduct investigations upon targeted countries were to appoint people with clean records and people that the country and its leaders can respect. It is unfair and unjust for the UN to appoint officers with tainted past trysts and publicly condoned backgrounds for roles that require high standards of professionalism (LankaWeb : 08 June 2014).

LTTE bomb expert at large with large haul of TNT – Police - By Chaminda Silva - The Terrorist Investigation Division of the Police seeks public assistance to trace an escaped LTTE bomb expert believed to have high-powered TNT explosives in his possession.  The escapee, Gunasekera Mudiyanselage Jude Antony alias, Cyril Nilangam Jude alias Illango had been a top level LTTE explosives expert, police said, adding that he was a resident of the Madhu area.  When the police inspected two persons on suspicion at Madhu area last Wednesday (04) and found that they had 15 klios of TNT in their possession, one of the suspects had escaped, investigators said. The suspect in the custody was taken to TID in Colombo and interrogations revealed that the one who had escaped was Illango.  The suspect in custody Nandarasa Savuntharan had divulged Illango had some more TNT explosives in his possession.  Illango had been a master explosive handler of the LTTE and he was the one who laid a security fence with explosives from the Madhu area to Kanaganrayankulam during the conflict, police TID sources said.  Following the LTTE defeat, Illango had dug up the bombs he had buried and removed TNT from them. Some of the recovered TNT had been sold to fishermen.The suspect would be able to provide valuable information of LTTE’s bomb and explosive hideouts, police said. Police request the public to provide any information on the suspect to the TP Nos 0112451636 or 0112451634 (Island : 08 June 2014).

Weekly Defence Colunm by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina; 08 June 2014)

Another article on the 13th Amendment to the constitution (Divaina : 08 June 2014).

The ‘disappeared’ come to haunt Ananthi - A demonstration by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Mullaitivu supporting a case filed by TNA Provincial Council member Ananthi Sasitharan on behalf of her missing husband on June 5 came to a halt when a group of some 300 persons confronted the demonstrators.  This group had demanded that Sasitharan respond on behalf of her husband, S Elilan the former political head of the LTTE in Trincomalee, whose actions had caused their near and dear to ‘disappear’. The TNA protest led by Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthi Sasitharan also saw the participation of MP Suresh Premachandran and former MP, M.K. Shivajilingam. The protesters organized by the TNA were forced to flee and seek protection from security forces personnel in the area.  Premachandran refused to comment on the incident but Shivajilingam speaking to The Nation said the Government was trying to shift the blame entirely on the LTTE and avoid a probe on the disappeared persons in its entirety (The Nation : 08 June 2014).

Sequel to propagating LTTE ideology: Malaysian police cracks down LTTE suspects - by Manjula Fernando - A Malaysian Deputy Minister said the local police continue to monitor Sri Lankans in Malaysia for possible LTTE links following the arrest of three Sri Lankans last month for propagating LTTE ideology. The Deputy Home Minister Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told Malaysian media last week that currently there were 4,000 Sri Lankans in Malaysia and those with suspected terror links were being investigated by the police.  Since the arrests of Kushanthan, Kirubanandan and Sellathurei on May 15 there have been organised protests by Sri Lankan Tamil groups, attended by Penang Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.  The protestors challenged the Malaysian Police Chief to prove that the arrested men were LTTE members.  A senior intelligence officer in Colombo alleged that Ramasamy is an LTTE advisor and Kulasegaran had attended rallies organised in Malaysia in support of the terror outfit in the past. “Their alliance in organising protests are not unusual,” he said.  Deputy Malaysian Home Minister Dr. Jaafar was quoted in the newspapers as saying that he did not believe the locals were involved in LTTE activities or that they have a local support base. However, he said, they have not completely ruled out the possibility.  The officer said the men were arrested on information provided by Nanthagopan, a key LTTE international wing leader who was arrested and deported to Sri Lanka by the Malaysian authorities recently while trying to flee to Europe.  According to Nanthagopan’s statements Kushanthan was one of the founders of the LTTE air wing and was in charge of the Iranamadu airstrip. He and the others had been investigated for many years by the Malaysian authorities on shared intelligence.  It has also been revealed that the Tamil Forum of Malaysia, the alleged successor of World Tamil Relief Fund had covertly collected one million US dollars for the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). The GTF is a designated terrorist entity under the UN Security Council resolution 1373.  The official said the UNHCR should think of reviewing its refugee system in the light of the recent arrests in Malaysia. Two of the three arrested LTTE suspects had UN refugee cards and Nanathagopan’s application was being processed at the time of his arrest (Sunday Observer : 08 June 2014).

Pillay appoints controversial Beidas for Sri Lanka probe - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay has finalized the appointment of UN Official Sandra Beidas as the Senior Coordinator of the forthcoming investigation into human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes that allegedly occurred in Sri Lanka during the seven year period from 2002 to 2009. It is expected that Beidas will formally call on Sri Lanka’s Envoy to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha within the next few days.Pillay has taken this step as per the mandate given by the Resolution on Sri Lanka passed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva recently. As per the resolution, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will provide an oral update in September 2014. A comprehensive report will be filed at the UNHRC session in Geneva in March 2015. While the whole investigation process is unacceptable for the government, the appointment of Beidas as the Senior Coordinator of the investigative team has raised grave concerns. Beidas, a British national, who has earlier worked for Amnesty International, joined the UN more than fifteen years ago. She has worked in several countries including Haiti, Congo and Nepal.However, in recent years, Beidas was the cause of some controversy in Africa. She has been declared “Persona Non Grata” by both Somalia in 2011 and South Sudan in 2012. Persona Non Grata is the most serious form of censure a government can take against a person with diplomatic immunity and often used by governments as symbolic expressions of displeasure. In March 2011, the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic declared Beidas “Persona Non Grata.” She was accused of secretly traveling to Mogadishu and also to Galmudug and Puntland areas. Meanwhile, in November 2012, South Sudan also declared her “Persona Non Grata” accusing her of writing a false report, a move the UN criticized (The Nation : 08 June 2014).

New UN Human Rights High Commissioner expected to be tougher than Pillay - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Contrary to expectations, Jordan’s Prince Zeid al Hussein is most likely to be a much tougher opponent than his predecessor, Navi Pillay, the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Prince Hussein’s appointment couldn’t have come at a worse time for Sri Lanka, well informed sources told The Sunday Island yesterday. The longtime diplomat would give up his post as Jordanian Permanent Representative to the UN in New York to take up the Geneva posting, they said.  Responding to a query, they recalled the circumstances under which the Jordanian diplomat adopted an extremely hostile approach towards Sri Lanka during a post war issue.   "We are concerned about the latest development," an official said, adding that UN Secretary General’s statement came in the wake of Pillay informing Sri Lanka of UN readiness to move ahead with the investigation. Having emphasized that the required funding was available, Pillay has sought an opportunity for the proposed investigation team to visit Sri Lanka between July and November. She has expressed confidence in completing the investigation in about 10 months.  In spite of having the backing of several countries, including India, Sri Lanka had failed to make a determined effort to delay funding for the project, well informed sources said. Asked whether any remedial action could be taken in the wake of the New York development, these sources asserted that at least an internal inquiry was needed to establish the circumstances under which the funding was obtained (Island : 07 June 2014).

Does Modi understand SL’s difficulties? - At the time of going to press, news was received that Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, the representative of Jordanian to the UN, would replace Navi Pillay as the UN Commissioner on Human Rights. Jordan is a country that Sri Lanka has excellent relations with, so will the appointment of that country’s UN envoy make any difference to SL with regard to the war crimes study being done by the UN Human Right’s Commissioner’s office? Jordan has voted in favour of SL in the UNHRC too as for example in May 2009. The regrettable reality however is that all UN officials are creatures of the Western powers who pay their salaries and maintain the institutions they head, and it makes no difference what their country of origin is. The fact that Sri Lanka has good relations with South Korea didn’t stop South Korea’s former foreign minister Ban Ki-moon from doing the dirty to Sri Lanka and things will be no different with Zeid al-Hussein.  When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram met the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, the demands she made in the long memorandum presented to the PM encompassed everything that she had stated in her manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Despite the fact that her election manifesto was written on the assumption that her party the AIADMK would be an integral and indeed indispensable part of the new central government formed after the elections, she did not see fit to water down the demands even though the government was eventually formed without her help. The fact that Jayalalitha presented her demands to Modi in that manner is perhaps good for Sri Lanka because it gave the new prime minister who has never had experience of governing at the centre an early taste of what Tamil politics was like. Not even a party that is in direct alliance with the BJP has presented a list of demands like that to him (Island : 07 June 2014).

Thirteen Amendment and so-called 'Solutions' - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - Responding to Ranil Wickremsinghe who raised a question on the reports which said the Indian Prime Minister had told President Rajapaksa to work towards implementing a 'solution' by devolving powers beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, External Affairs Minister Prof GL Peiris has told Parliament that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had conveyed Indian PM that Sri Lanka couldn't devolve police powers under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The message said to have been passed onto to Indian government is an evident that there is a tremendous pressure from India to stick onto the Indian 'solution' due to their own regional, economic and political interests. The above statement of the Minister Peiris is a confirmation that the President has agreed to go ahead with the 13th Amendment without police powers. Since the government is also talking about the PSC (Parliamentary Select Committee) to formulate so-called 'solutions', it appears that the 13A without police powers is the basis of the of the SLFP solution to initiate further negotiation with other political parties and TNA (if attend) at the PSC. It is well clear that the UNP is for the full implementation of 13A and even to go beyond since its leaders were responsible for introducing 13A and even agreeing with the so-called 'co-chairs', once, to have a full federal system as a 'solution'. JHU has already withdrawn from the PSC saying that the party has no faith on it. It would be interesting to see the outcome of the PSC (if move ahead) since all the other parties, with the exception of JNP (Jathika Nidahas Permuna) and MEP, are also ardent supporters of devolving powers beyond 13A. Thus the frustration of the JHU and the JNP today is well understandable. On the other hand, according to another report, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has said that India has no right to dictate what kind of devolution system we must have. 'Neither India nor any other country has the right to tell Sri Lanka what kind of devolution system it must have. It is for Parliament of Sri Lanka to decide and the appropriate forum to debate the issue is the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). As the Minister de Silva pointed out, India should not advice Sri Lanka what powers it should give its provinces, just as Sri Lanka does not advice India on what powers it should devolve to its states questioning the legitimacy of the 13 Amendment saying that it was imposed by India in 1987 as part of the Rajiv - JR Pact. Mr Nimal Siripalada de Silva, as per the media report, went on to say that the SLFP, then in opposition, had agitated against the Accord in July 1987. Unfortunately, most of the SLFP politicians including its current leaders have forgotten the fact that the SLFP under the leadership of Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike, not only agitated against the Rajiv - JR Pact, but boycotted the first Provincial Council elections too. When Rajiv - JR Pact was signed amidst curfew, the function was boycotted even by some ministers of the UNP government including its Prime Minister R. Premadasa. Those UNP parliamentarians who opposed the Rajiv - JR Pact, which paved the way for the 13th Amendment, had no alternative but to vote for it since JR had already taken them 'political hostage' by keeping undated resignation letters signed by MPs in his pocket. The only UNP parliamentarian who had the courage to leave the party and the cabinet opposing the 13th Amendment was Mr Gamini Jayasuriya. The extent of the country's opposition to the treacherous agreement was notable when a sailor attacked the Indian PM while the latter was receiving the guard of honour (Sri Lanka News Online ; 07 June 2014).  Published in the Nation : 08 June 2014

Pillay calls on SL to cooperate with probe - UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has called on the Sri Lankan government to consider cooperating with the probe on Sri Lanka led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).  In a release copy of the opening statement due to be delivered by Pillay at the 26th UNHRC session on Tuesday, June 10, she has confirmed her office has ‘put in place a team that would be supported by several experts and Special Procedures mandate holders’ to conduct the comprehensive investigation on Sri Lanka mandated at the UNHRC in March.  She has noted the investigation will advance accountability and thus reconciliation and has thereby encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to ‘take the opportunity to cooperate with a credible truth-seeking process.’  She has also noted that although Sri Lanka celebrated its fifth anniversary since the end of the 26 year-long conflict, the scars created by terrorism and conflict are ‘yet to heal’.  The OHCHR led investigation on Sri Lanka to probe into serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties, was mandated through a US-backed resolution at the 25th UNHRC session held in March with 23 countries voting in favour. The 26th UNHRC session that commences on June 10 is scheduled to continue until June 27 (Daily Mirror : 07 June 2014).

Missing persons: Several complainants blame LTTE - Most of the complaints made to the Presidential Commission Investigating into Complaints on missing persons in Batticaloa had held Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) responsible for the disappearances, the Commission said.  “Most of the complaints were against the LTTE. There weren’t any allegation against the security forces,” Commission Chairman Maxwell Paranagama said.  He said the Commission received 58 complaints from Batticaloa while 49 residents had come for the public sittings that took place at Batticaloa Divisional Secretariat today.  “Most of the complainants saidit was while their relatives had visited Kalmunai from Kattankudy to attend to business matters that they had gone missing. They may been abducted by the LTTE or gone missing while returningfrom Kalmunai or on the way to the town,” Mr. Paranagama said.  “The public sittingswill continue in Batticaloa till Monday and the next session will take place in Mullaitivu,” he said.  The Commission had received about 18,000 complaints including 13,605 from civilians and 5,000 from Security Forces (Daily Mirror ; 06 June 2014).

Ananthi / TNA / LTTE: the hunters are getting hounded - by Shenali D Waduge - What happens when persons protesting against the ‘missing’ are confronted by persons protesting against those missing because of the ‘missing’? What happens when the persons protesting against the ‘missing’ number just 20 in addition to members of the ruling Northern Provincial political party led by Ananthi Sasitharan are confronted by over 300 persons holding pictures of their missing children demanding what Ananthi’s ‘missing’ person did to their children? Not a very pretty sight. The outcome of course was a first case scenario of Ananthi, the TNA brigade and their handful of protestors fleeing for their dear life. It was also a case of TNA having to seek protection from the law enforcements the TNA is demanding out of the North. That was what happened on 5th June 2014 outside the Divisional Secretariat Office while at the Mullaitivu courts the case filed by Ananthi Sasitharan on behalf of her ‘missing’ husband –Elilan the infamous LTTE leader was taken up. The outcome certainly provides inspiration to the rest of the Tamils who had been victims of the LTTE for 3 decades and sends a clear signal that the tables have turned and the hunters are now getting hounded -Finally.  Anandi Sasidaran’s case filed on behalf of her ‘missing’ husband was taken up at the Mullaitivu courts on 5th June 2014.  Anandi Sasidaran has conveniently forgotten that her ‘missing’ husband was responsible for forcibly taking away scores of children and men during the last stages of the war.  The UNHRC forgot this fact too when she was given airtime of NGOs representing causes of other countries to bemoan about a ‘missing’ LTTE terrorist leader. The Geneva gathering while holding buckets for Ananthi’s tears did not stop to wonder how ‘innocent’ Elilan, Ananthi Sasitharan’s ‘missing’ husband actually was.The 300 protestors on 5th June 2014 showed exactly what ‘missing’ Elilan had been upto. UNHRC must stop and wonder whether they should moan the LTTE leader or the hundreds of missing children and men whose fate are unknown and wonder why the hub of human rights chose not to ask the question from the spouse herself as she sat before the Geneva gathering shedding crocodile tears.  On 5th June 2014, TNA politicians Suresh Premachandran, Sivajilingam, Selvarasa Gajendran, Gajendran Ponnambalam, Thurairasa Ravikaran, Antoni Gajendran made a choice. They chose to support Ananthi Sasitharan and the case filed by her on behalf of her ‘missing’ husband. The choice of the TNA politicians was to side with an LTTE leader.  Suresh Premachandran and Co did not think twice about or wonder whether it was right for them to support an LTTE leader now supposedly ‘missing’.  Suresh Premachandran and Co did not for a second wonder whether it was fair on the scores of Tamils from whom the LTTE plucked children and men and turned into cadres. Suresh Premachandran now seeking advice from Tamils and Diaspora Tamils may like to answer this question.  Let’s not forget that LTTE’s cadres were mostly made up of KIDNAPPED Tamils who had been BRAINWASHED into taking part in LTTE terror (LankaWeb : 06 June 2014).

Why Pay Attention To Non Entities Like Jayalalitha Calling For A Referendum For Tamils In Sri lanka? - Insight By Sunil Kumar - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaitha Jayaram’s call for a referendum among Tamils in Sri Lanka including those currently living abroad to decide on the establishment of a separate state (Eelam) seems not only lopsided but also one which has no bearing on the smooth functioning of Sovereign Independent Sri Lanka.This coming from an indian film actress turned politician whose aggression against Sri Lanka has even been to a greater part ignored by new Indian Prime Minister Modi. So why worry about a deadbeat Tamil Nadu flybynight politico and the rest of her consorts who continue to bicker about The Tamils in Sri Lanka and continue their worthless cacophony over an unacheivable issue regarding a referendum to establish a separate state for their favourites?  The nature of her call alone proves the kind of misguided and apathetic individual she must be where she would probably be better off requesting the Indian Prime Minister to open the doors of Tamil Nadu to all dissenting minority Tamils in Sri lLanka to emigrate there while also considering a reversal of the Sirima – Shastri Pact to repatriate the migrant labour Tamils who have established themselves as estate labour Tamils if so disposed towards an empathy for Tamil Nadu as choice of abode rather than cause unnecessary agitations in Sri Lanka courtesy of the likes of the DMK whose related aspirations in all likelihood will also end up in rejection by the laboureres who are once again better off in Sri Lanka rather than facing the rigours of life in South India depite the rhetoric.In a general sense albeit hypothetically at least this would probably find the Tamils in Sri lanka reluctant to leave where they would be much better off as the case has been proven time and time again that it is indeed a load of codsawllop that the Tamillians in Nadu are in any way well disposed towards their counterparts across the Palk Straight with open arms to join them.  It therefore goes without saying that Sri Lanka is always committed to preserving the Sovereignity, unitarity and territorial integrity of the country and there could be no compromise on that score where Jayalalith and her motley crew including the Vaikos and Karunanidhis et al could huff and puff until blue and all they would prpbably get are apoplectic fits , censure cautions and probable arrests or all of these (LankaWeb :06 June 2014).

UNHRC vs Sri Lanka: Successive Resolutions going far beyond last phase of war - by Shenali D Waduge - Are the Resolution architects confused or is their confusion intentional? Some clarifications are urgently needed. The initial Resolution against Sri Lanka brought forward within days of the conclusion of a 30 year armed conflict drew upon the human rights violations committed during the last phase of the war. Thereafter, with each passing Resolution a host of non-last phase related items have been plugged in – 13th amendment, devolution, reference to Northern Provincial Council only etc all of which do not require a Resolution but can be easily taken up through the universal periodic review. The 2014 Resolution is calling for an independent investigation and moving to an international investigation but covering period under LLRC which is 2002 to May 2009. By plugging non-last phase related issues to establish a scenario of unrest in Sri Lanka, the UNHRC is shrewdly trying to create precedence to initiate international investigations on CONCLUDED CONFLICTS and NOT ONGOING CONFLICTS. The friends of Sri Lanka and the GOSL must surely notice the nature of the plan and if such precedence is created it would affect only targeted nations.  What needs to be stressed is that the conflict in Sri Lanka is NO MORE. Terrorism has ended. Not a single bomb, suicide mission, terrorist assassination, child soldier recruitment, kidnapping and training men and women into combatants take place for the past 5 years. There is no ONGOING flavor to the Resolutions and explains why, in the thirst for vengeance the same countries that had a good tete a tete with the tigers are drafting Resolutions against Sri Lanka and drawing non-relevant items into the Resolutions expecting the GOSL would foolishly fall for the trap. What is ambiguous is that while calling for the investigation to cover period set in the LLRC (2002 to 2009 May), the Resolution is making reference to all sorts of areas that have no relation to the armed conflict. Moreover, humanitarian laws come under the UN Security Council and not the UN Human Rights Council or the High Commission yet there is reference to humanitarian laws as well. We would like to know where all these tactics are bound.  A good look at the Resolutions passed against Sri Lanka highlights the crafty nature of the draft architects (LankaWeb : 06 June 2014).

Archaeologists Find Buddhist Ruins in Kilinochchi - by Sri Lankan Army - Archaeologists in the Northern Province have affirmed that the ruins recovered from Shivanagar, Uriththirapuram in Kilinochchi, containing slates, stacks of ancient bricks, Sri Paada symbols, etc, belong to the historic Polonnaruwa era. 20 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) troops of the 662 Brigade under the Security Force Headquarters – Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN) came across the site lying in their area of responsibility by accident and kept the SFHQ-KLN informed of their findings, just a few days ago.  At the request of Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, SFHQ-KLN who himself inspected the place, a team of archaeologists arrived at the site and began extensive investigations, through which they succeeded in finding ruins, identical to a Pagoda of 60 ft in diameter and about 12 ft in height, stacks of ancient layers of bricks, slates with Sri Paada symbol, stone posts with prints of Sri Paada in the middle, etc, all the hallmarks that confirm the existence of a Buddhist temple in the Polonnaruwa period (LankaWeb : 06 June 2014).

Govt. to implement 13-A without police powers, rejects TNA demand - by Zacki Jabbar - The government said yesterday that it did not have an issue with implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with the exception of police powers.  Asked during the weekly Cabinet Press briefing in Colombo if land and other provisions of 13A with the exception of police powers would be implemented, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said that the contentious issue was the Tamil National Alliance demand for a Police Commissioner to be appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister; that could not be granted due to security reasons. Asked whether the granting of land powers needed to discussed with the relevant stake holders, he replied "It is police powers as demanded by the TNA that cannot be granted. Traffic police and other powers necessary for administrative purposes could be devolved."  Pointing out that India had amended its Constitution 150 times, Minister Rambukwella noted that the 13A had been relevant at the time it was introduced but not in the post war era.  Sri Lanka, the minister said welcomed the new Indian government under the leadership of Narendra Modi since it would give stability to both countries. "We did have certain differences with New Delhi, but it has always stood for an undivided Sri Lanka despite Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s repeated calls for the creation of Eelam." (Island : 05 June 2014).

Parents of child soldiers confront TNA protest - by Shamindra Ferdinando - A group of parents as well as relatives of some child soldiers believed killed during the final phase of the army assault on the LTTE, confronted Tamil National Alliance (TNA) members of parliament near the Mullaitivu Pradeshiya Sabha secretariat during a protest by the latter yesterday.  The police prevented a clash between the two groups, though they exchanged words.  Irate relatives of child soldiers accused TNA members of having turned a blind eye to large scale recruitment of child combatants just few weeks before the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.  Mullaitivu based sources told The Island that the TNA had launched yesterday’s protest to coincide with a case being heard at the Mullaitivu court regarding the disappearance of a group of persons including one-time Trincomalee District LTTE leader Elilan. The LTTEer was married to Ananthi Sashitharan.  Mrs. Sashitharan, now a TNA heavyweight and a member of the Northern Provincial Council has moved court against the disappearance of her husband. She alleges her husband gave himself up to troops as the army overran the last LTTE bastion.  Sources said that parents accused the TNA of collaborating with the LTTE during the conflict. They alleged that Elilan had personally led a group of armed LTTE cadres tasked with seizing children to be used as combatants. Tigers at the time even raided a church where hundreds of children were taking refuge and took away many of them. Civilians accused the LTTE of having abducted at least 300 children from that church alone.  The abduction of children was also reported to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). (Island : 05 June 2014).

Lankan Tamil issue figures in Jayalalithaa’s talks with Modi - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, jUNE 3: The Sri Lankan Tamil issue figured in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when she called on him in his South Block office here today. Jayalalithaa submitted a memorandum to Modi. "Prime Minister assured Tamil Nadu chief minister of early action on the issues raised in the memorandum," an official statement issued by the state government in Chennai said.  Her government’s wish list included welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils, restoration of the traditional fishing rights of the Tamil Nadu fishermen near the Katchatheevu, grant of the digital addressable system licence for the state-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation, infrastructure, especially power, urban infrastructure, modernisation of the police force and declaration of the Tamil language as an official language. "The chief minister explained the important issues which are crucial to protecting the state’s interests and to ensure rapid development of the state," the statement said.  The meeting, the first since Modi assumed office on May 26, lasted 50 minutes. She kept away from his swearing-in to protest against the presence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the ceremony. Tamil Nadu political parties, including her AIADMK, have lambasted Rajapaksa for the manner in which his government has been dealing with the Sri Lankan Tamils since the war against the LTTE ended in May 1999.  The chief minister greeted Modi on his assumption of office by presenting a bouquet and a silk shawl to him.  She also met President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.  Later, briefing the media here, Jayalalithaa said she sought the Centre’s urgent attention in creating a monitoring committee to implement the Supreme Court order on the Mullaperiyar dam.  Jayalalithaa had praise for Modi after meeting him, but has denied that there is any proposal for her party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.  She was also non-committal when asked if her party will support Modi’s government in Parliament. She said he has a majority in the Lok Sabha and does not need her support. On supporting the NDA in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling alliance is in a minority, she simply said: "We will see if the need arises."  Jayalalithaa, who is known to share a good rapport with Modi, said the Prime Minister "is very receptive and listened to issues... the meeting was resourceful and rewarding." He has been a chief minister too and he understands the problems of a state. ‘He promised he will do the needful," Jayalalithaa said while referring to a number of problems related to her state that she raised with the Modi.  Today’s meeting came amid much speculation that the ruling BJP is discussing a possible alliance with Jayalalithaa, whose party has 10 members in the Rajya Sabha, and is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha with 37 MPs.  While the BJP has 282 MPs in the Lok Sabha, a clear majority on its own, and 336 along with its allies, it has just 42 members in the 245-seat Upper House, and 64 along with NDA allies. To push legislation through the upper house it will need the support of 123 members.  The closely-watched meeting today was postponed for a few hours because of the death this morning of Union Minister Gopinath Munde after a road accident in the capital. Modi visited the BJP headquarters this afternoon to pay his respect to his party’s senior leader from Maharashtra.  Modi had yesterday met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who, like Ms Jayalalithaa, is a regional powerhouse and swept his state in the general elections, winning 20 of 21 seats. He has four Rajya Sabha MPs. He promised that his party will respond positively if the NDA needs its help in the upper house (Island : 04 June 2014).

Eelam war IV: Weapons transit point Tamil Nadu - by Shamindra Ferdinando - A chance confrontation between the navy and the LTTE off Talaimannar on the evening of October 31, 2006 led to the recovery of high explosive motor bombs and a small consignment of 12.7 mm ammunition. The navy intercepted a trawler as it was heading towards the Vanni mainland. The recovery of 27 boxes containing 120 mm motor bombs revealed the existence of an LTTE supply line through Tamil Nadu. The navy believed that the vessel could have come from Tamil Nadu, unless it received a load of ammunition from a floating warehouse belonging to the LTTE on the high seas. Although the navy asserted that it could have been the first arms smuggling bid since the collapse of the Geneva talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government and the LTTE, the LTTE was widely believed to have brought sizable stocks of arms, ammunition and equipment during the Oslo-arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA). The then Tamil Nadu government led by M. Karunanidhi (DMK), turned a blind eye to what was happening in the Southern Indian state. Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s Opposition AIADMK too, remained mum for obvious reasons (First arms smuggling bid after Geneva II thwarted with strap line navy recovers mortar bombs from LTTE vessel - ‘The Island’ November 6, 2006).  Last week, the writer dealt with how the LTTE had brazenly used the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet to its advantage in spite of it being a proscribed organization since the assassination of one-time Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. In the wake of the November 2005 presidential election which brought Mahinda Rajapaksa into power, the LTTE stepped up its Tamil Nadu project. The LTTE used a fleet of trawlers to move supplies to the Vanni mainland from the high seas, via Tamil Nadu, widely believed to be the main transit point. During January-mid November 2006, the navy confronted the LTTE in the Gulf of Mannar. Some of the confrontations took place close to the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary. Although some Indian fishermen could have perished in confrontations between the navy and Tamil Nadu trawlers commandeered by the LTTE, the DMK remained silent. Both the DMK as well as the AIADMK ignored what was going on even after the navy rescued a Tamil Nadu fishermen identified as Sekar after he jumped from a trawler commandeered by the LTTE, soon after it was hit by a pair of Sri Lankan Fast Attack Craft (FACs) off Kudiramalai point on November 14, 2006 (Indian link in LTTE arms smuggling operations with strap line Indian survives SLN attack on arms carrying trawler near Indo-Lanka maritime boundary - ‘The Island’ November 17, 2006).  The Congress ignored the Tamil Nadu-LTTE relationship. The Congress returned to power in May 2004 after having defeated the Baratiya Janata Party (BJP) led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Although the Central government of India knew the ground situation, it turned a Nelsonian eye. By late 2006, the LTTE was operating in Tamil Nadu in a big way (island : 03 June 2014).

Wimal: A BJP-led govt, would have intervened to save Tigers - by Shamindra Ferdinando - National Freedom Front (NFF) leader, Construction, Engineering Services and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa warned that the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could adopt a policy inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests and it could even be worse than that of the Congress.  The new government could resort to measures to undermine political stability of Sri Lanka, Minister Weerawansa said on Saturday (May 31), addressing a public gathering after opening the newly renovated Elvitigala flats, Narahenpita.  Had there been an NDA administration under the BJP’s leadership during Eelam war IV, India would have probably have made a direct intervention in Sri Lanka to halt the military offensive against the LTTE, Minister Weerawansa said. Although the Congress had exerted pressure on the government, it had never resorted to direct action, the minister said. The Congress deployed the Indian Army in Sri Lanka in July 1987 after having armed Tamil youth to fight the then JRJ government.  The minister described the Congress as a weak government, compared to the NDA which had secured 334 seats, with the BJP having a staggering 282 seats on its own. The NFF leader said that some believed that Indian Premier Narendra Modi was exerting pressure on Sri Lanka to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. They were of the view Premier Modi expected the government to go beyond the 13th Amendment, he added. However, others believed that the new Indian leader would adopt a friendly policy towards Sri Lanka.  Referring to the proposed appointment of a special Indian envoy to Sri Lanka, Minister Weerawansa said that India was pushing for a regime change in Sri Lanka.  Strongly criticising India’s policy, the minister expressed serious concerns over the move to involve South Africa to facilitate fresh talks between the government and the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA).  The minister emphasised that Sri Lanka was not part of India and, therefore, Prime Minister Modi had no right whatsoever to intervene here.  Alleging that India was behind the so-called South African initiative, the minister claimed that India was engaged in a project to cause a rift between the government and the people.  Minister Weerawansa last week declared that his party would quit the SLFP-led coalition if the government accepted South Africa as a facilitator and involved India again in the devolution process.  The minister also reiterated its call for changing the national economic strategy for the benefit of all Sri Lankans.  The minister said that many opposed his view that the LTTE should be militarily defeated. But today, people had accepted that the country could have been divided on ethnic lines if not for a successful military campaign (Island ; 01 June 2014).

Weekly Defence Colunm by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina; 01 June 2014)

Post-war realities in the Northern Province - Visit to Jaffna by Friday Forum delegation - The Friday Forum is an informal group of concerned citizens pledged to uphold norms of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, media freedom and tolerance in our pluralist society.Friday Forum, since its inception in 2009, has been profoundly disquieted about the post war scene in the Northern Province. A delegation of the Friday Forum visited Jaffna and Kilinochchi recently and met some members of the clergy of all religions, political leaders, academics and professionals, representatives of women’s groups and fisher folk, and the office bearers of the Jaffna- Kilinochchi Muslim Federation. The delegation consisted of Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Daneshan Casie-Chetty, Savitri Goonesekere, Chandra Jayaratne, Tissa Jayatilaka, Ahilan Kadirgamar, Ranjini Obeysekera and Selvy Tiruchandran. Jayantha Dhanapala was unable to join at the last minute due to illness. Despite efforts made by the Friday Forum, much to our regret the scheduled meeting with the Northern Province Governor, twice postponed at the request of the latter, did not take place. We thus missed the opportunity we sought to place before the Governor the concerns of Friday Forum related to the current scene in the North. Encouraged as we have been by the holding of elections for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Friday Forum is, however, perturbed by the hindrances that impede the proper functioning of the NPC. The integrity and commitment of Chief Minister Wigneswaran to work for the good of the people of the Northern Province, and indeed all of us in Sri Lanka, as well as his commitment to work towards post-war reconstruction and reconciliation in a united Sri Lanka that respects diversity and the rights of citizens of all communities, are, we feel, commendable. The delegation was struck by the re-iteration of the assurance given by the Chief Minister to direct his energies to a people-centred sustainable development of the Province, while safeguarding and ensuring the rule of law, justice and human security. It is the sincere hope of Friday Forum that the Governor and the President will extend their vital support and cooperation to the Chief Minister and the duly elected NPC by the provision of the requisite financial and administrative resources to enable the NPC to discharge its duties and responsibilities to the citizenry (Island : 01June 2014).

Modi resets the clock to 13A, (when) will it start ticking in Sri Lanka? - by Rajan Philips - If there was disappointment in Sri Lankan Tamil political circles after Narendra Modi’s majority victory in the Lok Sabha elections, there must have been disappointment in government circles after Modi’s swearing in and his brief meeting with President Rajapaksa, when Prime Minister Modi reset the Indo-Lanka clock back to 13A. However, after returning to Colombo, President Rajapaksa seems to have directed senior (SLFP) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to let it be known that only the proverbial Parliamentary Select Committee could decide on the future of the Thirteenth Amendment. While the new Indian Prime Minister suggested to President Rajapaksa that an early and full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment and even going beyond it will facilitate the national reconciliation process, Minister de Silva has reminded the media in Colombo that "the government would co-operate always with India, but no one should interfere in the internal affairs of the country." Why did not the President himself straighten Prime Minister Modi on the matter while the latter is still new to the file on Sri Lanka? Rather than having his Minister offer a history lesson in Colombo, President Rajapaksa could have told the new BJP Prime Minister that the Thirteenth Amendment was forced on a weak Sri Lankan President (J.R. Jayewardene, a mostly secular urban elite) by the wretched Congress Party of India, and that it is now up to the two of them, as Asia’s new strongmen doers (I am paraphrasing Basil Rajapaksa’s comparative exhilaration), to throw 13A into the same dustbin where the Congress has been dumped, and rewrite a new relationship between Modi’s India and Mahinda’s Lanka. The same way, the Chinese are expecting Modi to rewrite Sino-Indian relationship now that the moribund Congress is finally out of the way. While at it, they could also put Tamil Nadu in its place and in its corner. Why not? (Island : 31 May 2014).

Senegal will support Sri Lanka’s efforts to engage with African Union - External Affairs Minister, Professor G. L. Peiris had bilateral discussions with Mankeur Ndiaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal last week, on the sidelines of the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Algiers. Minister Ndiaye, appreciating Sri Lanka’s recent focus on the strengthening of political and economic relations with countries in the African continent, proposed the establishment of a Joint Commission between Sri Lanka and Senegal.The two Ministers also agreed on entering into an agreement for political consultations. Senegal’s Foreign Minister readily agreed to support Sri Lanka’s effort to engage with the African Union at their headquarters in Addis Ababa. As the country located at the Western extremity of Africa, on the Atlantic seaboard, Senegal has great strategic and economic importance in terms of developing a mutually beneficial relationship with Sri Lanka.  The two Ministers agreed to work energetically towards this objective (Island : 31 May 2014).

Govt. confident Modi will not be influenced by TNA-Diaspora grouping - by Shamindra Ferdinando The new Indian government wouldn’t be deceived by a fresh joint anti-Sri Lanka campaign launched by the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the UK-based Global Tamil Front (GTF) meant to undermine bilateral relations between the two countries, a senior government official said yesterday.  The TNA, which included some former terrorist groups formed by the then Congress Party in the 80s was making a desperate bid to influence the newly elected Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) through the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) now in control in Tamil Nadu, the official said.  Recalling the circumstances under which the GTF came into being after the conclusion of the war in May 2009, he alleged that the grouping too, was promoting separatist sentiments. The GTF was among 16 other organizations, including the LTTE proscribed by Sri Lanka recently amidst alleged attempts to revive the militarily defeated group. The official alleged that the TNA, GTF and the AIADMK were seeking the new government’s  support for the US-led efforts to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal. Their effort should be examined in the wake of the ousted Congress party refusing to throw its weight behind US resolution to initiate an external investigation into accountability issues in Sri Lanka, he said.  Responding to a query by The Sunday Island, another official pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jeyaram Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK could return to the NDA. A section of the Indian media had already speculated about the possibility of the AIADMK having a dialogue with the NDA pave the way for its return. The AIADMK quit the NDA way back in 1999 leading to fresh parliamentary elections. CM Jayalalithaa is scheduled to meet Premier Modi on Tuesday (June 3) in New Delhi, though she boycotted the latter’s swearing in ceremony last Monday over President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s participation (Island ; 31May 2014).

Jayalalithaa to meet Narendra Modi - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will meet him on June 3 to take up issues relating to the state’s growth.  Jayalalithaa will meet Modi at his South Block office in New Delhi on June 3, a state government release said, adding, she will present a memorandum to the Prime Minister. “This memorandum will include some crucial issues relating to Tamil Nadu which have been pending with the Government of India,” the release said, in an apparent reference to Jayalalithaa’s demand for a relief package from the Centre among others.  She had first taken up the matter with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2011 after winning the assembly polls and has been pressing for the demand ever since.  The release said the memorandum will also highlight some issues which require the urgent attention of the Centre “to safeguard the legitimate interests of the state and to propel the state on a faster growth path.”  Jayalalithaa had boycotted the swearing-in of Modi as Prime Minister on May 26, opposing participation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the ceremony (Ada Derana : 30 May 2014).

Congratulations Mr. Modi; The New Prime Minister of India” - By Mahinda Weerasinghe - By the time you read this piece you will be discharging your duties as the new leader of India.  My advice would be superfluous to you, however, I am offering some indicators, which I feel would be invaluable at this initial stage of your watch!  Mr. Prime Minster, obviously the security and the well being of the Indian Union would be the primary concern to you as the leader of the Nation. On the other hand as a Hindu Nationalist, I am assuming that you came through the block vote of Hindus; hence it’s vital that you guard the Indian union!  But the union will soon be tested by Tamil Nadu! Not by the Indian Tamils per se, but it’s the Catholic Tamils from Jaffna; you should keep a shape look out for. These guys are frustrated and find no way to placate their inferiority complexes. Especially, since the terror tactics failed from snatching the pearl of the Indian Ocean. So now they have reverted back to plan B, which is the only option left open for them.  Sinhalese it is assumed had migrated to Lanka from Gujarat or Bengali, so they are considered as part of the global colonization push by the Aryans. In fact instead of attacking Aryans in India proper, these Tamils are whipping up their Indian Tamil cousins into frenzy in order to exploit them as a cat’s paw, in their assault against Lanka. Frustrated and seething with anger they find it impossible to get at Lanka; so complain of the injustice done them!  Naturally the blow back effect on India if Plan B was allowed to materialise would be anybody’s guess!  As you have a clear majority and a mandate from the Indian voters you can act for the best interest of the region.  Yet in fact this positive act by the nation’s wishes would be presented negatively by these handmaidens of the colonial powers! They would be taking advantage of your Hindu credentials” as a lever to ply out Tamil Nadu from the union.  When plan A was smashed to smithereens by the relentless Sinhalese army and nipped the racially un-adulterated Tamil Eelam in the bud, including, erasing of the top leadership they had no options left, but to fall back on plan B (LankaWeb : 30 May 2014).

Sampanthan asks for meeting with Jayalialitha to discuss Tamil issue in Sri Lanka - By Asada M Erpini - The local media reports on 29 and 30 March mention the R. Sampanthan, the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, asking for a meeting with the Chief Minister (CM) of Tamil Nadu (TN) to discuss the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka”. The headline of one of the stories includes, to resolve the national issue”.  As far as most Sri Lankans are concerned, the Tamil issue” or the national issue” that the TNA leader and his ilk keep on harping about has never been clearly enunciated by any of them. If one were to compare the average Tamil in Sri Lanka with his blood brother living in Tamil Nadu, the former enjoys a far better standard of living and is the recipient of free healthcare and education at government expense: the highest proportion of students who qualified for entry into university was from the Northern Province, and somewhat enviably, the Tamils have two universities in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces financed by the Sri Lanka government that, for all practical purposes, provide opportunities for higher education only to Tamils.  Many would even venture to say that the Tamil issue” is nothing other than the intransigence of the TNA and its supporters perpetually undermining whatever moves that the government of Sri Lanka wished to implement for achieving reconciliation: the TNA persistently refusing to take part in the All Party Conference, the TNA leader and the other TNA parliamentarians running to their amma” in Tamil Nadu at the drop of a hat to ask her to help solve Sri Lanka’s problems, and, more recently, the Chief Minister of the TNA-dominated Northern Provincial Council (NPC) declining the invitation extended to him by His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka to be a member of the delegation at Mr. Narenda Modi’s swearing in ceremony on 26 May, on the grounds that accompanying the President would suggest that there was harmony between the NPC and the government, are cases in point (LankaWeb : 30 May 2014).

'Modi, Rajapaksa meeting turned a new leaf in Indo-Lanka ties' - Terming the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa as "very successful", a senior minister said the Sri Lankan leader's trip to New Delhi has turned a new leaf in Indo-Lanka ties."It was a very successful first meeting," Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, said referring to Rajapaksa's bilateral meeting with Modi this week.   Rajapaksa has been able to turn a new leaf in Indo-Lanka relations, he said. "It is not the practice to release in public what the two leaders had discussed," de Silva said.He dismissed fears that the new Indian government under BJP leader Modi could work against Sri Lankan interests. "Some suggested that we will have problems with the BJP government unlike with the Congress government. All these have been proved wrong," de Silva said. He said that Sri Lanka welcomed the appointment of Sushma Swaraj as the new External Affairs Minister.  "She is someone who is aware of our situation". Pressed for an answer on the new Indian government's insistence on implementing the thirteenth amendment, de Silva said Sri Lanka would wish to tackle all outstanding issues through consultations.  "No one will be able to dictate to us. It is our duty to find solutions to our own problems in our own ways," he said. As per the 13th Amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987, Sri Lankan government had agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces (Economic time of India ; 29 May 2014).

UN under spotlight for giving refugee status to LTTE cadres - Govt urges review of UN procedures - By Shamindra Ferdinando - An urgent review of UN procedures was necessary in the wake of the recent arrest and deportation of three LTTE cadres registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia, a senior security official said.  The official said that two of the LTTE cadres had received refugee status, while the third was in the process of securing the same. Responding to a query, the official said that the Sri Lankan government had never been consulted as regards the applications made by them, therefore an inquiry was necessary.  The Malaysian Counter Terrorism Division arrested them in separate raids in Petaling Jaya and Klang, Selangor on May 15. They were deported on May 25.  Asked whether the government was aware of the number of Sri Lankans who had been given refugee status through the intervention of the UNHCR during the conflict as well as the post-war period, the official said that there could be a substantial number of LTTE cadres among Sri Lankans living overseas under the protection of the UN. Another official told ‘The Island’ that the UNHCR should at least now explain the circumstances under which those having refugee status courtesy the UN could be listed as missing/dead during the conflict. The UNHCR probe shouldn’t be restricted to Malaysia, he said, calling for urgent measures to prevent members of the LTTE as well as other unscrupulous elements from abusing the UN system. Commenting on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticism of the Malaysian action, the official pointed out that the INGO should produce evidence, if it had any, to prove the innocence of the three deportees. The official emphasised that those registered with the UNHCR weren’t immune to prosecution if they had committed crimes.  Intelligence sources said that all three had entered Malaysia illegally and one of them even carried a work permit issued by a non-existent company.  According to records available in Colombo, the governments of Australia and the UK since the conclusion of the conflict had deported back to Sri Lanka over 1,000 bogus asylum seekers in spite of claims of persecution back home. Australia recently assured Sri Lanka that more bogus asylum seekers who have entered Australia through other countries during previous administrations would be deported.  Sources said that the chance arrest of one Kathiravel Thayapararajah by Indian authorities in May exposed a network that helped Sri Lankans to secure asylum abroad. Thayapararajah had been listed among the dead/missing since September 2009 and the military intelligence was accused of abducting him (Island : 28 May 2014).

Modi’s call for 13A implementation: UNP willing to assist government - We will not play politics with national issues - By Zacki Jabbar - Urging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to fulfil his written assurances to the United Nations and India to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the UNP said yesterday that unlike the SLFP it would not play politics with national issues or set the country on fire.  Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kirielle MP addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that even the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told Rajapaksa in New Delhi on Tuesday, that he should without any further delay devolve power to the North and East of Sri Lanka in terms of the 13th Amendment.  "When the UNP tried to implement the 13th Amendment in 1987, the SLFP set the country on fire by damaging public property worth billions of rupees. On returning to office in 2001, we once again attempted to devolve power, but the SLFP was back on the streets accusing us of dividing Sri Lanka.  The current crop of rulers had learnt a bitter lesson by trying to play ‘tricks’ with the international community including India by giving bogus pledges which had worked with a majority of Sri Lankans, the MP said. "When President Rajapaksa asked the former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about two months back why his country had not opposed the US led UN resolutions against Sri Lanka, the latter replied that he would have done so, if the former had implemented at least 10 percent of his pledges to the UN and India."  Kirielle accused President Rajapaksa of having assured New Delhi in early 2009 that he would implement 13A Plus, fearing that India would intervene in Sri Lanka’s war.  Shortly after the war had ended on May 18,2009, the governments representative Dayan Jayathillake went to Geneva and appealed to the UN not to pass strictures on Sri Lanka since it would without fail fully implement 13A. It was a time buying exercise which backfired badly on the country, MP Kirielle observed. The UNP would wholeheartedly help the government devolve power, Kirielle said, pointing out that there was no need for sitting through another Parliamentary Select Committee process to discuss issues which had been debated for decades, since the solutions were clear to any person with an iota of common sense (Island : 28 May 2014).

UN under spotlight for giving refugee status to LTTE cadres - Govt urges review of UN procedures

Tiger spy’s phone records make interesting revelations - Perusing the cell phone records of a suspected LTTE spy recently arrested at the Kilinochchi hospital has revealed that he had been in touch with LTTE activists overseas as well as a TNA parliamentarian.  The suspect, a cardiographer by profession, had travelled to Colombo once in two weeks as part of a mission to befriend military personnel, investigators said (Island : 28 May 2014).

Malaysia extradites 3 suspected Tamil Tigers to Sri Lanka: Report - Three suspected Tamil Tigers arrested in Malaysia have been extradited to Sri Lanka where they are being questioned, a Sri Lankan official was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the three suspects were brought to Sri Lanka on Monday night by officials of the Terrorist Investigation Department, China's Xinhua news agency reported. Malaysian police arrested the three men suspected to be members of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group in Selangor earlier this month. They were nabbed at different locations in Klang and Petaling Jaya in a special operation conducted by the Malaysian Special Branch's Counter-Terrorism Division on May 15. Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement that the men, who hold United Nations refugee cards, were suspected of attempting to revive LTTE activities. He said the suspects had arrived in Malaysia in 2004 and were suspected of using the country as their base to spread the group's propaganda and raise funds for their activities (The Sunday Times ; 27 May 2014).

Three Tigers arrested in Malaysia brought here - By Madura Ranwala - Three LTTE suspects who were hiding in Malaysia were brought to Sri Lanka on Monday afternoon following their arrest by the Malaysian law enforcement authorities on May 15.  Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the three LTTE cadres Sangalinga Raja, Mahadevan Kirubakaran and Selvaturai Kirubakaran, who fled the country seven to twelve years back and were collecting funds in various countries to revive terrorism in the North, had been handed over to the Sri Lanka police by their Malaysian counterparts.  The suspects had been brought to Colombo by a police team specially flown there for that task there and they were being grilled by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) to identify the other suspects on a mission to revive the LTTE.  The SSP said that the people of the North had suffered enough due to LTTE violence, child conscription and disruptions to education.  Therefore, the police and the armed forces would spare no pains to prevent the LTTE from raising its ugly head again in any part of the country and he was confident that they had the blessings of all peace-loving people to accomplish that task for the benefit of citizenry, especially children, the SSP said (Island : 27 May 2014).

How DMK, AIADMK combination prolonged eelam war IV - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Had the Tamil Nadu administration effectively implemented the ban on the LTTE, eelam war IV (August 2006 – May 2009) would not have lasted nearly three years. In spite of the ban imposed by the Central Government of India following the assassination of one time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE on May 21 1991, successive Tamil Nadu administrations allowed the group a free hand. Tamil Nadu remained a key supply base, transit point, until the very end of the conflict. The Central Government turned a blind eye to what was going on in Tamil Nadu, especially during eelam war IV.  Now that the United Nations Human Rights Council is about to initiate an investigation into accountability issues in Sri Lanka during eelam war IV, it would be pertinent to examine the roles played by Tamil Nadu as well as the ousted Congress Party which were supportive of the LTTE. Although the Congress extended the ban on the LTTE by five more years immediately after the conclusion of the Parliamentary polls, which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (DNA) in to power, it allowed the Tamil Nadu-LTTE relationship during the final war.  Although the LTTE no longer retained a conventional military capability, both Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) remained committed to the eelam cause. Sri Lanka should be concerned about their continuing support to the separatist cause here, though they were not constituents of the NDA.  Those propagating the eelam cause have some support within the NDA. Vaiko, MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) founder and NDA constituents are strongly opposed to closer ties between Narendra Modi’s India and Sri Lanka. Vaiko could not win even his own seat in Tamil Nadu state. The DMK too, ended up without a single seat in the same state.  However, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) appears to be confident that CM Jayalalithaa could influence the Centre, though not being a constituent of the NDA. She secured 37 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, while the remaining seats were bagged by two BJP allies (Island ; 27 May 2014).

‘S. African mediation will make NFF leave UPFA’ - Wimal warns govt: - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Having presented a set of proposals reforms to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Saturday, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader, Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday that it would quit the ruling coalition if the government involved foreign powers to facilitate talks with the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA).  The NFF leader was responding to a query raised by The Island at a media briefing at the party headquarters at Pelawatte. The NFF adopted a 12-point plan at its Second Convention held on May 5.NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, said now that the LTTE had been eradicated the government should never accept foreign mediation under any circumstance.  South Africa recently appointed Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as its Special Representative for the Sri Lankan project. Ramaphosa is widely expected to visit Colombo soon.The appointment was made following talks between South African President Zuma and President Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo last November. There haven’t been tripartite talks yet, though South African representatives met government and TNA representatives separately on several occasions. Asked whether the NFF would insist that the government accept its fourth proposal, which dealt with a move to involve South Africa in post-war national reconciliation as well as devolution process, Minister Weerawansa said that his party wouldn’t give up that proposal.The former JVP heavyweight said that he wouldn’t hesitate to quit the government in case the government wasn’t agreeable to NFF proposals aimed at pushing the government to take the right path without squandering an opportunity to re-build the country devastated by three decades of war.Minister Weerawansa insisted that the NFF was also opposed to Indian mediation. The NFF said that there shouldn’t be further talks with any foreign government or non-state actor as regards the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.  Recollecting the Norwegian mediation in Sri Lanka many years back, Minister Weerawansa said that foreign mediation was inimical to the national interest. Sri Lanka had suffered due to external interventions, it would be a grave mistake on the part of the government to involve outsiders in a purely domestic issue.  The minister said that even if the government accepted the majority of 12 proposals, the NFF wouldn’t drop the fourth proposal.The Colombo District MP alleged that the government strategy meant to counter an international war crimes probe was wrong. Accusing an influential section of the ruling coalition of misleading the government, Minister Weerawansa said that certain interested parties propagated that a South African role in the post-war national reconciliation process would help thwart international war crimes probe targeting Sri Lanka. The minister insisted that Western powers wouldn’t give up US-led project to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal due to South African initiative (Island ; 25 May 2014).

TNA appeals to Modi to take up Tamils’ concerns - Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan wrote to Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi to bring concerns of Tamils to President Mahind Rajapaksa’s notice "at the earliest possible opportunity".  Congratulating him on his "resounding victory" in the Indian elections, Sampanthan, who also sought an appointment with the BJP leader, said the TNA looked forward to closely working with his new government to strengthen bilateral relations and ensure that violence does not recur in Sri Lanka.  Full text of the TNA leader’s letter to Indian Prime Minister designate:  I write to you as the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, the political formation in Sri Lanka democratically elected at different levels of government, to substantially represent the Tamil people particularly of the North East in Sri Lanka.  We extend to you on behalf of the Tamil People is Sri Lanka our warmest congratulations on your resounding victory at the recently concluded elections to the Loke Sbha and on your appointment to the high office of the Prime Minister of Bharat – India. We extend to you and to your government our very sincere best wishes for the successful discharge if your onerous responsibilities.  We look forward to working closely with you and your government to further strengthen genuine ties between Sri Lanka and India and also to ensure violence doesn’t recur in Sri Lanka, and that all Sri Lankans are able to carry on their lives in territories they live in, based upon equality and justice.  Following the anti Tamil program of 1983 Sri Lanka accepted India’s offer of its good offices, to bring about a final and acceptable resolution of national conflict in Sri Lanka. This has been a continuing process though at times interrupted. India has and continues to play a role.  With the elimination of the armed conflict in May 2009 violence came to an end every opportunity came about to bring a permanent end to the conflict based upon equality, justice and genuine peace.  Both during the armed conflict and after its conclusion, the Sri Lankan government made commitments to both India and the International Community to bring about an acceptable political solution. Unfortunately, this commitment has not been honoured.  The Sri Lankan Government on the contrary is aggressively pursuing an agenda which:-  Prevent thousands of displaced Tamil families from occupying thousands of acres of fertile valuable land both in North and East historically occupied by these people for residence and livelihood, in violation of commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government to both the Supreme Court and Parliament, and thus subjecting these Tamil families to extreme deprivation.  Is vigorously settling persons from the majority community with state aid on lands in the North and East so as to change substantially the demographic composition of these areas.  Is desecrating and destroying ancient sites of religious and cultural importance to the Tamil Hindu People in the North and East so as to radically alter the ethnic cultural identity of the said territories.  Is impending and obstructing the overwhelmingly democratically elected Provincial Government of the Tamil National Alliance in the Northern Province form functioning. Is continuing to violate the fundamental and human rights of the Tamil people in the North and East so as to deny them equality before the law and relegate them to the status of second class citizens.   The excessively disproportionate and oppressive presence of the military, particularly in the North and also in the East, construction of substantial housing facilities for the military, the grave inconvenience and disruption caused to civilian life, the gender based violence, the involvement of the military in agriculture, farming, fishing and in commercial activity have a serious and adverse impact on civilian life (Island : 25 May 2014).

UNP renews call to prosecute KP

Ravi Karunanayake said KP was responsible for the killing of 78,100 people including the members of the security forces

UNP renews call to prosecute KP - The main opposition United National Party (UNP) yesterday in Parliament renewed its call for the prosecution of LTTE’s chief weapons procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP or to hand him over to India for legal action for his alleged involvements in crimes committed there.  UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake, who seconded the no-confidence motion against the Government, said KP was responsible for the killing of 78,100 people including the members of the security forces and the police and therefore he should be prosecuted forthwith instead of pampering him under the care of government authorities.  KP was arrested in August, 2009 and brought to Sri Lanka. He was the main weapons procurer for the LTTE before it was defeated in May 2009. Mr. Karunanayake said KP was involved in drug trafficking as a means of raising funds for the LTTE.  “Today, the government is silent, and pampers KP. The government vowed to confiscate 19 ships that belonged to KP. What has happened to them today?” he asked.  The UNP moved the no-confidence motion against the Government , accusing it of failing to contain what it called ‘the international drug trafficking cartel’ operating across Sri Lanka with the backing of some ruling party politicians.  Mr. Karunanayake said drugs were detected from time to time in 48 containers and 23 air packages.  “Twenty two women and 23 men were arrested in connection with drug trafficking .We would like to know what action was taken against them,” Mr. Karunanayake said (Daily Mirror ; 21 May 2014).

Post-war politics: Will BJP landslide be advantageous to Sri Lanka ? - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Now that the (Bharathiya Janatha Party) BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has secured a simple majority in the 543 member Lok Sabha, the LTTE rump, the Tamil Diaspora as well as western powers pushing for a regime change in Sri Lanka will have to re-examine their strategies. The success of their efforts will largely depend on the Indian position.  The NDA’s victory will surely weaken their ongoing campaign, though they succeeded in having a resolution adopted at the 25th session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNCHRC) to pave the way for a war crimes probe targeting Sri Lanka.  The change of government in New Delhi will give Sri Lanka time and space to rethink its strategies and explore ways and means of overcoming the threat.  A change of government in neighbouring India could not have come at a better time for Sri Lanka, struggling on the diplomatic front. However, everything will depend on 63-year old Narendra Modi, a former Chief Minister of Gujarat, who led the DNA to a landslide. Modi has obtained the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in three decades.  Unlike previous governments’, Modi will not have to depend on a political ally in Tamil Nadu for the survival of his administration. In the absence of political pacts between Modi and Karunanidhi’s DMK or Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, the LTTE rump and Tamil Diaspora will find it difficult to influence the central government through their South Indian partners. The bottom line is that Modi’s India will not have to bend backwards to appease Jayalalithaa or back western efforts to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes probe. Unlike his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, Modi will be able to decide on policy towards Sri Lanka without being influenced by those propagating lies against Sri Lanka.  Throughout the post-war period, the Indian central government humiliated Sri Lanka, on several occasions at the behest of its south Indian allies. The Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had no option but to undermine Sri Lanka as it was dependent on Jayalalithaa for its survival. Jayalalithaa brazenly acted on behalf of the UK-based Global Time Forum (GTF), widely believed to be the most influential Diaspora grouping.  Suren Surendiran issued a statement on behalf of the GTF expressing the belief that Jayalalithaa would be able to influence the new administration. Surendiran appears to have ignored Jayalalithaa’s hostility towards the BJP.  "The GTF is delighted that the determined voice of support that has echoed consistently from across the Palk Strait has been strengthened by a historic democratic vote. Madam Jayalalithaa and her party have stood firm against the injustices levelled upon the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. Madam Jayalalithaa is the first elected international leader who has formally referred to what is happening to the Tamil Nation in the island as genocide, called for an international investigation in Sri Lanka to establish whether war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed, demanded for economic sanctions against the Colombo government and referred to President Rajapaksa as a war criminal (Island : 20 May 2014).

Canadian Tamil Congress holds Memorial for 5th Year Anniversary of May 2009 in the Canadian Parliament - Several Members of Parliament and Senators from all political parties attended the 5th year Anniversary of May 2009, ‘Vanished Voices Memorial’ on May 15, in the historic Commonwealth Room of the Canadian Parliament. Members of Parliament joined Tamil Canadians to remember the tens of thousands of innocent lives lost in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war. Organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress, the memorial was held to mark the immense bloodshed that occurred during the last stages of the war and featured prayer services by Hindu and Christian priests, according to a statement issued by the CTC.  The following is the full statement: "Ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament from Scarborough Centre, Roxanne James, started off the speeches and the laying of flowers. She was instrumental in making the event possible.  Paul Dewar, MP for Ottawa-Centre and foreign affairs critic for the New Democratic Party, brought a message from the leader of the official opposition Thomas Mulcair. In his greetings, Mr. Mulcair said, "we will never forget the many vanished voices – vulnerable civilians, many of them women and children – that through no fault of their own and through such tragedy are unable to be here with us today"  Dr. Kirsty Duncan MP for Etobicoke North with veteran Liberal Senator David Smith at her side, brought a message from Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau. NDP MP for Hamilton East- Stoney Creek and the Human Rights critic Wayne Marston, Liberal Party MP for Scarborough-Guildwood John McKay, Conservative Party Senator Don Meredith and NDP MP for Scarborough Rouge River Rathika Sitsabaiesan also delivered remarks.  In closing, Patrick Brown, MP for Barrie and the sponsor of the event, thanked everyone for attending. Many other MP’s and Senators from all political parties participated at the Memorial.  Dignitaries wore black ribbons to remember the thousands of people who perished during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka 5 years ago. Attendees placed flowers by the lamps in memory of the lost lives and also observed a moment of silence for the vanished voices.  The Canadian Tamil Congress thanks the Government of Canada for leading the efforts to find justice and peace in Sri Lanka . CTC also all thanks all political parties for coming together, taking time off their busy parliamentary schedules to make this non-partisan memorial event a success. " (Island ; 20 May 2014).

LLRC recommendations not a blanket solution to all issues – Govt - Constitution and Parliament has to be consulted - By Zacki Jabbar - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations were only a guideline and not "a blanket solution" to all issues confronting the country, the government said yesterday.  Responding to questions at yesterday’s post-Cabinet Press briefing regarding the non implementation of key LLRC proposals nearly two and a half years after it was presented to Parliament, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella replied "All what is said in the LLRC Report cannot be accepted as the one and only remedy to various problems faced by the country."  here were certain areas where the LLRC recommendations could be applied, but not with regard to all National issues. Sri Lanka had a constitution and far reaching amendments could be done only with recourse to it and parliament, the Minister pointed out.  Among the key recommendations of the LLRC Report was the re-establishment of the Independent Commissions which were scrapped with the abolition of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, a Witness Protection Act and an independent inquiry into allegations of human rights violations by the State and the LTTE.  President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the "Victory Day" celebrations in Matara on Saturday, to mark the fifth anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE said that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was the proper forum to discuss all national issues.  The Tamil National Alliance and the UNP have refused to participate in the PSC stating that the issues that led to a thirty year war had been discussed for decades and the solutions were staring in the face. They have called on the government to place its devolution proposals on the table, if a response was required from them (Island ; 19 May 2014).

Please listen to Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka's Speech on 11/05/2014 in Paris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua9Wt8_ZMoI

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1491085107789026

Troops rehearsing for today’s Victory Day parade in Matara

(for details click here). Video by Sri Lanka Army

India extends ban on LTTE by 5 years

TNA's Proposal on a "Common" Presidential Candidate - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - According to media reports TNA has proposed to make Northern Provincial Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election. All the Presidential elections we had since its inception, other than the last Presidential election conducted in 2010, were direct contests between the UNP (as a single party) and the SLFP (supported by smaller parties). The candidates, except those led by UNP and SLFP were merely contenders by name. Since the last Presidential election was conducted soon after the defeat of LTTE amidst maximum popularity of the incumbent President, while that of the UNP leader was its opposite, the contest was that between the leader of the SLFP and the candidate shared by those who were in the common opposition to the war against terrorism with the belief that war against LTTE is unwinnable or due to the political or personal grudge leading to a regime change. The so-called 'Common' candidate was not only the candidate of the above groups but also the candidate of the so-called international community who were discontented due the defeat of terrorism on our soil due to political and economic reasons. Since the major opposition party UNP is in disarray, its current leadership may not be considered as its own candidate even within the party itself. It is very unlikely that the DNA and JVP will support the current UNP leader as their so-called Common Candidate. Hence, there become a necessity for the same group of disgruntled elements (both in and outside the country) to have a so-called common candidate, similar to last time, other than the UNP leadership who could split the majority Sinhala Buddhist votes. That is why we hear the name of Ven Moduluwe Sobhitha, as a possible candidate. Although Ven Sobhitha is now a favourite among the above disgruntled groups, leaving no room any more among Sinhala Buddhists who respected him highly as their saviour prior to his change of camp, those who are behind the move must be thinking of aiming two targets with one stone. One is to split the majority Sinhala Buddhist votes with the aim of regime change and the other is to make use of a Buddhist monk to do the maximum possible harm to the image of the religion at the same time by dragging a Buddhist monk to contest the country's highest executive post. The only interest of the so-called Common Candidate was to defeat the incumbent President. Since the possibility of defeating the President is not a reality, due to lack of an alternative political figure acceptable to the majority, those who are interested in destabilising the country may try their best to achieve their goal by hook or crook. The most possible way is to raise the communal or the religious tension. If the TNA's nominee is not acceptable, one TNA MP living comfortably among Sinhala people in Colombo while promoting racial separation, wants to know the reason why. The reason is very simple (Sri Lanka News Online : 19 May 2014).

The Indian election - While none would be surprised about the world media dubbing 2014 as ``Modi’s year,’’ India’s new prime minister-designate has gone on record saying ``India has won.’’ The scale of the BJP’s victory had not been seen since the 1980s after which electoral arithmetic compelled India to move into an era of coalition government. While Modi’s party and its allies were widely expected to win, there were serious doubts on whether the BJP alone could collect a simple majority. The results show that it has done better than that securing an unexpectedly wide margin reminding us of J.R. Jayewardene’s 1977 landslide. Modi, of course did not win the five sixths majority that JRJ did in the last first-past-the-post general election this country had on the Westminster model. But there are similarities such as JRJ reducing the Bandaranaike party to a handful of seats and sending the old left that had captured the imagination of educated youth and the working class in the early post-Independence period out of Parliament. The son of a tea seller has done virtually that to the Congress Party and perhaps to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The BJP campaign was very well funded indicating that a large segment of India’s big business, whose tycoons now include some of the world’s richest billionaires, are looking forward to Narendra Modi doing on a national scale what he has done for Gujerat where he was chief minister. India’s new leader won the mantle of his party’s prime ministerial candidacy despite reservations about his secular credentials. He had been widely blamed for not curbing anti-Muslim rioting in his home state during his chief ministerial tenure. In fact retiring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had warned that Modi would be a disaster for India. But the vast electorate in what is touted as the world’s largest democracy did not believe him and the Congress Party slumped to its worst ever election result. Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, have already assumed moral responsibility for the defeat of their party.  We in Sri Lanka must be happy about the election producing a conclusive result with India’s ruling party not dependent on regional forces, particularly Tamil Nadu’s, to stay in office. Jayalalitha’s party has done well on its home turf although Vaiko, long an LTTE hurrah boy has lost his seat. India has moved away from the days that Indira Gandhi supported LTTE terror permitting the Tigers to stage and base from Indian soil. Whoever won this election, there was no danger of a return to those bad old days. The LTTE, after all, had been liquidated five years ago. No doubt there are attempts, notably by the Tamil Diaspora, to recreate the monster. While these groups have scored some diplomatic successes in Western countries where sizeable numbers of Tamils live, India deciding to abstain from voting on an anti-Lankan resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this year was a noteworthy reverse for such elements. What we can expect with a degree of certainty is that Indo – Lanka economic relations that have been strengthening in recent years will acquire fresh momentum. What we can hope for is justice on issues like blatant poaching in our waters by the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet will be fairly addressed by the new Indian administration. A quick fix is of course too much to expect (Island : 17 May 2014).

LTTE “dead” resurfacing: Public Apology and Compensation due to Sri Lankan Forces - by Shenali D Waduge - The case of Kathiravel Thayapararaja appearing from the ‘dead’ cannot be taken lightly. If not for his arrest by the Indian police the world would have continued to believe the University Teachers for Human Rights report, continued to accept the War without Witnesses report, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights report and continued to rely on the Australian Government Refugee Review Tribunal report compiled under Country Advice against Sri Lanka. These 4 entities declared that Sri Lankan Forces extra-judicially killed Kathiravel Thayapararaja on 15th September 2009 going so far as to even quote places of torture and place of hospitalization. This accusation of killing went on for 5 years with the name Kathiravel Thayapararaja quoted far and wide to showcase extra judicial killings by Sri Lankan security forces and form the basis for the ‘human rights mafia’ to descend on nations to ensure human rights prevail in these nations. Before that agenda can take off, UTHR(J) and others must make a public apology, in fact the legal department of the Sri Lankan Security forces must send a letter of demand seeking apology and compensation for tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka and its forces.  With the dead coming alive our next question is how many more dead are out there very much alive?  If not for the Dhanushkodi police in India, arresting the 2 boat loads of ‘refugees’ and Sri Lankan intelligence authorities quick to pick on the name and match the bonafides to the supposed dead, the world would have continued to believe in the lie cooked up by the University Teachers for Human Rights and the accusations reported by War without Witnesses as well as the countless other international humanitarian organizations quoting far and wide from these sources. None of these reports will ever be changed and their publications will continue to carry that Kathiravel Thayapararaja was in fact abducted, tortured and killed by Sri Lankan Security forces months following the LTTE defeat in September 2009.  The falsehood concocted by the UTHR (J) and quoted by international sources needs to be immediately addressed. There are too many examples of sweeping statements/reports taking place and being quoted internationally to ridicule and embarrass Sri Lanka’s image and that of its forces. Witnesses are eventually untraceable, uncontactable or they become ‘witnesseses’ by virtue of heresay. But the damage has been done and irreversible as is the intent with which the reports were launched (LankaWeb : 16 May 2014).

Small LTTE commemoration dispersed - By Madura Ranwala - The Chavakachcheri police yesterday thwarted an attempt by two Northern Provincial Council members to commemorate slain LTTE cadres by burning camphor on a by lane.  Deputy Inspector General of Police, in charge of the Jaffna District, Roshan Dias told The Island that those present at the event were NPC member M. K. Shivajilingam and Ananthi Shashidaran, whose husband was former LTTE Trincomalee leader Elilan and some journalists whom they had invited to cover their act of defiance.  No other people were present there when police visited the place and they had fixed a pot of camphor on a plantain trunk.  Even India had banned commemorations in support of the LTTE and in future anyone attempting to do anything of that sort would be taken into custody irrespective of their standing in society as the police had to safeguard the sovereignty of the country, the DIG said (Island : 16 May 2014).

Canada’s boycott of Victory parade: Military spokesman responds - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya yesterday said that the Annual Victory Day Parade was meant to celebrate Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism in May 2009.  It was in line with military celebrations in other parts of the world, Brigadier Wanigasooriya insisted, adding that nothing could be further from the truth than the assertion that the government celebrated victory over Tamil speaking people.  The official was responding to an exclusive statement in yesterday’s The Island attributed to Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo, Shelley Whiting.  High Commissioner Whiting said: "No community here-whether Sinhalese or Tamil, Muslim or Burgher -was spared during the conflict.  In this vein, Canada has encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to retire its Annual Victory Day Parade, which perpetuates roles of victors and vanquished within the country, for a day of remembering for all those who suffered as a result of the conflict."  High Commissioner Whiting said that she wouldn’t attend today’s event in Matara.  The military spokesman said that whatever the critics say, Tamil speaking people realized that they were free at last thanks to the sacrifices made by the armed forces. Had the army failed on the Vanni front, the LTTE would have continued with despicable use of child soldiers’ et al, the Brigadier said, urging the international community not to propagate lies. The global community reacted swiftly and decisively when Boko Haram terrorists abducted over 200 Nigerian girls, but the same powers turned a blind eye to what was happening here, the Brigadier said.  The Brigadier pointed out that Canada joined annual Allied victory celebrations over Nazism though the World War II ended 70 years ago. Nazism was nothing but another form of terrorism, the Brigadier said, urging the global community not to misconstrue the military parade. "Would Allied powers ever stop celebrating D-Day landings in France beginning June 5, 1944, to pave the way for victory over Nazi Germany, Would Canada stop participating in D-Day celebrations?"  The Brigadier said that Western media was giving substantial coverage to D-Day celebrations during the first week of next month.  The Brigadier said that those critical of Sri Lanka’s response to terrorism had conveniently forgotten the origins of terrorism here. The spokesman said that the global community should join Sri Lanka in celebrating eradication of LTTE terrorism. In fact, countries which suffered directly or indirectly due to terrorism could mark the day, the Brigadier said. Responding to a query, he said that the Norwegian who massacred over 70 men, women and mostly children in June 2011 was on record as having said that he was following the LTTE strategy in driving the Muslims out of the Northern Province in late 1990 and massacre of Muslims in the Eastern Province (Island : 16 May 2014).

JHU calls for senior Tiger’s extradition - By Anuradha Hiripitiyage - The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has made arrangements to conduct a protest march from the Independence Square to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo tomorrow (18).  JHU spokesman and Western Provincial Council Member Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Island yesterday that the march had been organised to protest against LTTE international leader Nediyawan, a criminal wanted in Sri Lanka living in that country.  The JHU protest march would commence at 2.00 pm and at the end of it the protesters would hand over a memorandum to the Embassy officials requesting the Norwegian government to hand over Nediyawan to Sri Lankan police, Warnasinghe said.  The JHU would also hold a war victory commemoration on the same day at 3.30 pm at the New Town Hall, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07 under the theme "Let’s safeguard victory and not let Tiger terrorism to raise its head again," Warnasinghe said.  General Secretary of the JHU, Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy, Patali Champika Ranawaka will deliver a special lecture at this event (Island : 16 May 2014).

Police thwart attempts to honour LTTE in Jaffna - The police today prevented an attempt by two Northern Provincial Council members to commemorate slain LTTE members by lighting camphor at the Council’s main entrance. NPC member M.K. Shiwajilingam and Ananthi Shashidaran had attempted to light camphor at the entrance of the closed building in Jaffna. Mrs. Shashidaran’s husband -Elleen was a slain LTTE leader. Meanwhile the Chairman of the NPC said the members had not taken his approval for lighting camphor (Daily Mirror ; 16 May 2014).

We wish our readers, a peaceful Vesak

‘Executed’ director of Vanni project in Indian custody: SL seeks access to him - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The chance arrest of Kathiravel Thayapararajah (33) by Indian authorities could help Sri Lankan security services to identify a network of human smugglers with possible connections to the overseas LTTE rump, official sources said.Authorities would explore the possibility of having access to Thayapararajah, whose arrest during the first week of May this year could be one of the most important breakthroughs made in investigations into bogus disappearances since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.  The External Affairs Ministry was expected to examine the possibility of having access to the suspect, sources said adding that the former director of Vanni Tech funded by US based Tamil Diaspora had gone underground in September 2009. After the man’s disappearance his wife Uthayakala, foreign NGOs as well as a section of the media accused intelligence services of having executed Thayapararajah.  Uthayakala, too, was detained along with Thayapararajah soon after they had reached Tamil Nadu. They claimed they were fleeing government persecution in Sri Lanka.  A senior government official told The Island that Indian authorities would have to decide not only on Thayapararajah and his wife but eight others, including five children who had clandestinely entered India. Now that their false claims had been exposed, they would either have to be deported or given refugee status, the bureaucrat said.  The official said that Thayapararajah was among those who had been listed as missing following arrest by the security services. Responding to a question, the official pointed out that those who propagated lies accused the state of being behind systematic enforced disappearances during the conflict and post-conflict periods. Thayapararajah was categorised as missing since the conclusion of the conflict. The Tamilnet alleged that Thayapararajah was extra-judicially executed in Colombo in September 2009.  Meanwhile, a person duped by Uthayakala told The Island that she collected several millions of rupees from nine persons, including five women promising employment in the UK. Having made representations to the Indian High Commission in Colombo through the Indian Consulate in Jaffna, the group was now waiting for the Indian High Commission’s response, the spokesperson for the group said (Island : 15 May 2014).

India extends ban on LTTE for five years - The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued a fresh notification extending ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in India for five years, according to The Hindu.   "The Government of India, under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has proscribed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as an ‘Unlawful Association’. The declaration of LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’ has been extended for a further period of five years with effect from May 14, 2014," said an MHA notification made public on Thursday.  LTTE was banned in India after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The ban on the outfit was extended the last time in May 2012. The gazette notification then noted that LTTE was an association based in Sri Lanka, but having its supporters, sympathizers and agents in India; and that its objective for a separate homeland (Tamil Eelam) for all Tamils threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India for the Union and thus, fell within the ambit of an unlawful activity.  "The LTTE, even after its military defeat in May 2009 in Sri Lanka, has not abandoned the concept of ‘Eelam’ and has been clandestinely working towards the ‘Eelam’ cause by undertaking fund raising and propaganda activities in Europe. The remnant LTTE leaders or cadres have also initiated efforts to regroup the scattered activists and resurrect the outfit locally and internationally," read the 2012 notification, adding that the Tamil chauvinist groups and pro-LTTE groups continued to foster a separatist tendency amongst the masses and enhance the support base for LTTE in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu.  The notification also mentioned that the Diaspora continued to spread through articles in the Internet portals, anti-India feeling amongst the Sri Lankan Tamils by holding the top Indian political leaders and bureaucrats responsible for the defeat of the LTTE. "Such propaganda through Internet, which remains continued, is likely to impact VVIP security adversely in India," it said.  The MHA justified the extension of ban in 2012 stating that the Central Government had "information that the activities of the LTTE remnant cadres, dropouts, sympathisers, supporters who have been traced out recently in the State of Tamil Nadu suggest that the cadres sent to Tamil Nadu would ultimately be utilised by the LTTE for unlawful activities" (Island : 15 May 2014).

India extends ban on LTTE by 5 years - The Indian government has extended by five years the ban imposed on LTTE, a terror group that was behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and was decimated by the Sri Lanka military in 2009.  India had banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after the assassination of Gandhi in 1991.The government, under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has proscribed the LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’, a Home Ministry statement said. “The declaration of LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’ has been extended for a further period of five years with effect from May 14, 2014,” it said.  LTTE, which came up in 1976, was based in northern Sri Lanka and fought for creation of an independent Tamil state in the north and east of that country. It was decimated by the Sri Lankan military in 2009.  Thousands of people were killed during the bloody movement launched by LTTE under the leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was also killed in the fight with the Sri Lankan Army in 2009.  It had carried out the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993. (PTI) (Daily Mirror ; 15 May 2014).

Sri Lanka refugees told not to commemorate LTTE leader - The Coastal Security Group (CSG) personnel conducted a programme on Wednesday in the Keezhputhupattu Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camp in Tamil Nadu to sensitise the residents to security perception, according to The Hindu.  The Hindu quoted Inspector (CSG) R. Sekar as having said that the camp inmates were told not to organise any function to commemorate the death anniversary of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V. Prabakaran that falls on May 18 and 19. The camp residents told him that they would not conduct such events as it might affect the harmonious relations among themselves.  Sekar told them that they should immediately alert the police and the CSG personnel if they came across unknown persons in their area.  A total of 454 families was living in the old and new refugee camps at Keezhputhupattu. They were eking out their living by doing odd jobs, including loading and unloading the consignments at the fish landing yards and taking up construction jobs. As the 45-day fishing ban period was now in force, many of them were jobless. Mr. Sekar told the inmates not to fall prey to unscrupulous elements who might exploit their gullibility by promising lucrative jobs abroad, and set out on clandestine sea voyage in search of greener pastures. They should give no room for activities that would be suspect in the eyes of the security personnel (Island : 15 May 2014).

Indian Elections and Sri Lanka: fresh start or more of the same? - By Susantha Goonatilake - The Indian elections are now on. And they might have repercussions on Sri Lanka. India is the only country that after Independence has interfered directly in Sri Lanka. This was with a Congress government training and arming around one dozen Tamil groups.  Since 1989 that is for nearly 25 years India has not had a single party ruling the country, coalitions dominating. These included regional chauvinist parties like the various off-shoots of the DMK or some that catered for particular castes like the Dalit-oriented Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati.  How Sri Lanka understands these changes will be vital for our foreign relations. The Congress formed nearly 130 years ago and which ushered in Indian Independence has been dominated in recent decades by the relatives of the Nehru family. The BJP based on a Hindu” ideology has been traditionally upper caste but is at the present polling well across castes. Modi, the BJP leader however, comes from a backward caste.  The polls claim that the BJP would get the largest number of seats. Its leader Modi says that his emphasis is on development taking as an example, his State of Gujarat (which had grown around 10 percent every year for the last few years. His detractors say that under him, anti-Muslim riots killed thousands resulting in the U.S. denying a visa to Modi.  The BJP manifesto declares that the Congress… has failed to establish enduring friendly and cooperative relations with India’s neighbours”. It adds, India has long failed to duly appreciate the full extent and gamut of its soft power potential”. Soft power”means the use of cultural factors like belief systems. Both India and China have been using Buddhism, the common underlay for the whole of Asia for soft power politics. (Sri Lanka, the longest continuous Buddhist culture in the world had not even thought of this as a foreign policy instrument). (LankaWeb : 15 May 2015).

Wakey, Wakey Ms Pillay There is chaos in your own backyard - by Dr D.Chandraratna, Perth, W.A - Some highly paid UN spokesperson has said that the ban on commemorating the tiger outfit by the Sri Lankan military in the North will be investigated. The whole organisation seems to be preoccupied with micro managing Sri Lanka when human rights are trampled upon in so many places in the world. Do not know whether Ms Pillay has only the map of Sri Lanka hanging behind her big desk. Shame on this organisation when right in her native backyard innocent girls are held captive, waiting to be auctioned off, by another terrorist group. Ms Pillay is deep in slumber. I wonder whether Boko Haram is listed as a liberation front in the classification manual of the UNHRC.  The violence practiced by this rebel makes Al Qaeda look like a bunch of schoolgirls, a researcher at the Atlantic Council in Washington has said. She may be right but we are dismayed at the silence of these scholars when the LTTE was marching on the rampage. Under Abubaker Shekau the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram is casual and broader than many jihardists and is inconsistent with the current policy of Al Qaeda, which is avoiding mass murder for fear of alienating the support base. The current leader of Boko Haram claims to be messianic in his ability to communicate with God directly, resembling the Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda.  The Islamic insurgents have killed hundreds in a town in Nigeria’s northeast firing indiscriminately and burning houses. The death count in Abuja now stands at 338. The guns and vehicles that the rebels use have been traded out of Libya after the fall of Qaddafi. When the fanatics attacked the boarding School the news media of the world was indifferent; The American government and the United Nations did not seem interested, perhaps their time being taken up in micro managing Sri Lanka. The # BringBack OurGirls hashtag started by a Nigerian Lawyer has been shared so far by a million viewers. The women’s movement and other grass root activists have managed to bring the plight of these poor victims (two have already died of snake bites) to the world when this billion dollar UNHRC is deaf, dumb and mute (LankaWeb : 14 May 2014).

Canada’s relations with Sri Lanka is ‘Frosty’ Canada says -  by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor THE EMBASSY, Ottawa, Dear Editor: I was absolutely stymied to read the comment about ‘Taking the temperature of Canada’s diplomatic relations’ as being ‘FROSTY’ when it comes to Sri Lanka. You said, ‘Tensions have built between Canada and Sri Lanka as reports of the abuse of the country’s Tamil minority by government forces continue to pop up…” But I don’t think the Canadian Government has any moral right to complain about the alleged …abuse of the country’s Tamil minority”, when Canada still hasn’t acknowledged the classic text book example of human rights of liberation of lives, when the Sri Lankan Government soldiers liberated 295,873 of the minority Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers by 19 May 2014 who were used as a human shield for 30 months, being herded like unwashed cattle from the west coast to the east coast. With that deliberate omission of Sri Lanka’s efforts to give back to these 295,873 Tamils their right to freedom, Canada has abdicated its rights to be judge and jurist on Sri Lanka’s human rights record. Furthermore, Canada has deliberately omitted the text book example of a classic class act of human rights ‘magic’, performed by the Sri Lankan government when they prepared a million meals a day to feed a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for months and years for these 295,873 Tamils who were rescued from the clutches of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, and not let them starve to death.  Where is your voice, Canada? Where is your honesty, Canada? I don’t trust you being an honest judge and jurist on Sri Lanka’s human rights record anymore. You get an ‘F’ from me for failing the litmus test of honesty when it comes to dealing with Sri Lanka, who is doing extremely well in the department of reconciliation among communities. After all 54% of the Tamil population live in the South, happily ever after among the Sinhalese. And, of course, 41% of the population of the capital Colombo are of Tamils and living among the majority Sinhalese. No fisty-cuffs there! That is the ground reality for you, Canada. Go, figure out! (LankaWeb : 14 May 2014).

NZ refusal to Co Sponsor US Motion Against SL at UNHRC - by Dr. Chula N A Rajapakse MNZM Spokesperson, Unite Sri Lanka Assn. Wellington NZ - The Editor,  Dear Editor, I was delighted to hear at a public meeting addressed by Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Prof. G.L Peiris now on an official visit to New Zealand, that New Zealand had refused to co-sponsor an US, UK, EU & Canada motion at UNHRC in Geneva in March, calling for an international investigation into highly contentious allegations of human rights violations by Sri Lankan forces during their war of liberation from three decades of Tamil Tiger terrorism, allegations initiated by the diaspora of the Tigers themselves.  Despite lacking credibility, these allegations are in reality being supported by the US based on their geopolitical considerations and by UK & Canada based on their internal political considerations. By not cosponsoring the motion, New Zealand has demonstrated it’s capability of making an independent decision on issues based on evidence despite breaking ranks with their traditional western allies . This would be seen as a monumental demonstration of New Zealand’s suitability to beelected to the UNSC that it now seeks, in the eyes of the many small nations like Sri Lanka, that form the bulk of the UN membership.  We congratulate the Prime Minister and his government for so enhancing New Zealand’s international stature (LankaWeb : 14 May 2014).

‘Tortured and killed’ LTTEr surfaces in India - One of the former prominent LTTE cadres, said to have been tortured and killed by the Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 as claimed by many local and international NGOs, was among the arrested person by the Tamil Nadu police in Dhanushkodi in India, when they entered India without valid documents, defence sources revealed.  Indian media reported that ten Sri Lankan Tamils, including five children, illegally landed at Arichamunai, off Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu, India in the early hours on May 5. One of the suspects identified by the Indian police as K. Thayapararaja, 33 a computer engineer in Jaffna had come with wife Uthayakala, son Diyaroan 12, daughters Dilany 6, Dilshiya 4.  Accordingly, several prominent NGOs including University Teachers of Human Rights (UTHR – J), the Australian Government Refugee Review Tribunal and several pro-LTTE groups had earlier stated that the Sri Lanka Security forces tortured and killed Thayapararaja.  The report titled War without Witnesses had claimed that Tamil Engineer working for a US Charity ((ITTPO) was extra judicially executed near Colombo. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights report 2010 (page 32) quotes from the University Teachers of Human Rights Report and published a Report on the same lines. Thayapararaja had told media in Tamil Nadu that he had worked as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy after graduation from the Peradeniya University in 2005 as an Engineer. The rest of his story covered how he lost contact with his parents and 3 sisters, that his family was in Kilinochchi and how he spent a month at a Vavuniya camp and decided to flee to Tamil Nadu.  Defence sources also alleged that Thayapararaja and his wife Uthayakala had also duped numerous persons from Mullativu, Mannar and Colombo, collecting millions of rupees promising safe passage and employment in London.  However she had not provided employment or returned their money. Many such victims from Wanni have handed a letter to the Indian Consulate in Jaffna requesting the Indian consulate to intervene in this case and provided them justice. It is also unfolding that both husband and wife had close links with some NGOs operating from London with links to LTTE. They had allegedly used this is a connection to promise lucrative jobs and operated the racket with pro-LTTE elements pretending to help Tamils.  “There were several complaints about this husband and wife to the Criminal Investigations Department and several police stations and we would work with the Indian police to bring down both the suspects soon, as CID is currently conducting separate inquiries against these suspects,” a senior police official said (Daily Mirror :14 May 2014).

Navy unearths largest LTTE pistol ammo stock - Sri Lanka Navy on May 9 (Friday) unearthed the largest stock of LTTE pistol ammunition ever buried in Vellamulli-Vaikkal area in Mulliativu. The discovery was made by naval troops attached to SLNS’ Gotabhaya of the Eastern Naval Command on information received by them. Assistance was provided by 681 Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army. The recovered items included 120, 000 rounds of 9 x 19 mm KOPP ammunition, 2750 rounds of SG 12 Bore ammunition and 5600 rounds of 357 Magnum (Blazer) ammunition (The Nation : 11 May 2014).

Overseas Islamist terror cells are increasingly operating in Sri Lanka

A GLARING ERROR 

By Ranjith Soysa - At a recent presentation of population statistics of Sri Lanka-as reported in Sunday Island 4th May 2014 under the heading : Population: Census expert disputes anti-Muslim claim – in refuting the claim that the Muslim population’s average increase is alarming, the Director of Population and Demographic Division of the Department of Census and Statistics STATED that comparatively the the increase in Sinhalese population was 1.04% and the Muslim population was 1.87% from the period 1981 to 2012.

But, the relevant figures if examined diligently shows that in fact the increase in Muslim population during the said period was from 7% in 1981 to 9.2% in 2012. which is an INCREASE OF 31.4% while the increase in the Sinhalese population was 1.22%

Was this a genuine mistake or a misleading statement made by the Director to divert the attention from this important issue for the sake of POLITICAL PATRONAGE?

 

Overseas Islamist terror cells in Sri Lanka - Overseas Islamist terror cells were increasingly operating in Sri Lanka, posing a severe threat to the entire South Asian region, Expert on terrorism research Dr. Rohan Gunaratna said. Dr. Gunaratna stressed that authorities here should work with their security counterparts to dismantle regional terrorist and criminal networks.  In an email interview with The Nation regarding the arrest of Lankan Islamist terror suspect Mohammed Zakir Hussain in Chennai, India, last week, Dr. Gunaratna, who heads the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, warned Hussain’s associates were still active and present a growing threat to the entire region that includes Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.  According to The Hindu, Hussain had allegedly conducted a ‘reconnaissance mission’ as part of a conspiracy to attack foreign missions in southern India. He had taken photographs of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the Israeli Consulate in Bangalore and other vital installations, and studied their topography allegedly at the behest of Pakistani diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui, based at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.  Indian intelligence agencies had been maintaining a close watch on Hussain, a frequent flier between Colombo and Chennai in the recent past.  This was due to specific input that some Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives would attempt to land on the Tamil Nadu coast from northern Sri Lanka to target vital installations, security agencies had stepped up vigil at vantage points, the paper quoted police sources as saying As with the LTTE the terrorist network that Hussain belonged to was ‘engaged in human smuggling, drug trafficking and violence,’ Dr. Gunaratna revealed. Hussain, a Sri Lankan from Kandy, was ‘misguided by his recruiters into waging a holy war against western targets,’ he further said.  With NATO forces withdrawing from Afghanistan, the leaders of India and Pakistan should move forward to build a strong partnership to fight terrorism, which is a common threat. With NATO failure to restore stability in Afghanistan, the terrorist and insurgent groups on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border will reconstitute its sanctuary in Afghanistan. The entire South Asian region will be affected by religious extremism and terrorism. This will include Sri Lanka, unless the Sri Lankan government works with responsible Muslim leaders to prevent the radicalization of the Sri Lankan Muslim community, he cautioned.  Until now the Sri Lankan Muslim community has been a model community, but this is likely to change unless its own leaders work with government to protect their cultural and religious heritage, Dr. Gunaratna opined. He said Muslim leaders in Sri Lanka had a key role to play in ensuring that youths from the community do not fall prey to terrorist recruiters who are always on the lookout for new members.  “Sri Lankan Muslim leaders must play a decisive role through their religious and educational institutions and protect their faith and heritage from extremist ideologies originating from overseas. Unlike the way the current generation of Sri Lankan Tamil leaders failed to protect their youth from separatist ideas from Tamil Nadu politicians, Sri Lankan Muslim leaders should nurture in Muslim youth greater understanding and living harmoniously in a diverse society,” Dr. Gunaratna emphasized (The Nation : 04 May 2014).

Canada, please give refuge to LTTE/fronts & help create Tamil Eelam in Canada

Canada, please give refuge to LTTE/fronts & help create Eelam in Canada - by Shenali D Waduge - Writing as a member of the general public of Sri Lanka it was sweet news to hear the Canadian government’s political decision not to enforce a ban on 16groups proscribed by Sri Lanka. What a welcome decision delivered by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. The only catch was that one of the 16 groups named happened to be the LTTE which Canada proscribed in 2006. Canada’s decision to give legitimacy to the banned 16 groups has more or less invited a stream of Tamil Diaspora to seek membership in these banned entities and flood into Canada. With Canada and Australia both sharing the common headache of illegal immigrants and human smuggling boats we can sit back and watch how Canada will deal with the influx and the complaints from the general Canadian public.  All we can say is please take all other LTTE members and those representing LTTE fronts and any others supporting them too. Moreover, since the real Eelam in India has been deferred the option to create an Eelaam in Canada or a greater Eelam encompassing America might be another option for them to consider and it would certainly allow the rest of the Tamils living in Sri Lanka to get on with their lives without being brainwashed into taking arms and staging another onslaught of terror (LankaWeb ; 03 May 2014).

US State Dept. says LTTE uses Tamil Diaspora for logistics, funding - The US State Department in a recent report has gone public with a statement that the LTTE uses its international contacts and the large Tamil Diaspora in North America, Europe and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies. "The group employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for their activities," the report has said. It stressed that the LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013. In a short report on the LTTE the State Department report said that the LTTE had been largely inactive since its military defeat in Sri Lanka in 2009 having been in the past responsible for an integrated battlefield insurgent strategy that targeted key installations and senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders. "It conducted a sustained campaign targeting rival Tamil groups, and assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India in 1991 and President Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka in 1993," the report said.  "Although most notorious for its cadre of suicide bombers, the Black Tigers, LTTE also had an amphibious force, the Sea Tigers, and a nascent air wing, the Air Tigers. Fighting between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka government escalated in 2006 and continued through 2008." The report said that in early 2009, Lankan forces recaptured the LTTE’s.  strongholds including their capital of Kilinochchi. In May 2009, government forces defeated the last LTTE fighting forces, killed LTTE leader Prabhakaran and other members of the LTTE leadership and military command and declared military victory over the LTTE.  It added that there had been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war stressing that however the LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013 (Island : 02 May 2014).

The 13th Amendment and its MISPERCEPTIONS - By Neville Ladduwahetty - The message in comments such as "to show concrete movement towards a meaningful devolution of power" and "to ensure that Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively", with the most recent being the need to "expeditiously implement the 13th Amendment", is that power has NOT been devolved from the Center to the Provinces. This is factually not correct. This misperception is due to the inability to appreciate that while power has constitutionally been devolved from the center to the periphery, how these powers work in practice depends on the structural context in which they operate. This inability to separate the constitutionally legal from the operational has led to the distorted perception that power has not been devolved.  Repeatedly quoted comments and phrases have the potential to mislead. For instance, many incorrectly infer that the 13th Amendment has not been implemented. Such an inference is incorrect and carries serious consequences. The raw message conveyed is that the center is reluctant to devolve power to the periphery. This perception may be natural considering the opposition expressed for the 13th Amendment over the years, and the strident calls made from time to time to repeal it altogether. The question though is whether the opposition is to the concept of devolution per se, or to devolution to the province as the unit of devolution for reasons of its impact on territorial integrity.  The more dangerous and consequential implication from an inference that the 13th Amendment has NOT been implemented is that the majority Sinhalese are reluctant to devolve power to the minorities, in particular to the Tamils. Consequently, the message communicated both nationally and internationally is that there is a deliberate effort to stymie devolution. No attempt has been made by successive Governments to present the facts as they really are; i.e., that power has in fact been devolved constitutionally from the Center to the Periphery and that how this operates is dependent on the existing structural framework in Sri Lanka. The cost of this miscommunication to Sri Lanka has been significant, and could very well be more so in the future. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a campaign to set right the distorted perceptions and for commentators to be more responsible with their pronouncements (Island : 01 May 2014).

US State Dept. says LTTE uses Tamil Diaspora for logistics, funding

Canada’s Response To Banned Sri Lankan Terror Fronts Overseas Dismays Many Discerning Sri Lankans Aware Of Related Realities - LankaWeb Weekly Editorial - May 1st.2014 - Only a feeble minded simpleton without the capacity to comprehend the direction Canada is taking with respect to Sri Lanka in recent times would have thought contrary to the breaking news that Canada will not enforce the Sri Lankan ban on named groups who have the notoriety of being supporters and sympathisers with the Tamil Tigers ( dead and buried in Sri Lanka hopefully never to be recussitated or revived but making desperate attempts to regroup overseas!). So when the Canadian Government has indicated through dialogue from the Cdn.Foreign Ministry that it will not enforce a ban on 16 groups by the Sri Lankan Government and those groups will have the freedom to express their views in Canada legally it is an insult and an affront to the policy of a fellow Commonwealth member, also the Secretary Nation of Commonwealth affairs, Sri Lanka which not only shows off Canada’s foreign policy in very poor light but also exposes the dangers Canada is toying with towards tolerating these groups who have every likelihood of taking advantage of Canada’s naivette towards propagating the implements needed towards a resurgence of the Tamil Tigers on Canadian soil.  This would be something disastrous as well as a gross embarrasment to Canada where perhaps.Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular Lynne Yelich may have to re-think their policy making over the related issue. It might even prove regrettable given the track record of anything linked to the Tamil Tigers as history has proved their mendacities and the attitude of the Canadian Foreign Ministry a seemingly blinkered one!  Regardless of their so called concern towards the Government of Sri Lanka’s listing of 16 entities and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorist activities, including some with ties to Canada. despite Sri Lanka’s action having no legal binding in Canada: it does not constrain the freedom of listed groups and individuals to lawfully express their views to the contrary in Canada which then needs to work both ways (LankaWeb : 01 May 2014).

LTTE int'l network persists,disapora's funding continues - US - While claiming that the LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013, the United States on Wednesday said that the LTTE uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies.  Issuing its Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, the US State Department stated: “There have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, but LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013.”  “Despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support persists,” it said.  It also said that the LTTE members or suspporters are operating in Sri Lanka and India (Daily Mirror : 01 May 2014).

Canada Concerned by SL’s inclusion of Canadians on Terrorist list - While expressing concern over the Sri Lankan government decision to list 16 entities and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorist activities, the Canadian government said that it ‘could further hinder progress on reconciliation.’  “Sri Lanka’s action has no legal effect in Canada: it does not constrain the freedom of listed groups and individuals to lawfully express their views in Canada. However, Canadians targeted by this list could be subject to possible questioning, detention or arrest by authorities in Sri Lanka,” a statement issued by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) said (Daily Mirror : 01 May 2014).

Wilpattu sanctuary ..... The fortune intruders and the plight of Sinhala refugees

LTTE int'l network persists,disapora's funding continues - US - While claiming that the LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013, the United States on Wednesday said that the LTTE uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies.  Issuing its Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, the US State Department stated: “There have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, but LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2013.”  “Despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support persists,” it said.  It also said that the LTTE members or suspporters are operating in Sri Lanka and India (Daily Mirror : 01 May 2014).

Canada Concerned by SL’s inclusion of Canadians on Terrorist list - While expressing concern over the Sri Lankan government decision to list 16 entities and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorist activities, the Canadian government said that it ‘could further hinder progress on reconciliation.’  “Sri Lanka’s action has no legal effect in Canada: it does not constrain the freedom of listed groups and individuals to lawfully express their views in Canada. However, Canadians targeted by this list could be subject to possible questioning, detention or arrest by authorities in Sri Lanka,” a statement issued by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) said (Daily Mirror : 01 May 2014).

The fortune intruders and the plight of Sinhala refugees - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - According to The Sunday Observer dated 27th April 2014, 73 families who had encroached on the Wilpattu sanctuary causing widespread protests by environmental and Buddhist groups will be relocated outside the national park with the assistance of the Mannar District Secretary’s office. Mannar District Secretary has said a 50-acre plot of land, one mile away from the spot where they currently stay, had been allocated for the 73 families and these families will be relocated shortly. The families told the electronic media last week that they were willing to move out if alternative accommodation is given to them Bodu Bala Sena stormed the Wilpattu sanctuary recently alleging that the Muslim settlements within the national park were illegal and moreover, the occupants were wilfully destroying the ancient Buddhist ruins in the locality. A spokesman for the Environment Conservation Trust, an independent green NGO in Sri Lanka last week said that over 500 acres of protected forest in the Wilpattu North Sanctuary had been cleared for human settlements but the authorities were turning a blind eye to it. It is clear from the above news item that the said 73 families are intruders and not refuges as some politicians are attempting to justify their settlement. By allocating 50-acre plot of government land to move out these intruders as alternative accommodation, instead of enforcing law of the land in equal terms to all communities, it appears that the government is, knowingly or unknowingly, providing special privileges (for mere political gains) to those who break the law and grabbing state land. Lamentations about “the plight of the Tamil and Muslim refugees” are often heard. Organizations sympathetic to their plight and rights on humanitarian grounds, both within and outside Sri Lanka, are freely available. The fact is, of course, that there are others who have become refugees in their own motherland and no one is there even to mention them or to have any official representation (Sri Lanka News Online : 29 April 2014).

According to an article in The Sunday Times in 11 April 1999 under the heading “Forgotten and discarded the Sinhala Refugees” by Kumbakarana, 12,000 Sinhalese people have been chased out from Trincomalee town itself. A total of 18,000 Sinhalese have been displaced in the Trincomalee District alone.

Indian SC refers Rajiv Gandhi killers’ case to Constitution Bench - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN, Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, April 25: The Indian Supreme Court today referred the matter on remission of life imprisonment of seven convicts in the sensational Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to a Constitution Bench, and said its interim order staying the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to free them will continue.A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that the petition filed by the Centre, challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the sentences, will be decided by the Constitution Bench and framed seven questions to be decided by it.It said that the Constitution Bench, which will take up the matter within three months, will also decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the government. The court had on February 20 stayed the decision to release of three convicts—Murugan, Santhan and Arivu— whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the state government on the decision to release them.The apex court later on had also stayed the release of four convicts in the case. They are: Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts in the assassination case. Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore, in Tamil Nadu. They are in jail since 1991. The other four are also undergoing life sentence for their role in Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbuduru near Chennai (Island : 27 April 2014).

In Mannar, there were 8.700 Sinahalese in 1981, and in Vavuniya there were 15,816. As far back as 1946, there were 11,850 Sinahalese in the Batticaloa District. In 1971, the Sinhalese population was 20,402 or 2.9%. With the riots in 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1983 most of this population was permanently driven out. The ethnic cleansing was completed on October 6, 1987, when the last Sinhalese were chased away. In 1981, the Sinhalese population in Mulliativu District was 3,948 or 5.9%. As per The Sunday Times article, the only Sinhalese people in this District in 1999 were limited to few hundred living in the Weli Oya area.

TNA and South Africa - by Nalin de Silva - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been asked by South Africa to take part in Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) when the former wanted the latter to mediate in talks between them and the Sri Lankan government. It is clear as to why the South African government did not want to mediate between the TNA and the Sri Lankan government, and it can be speculated that it is difficult for a foreign government to mediate between a political party and the government of a country. If any other party wants a foreign country to mediate between the party and the Sri Lankan government on some matter or other then the relevant foreign country would not be able to justify it.   The UNP in the meantime wants to take the Hambantota “toy pistol” incident to the Commonwealth. However, after Nandikadal, there is very little that the foreign governments can do to interfere in internal politics at present, and the political parties would have to realise this sooner or later. Even England could not do much at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) held last year and Canada by withdrawing its contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat has only exposed itself as a country that is not prepared to accept a decision by the other governments (LankaWeb : 25 April 2014).

SF accuses govt of failure in rehabilitating LTTE cadres - By Dasun Edirisinghe - Former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka claimed that the government’s rehabilitation programme for LTTE cadres was not carried out properly and as a result some of them were back on their Ealam mission.  He said that overseas funds received for the rehabilitation programme were misused and abused by the top men of the Rajapaksa government.  About 280,000 civilians reported to welfare centres in Wanni during the final phase of the war against the LTTE in May 2009. Of them, about 11,000 were identified as LTTE cadres.  They had been sent to the rehabilitation centres run by the government with all basic needs and comprehensive vocational, physical and mental fitness training, according to the government. Rehabilitation centres were run in Vavuniya and 198 schoolchildren, who had been recruited to the LTTE by force were rehabilitated at the Ratmalana Hindu College.  "We heard some rehabilitated cadres have tried to revive the LTTE," Gen. Fonseka said adding that it was due to the poor rehabilitation programme.  The government was also responsible for former LTTE cadres trying to revive it as the authorities had not provided necessary reconciliation process for Tamil people in the Northern Province, he said.  The former army commander claimed that the government robbed LTTE money by detaining former LTTE arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathen and by giving top SLFP posts to former LTTE leaders Karuna and Pilleyan who had been responsible for massacres.  Gen. Fonseka said that Rajapaksa government was promoting ethnic disharmony during elections to collect votes.  In every election, Rajapaksa government promoted Buddhist racism among Sinhala Buddhist people in the South to collect their votes and it was doing the same thing among Tamil people in the North without promoting reconciliation, he said adding that while doing such wrongs they were pointing the finger at other parties for promoting racism (Island : 23 April 2014).

Sri Lanka Online Net wishes happy Sinhala and Hindu New year


LTTE raises its ugly head again in Jaffna.

First confrontation since May 19, 2009 Air Tiger among the dead.

Three top Tigers killed in clash with army.

LTTE ‘resurrection’ nipped in the bud - forces dealt a decisive blow to groups seeking to resurrect the LTTE in Sri Lanka when three of its key members, K.P. Selvanayagam alias Gopi, Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan and Navarathnam Navaneethan alias Appan, were killed during a shootout at Nedunkerni Thursday night.  The Army on Friday (11) confirmed that three LTTE suspects were killed in a shootout between the suspects and the Army. Military Spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya in media statement said the Army had received information of the whereabouts of the LTTE suspects and had surrounded the jungle area off Padaviya early morning on April 11. “All three were killed and two of the dead were later identified as Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan, and Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gobi. The third is yet to be identified, but is believed to be that of Navaratnam Navaneethan alias Appan,” the statement said.  ‘Gobi’ came into prominence when he took refuge in the house of ‘Disappearance Activist’ Jeyakumari, a pin-up girl for NGOs dealing in ‘human rights’. On that occasion, Gopi shot at security personnel pursuing him and escaped. The statement by Wanigasooriya further said the group functioned under the instructions of Nediyavan and Vinayagam, functioning abroad. “They were preparing the ground for another armed struggle. Immediate objectives of the local group included the recovery or war like material dumped by the L TTE during retreat, re-establishment of LTTE intelligence network, regrouping of the potential cadre including those rehabilitated, collecting information on potential targets including in other provinces,” the statement further said.  The Security Forces and Police launched an extensive search operation for Gopi, who was suspected to be the leader of the LTTE and spearheading the organization’s revival in the country after it was militarily defeated five years ago. Brigadier Wanigasooriya said they were funded from Europe and the money was transferred using Hawala system, which is an illegal system for money transfer widely used in the subcontinent. “It was also revealed that many safe houses, vehicles and other resources required for resurgence of the LTTE had been procured by them using this money,” Brigadier Wanigasooriya further said. The security force intelligence have recently detected and dismantled several key LTTE operative networks.  Twelve persons were arrested from a bakery premises in Dehiwala recently and were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. According to prominent columnist and political analyst, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, the bakery premises was used to mastermind attacks on key personalities including the President and the Defense Secretary.  Gopi, a resident of Tharmapuram Kilinochchi was a heavy vehicle driver for the LTTE and was under its Intelligence Wing head, Pottu Amman. According to Jeyaraj, Gobi who had surrendered himself to the military during the end of the war, was rehabilitated at Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centre (PARC) at Poonthottam in Vavuniya.  He had left to Europe after he was released and had met with several LTTE leaders functioning abroad, including Nediyavan. He had returned to Sri Lanka with the aim of reviving the organization and had functioned as a lorry driver, which allowed him to travel to Colombo and other parts of the country (The Nation : 13 April 2014).

LTTE Resurrection, Hawala money transfer & how many more Gobi’s are out there? - by Shenali D Waduge - There was a sigh of relief throughout Sri Lanka when the announcement that fugitive Gobi and accomplices were shot dead in the jungles of Padaviya on Friday 11th April 2014. The incident coming 5 years after the end of the elimination of ground force of the LTTE draws attention to some key factors (LankaWeb ; 12 April 2014).

Arrest of Nanthagopan: Turning point in battle against LTTE remnants - By Manjula Fernando- Courtesy The Daily News - The recent arrest of key LTTEer Nanthagopan while attempting to flee to UK and his repatriation by Malaysian authorities for questioning in Colombo, is claimed to be a turning point in Sri Lanka’s second war with the LTTE on the diplomatic front.  International Terrorism Expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna based in Singapore said that Subramanium Kapilan (45) alias Nanthagopan was the senior most leader of the LTTE international secretariat and is even senior to Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan who heads one of the major LTTE international factions today.  At the time of his arrest the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had been processing his application for refugee status not knowing his background as a key member of the LTTE (LankaWeb : 12 April 2014).

A Response to “Is Dr Sudharshan Seneviratne a suitable envoy to India under Narendra Modi”? - by Bandu de Silva - With reference to Shenali Waduge’s article, I find that my article (two parts) published in 2007 s not accessible on the Internet though the title is present. Therefore, I am repeating it below.  A look at an Insider’s Challenge to History – Brown Sahibs and Cultural definitions ; Reading the last part of Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne’s article published in The Island of 8th and 15th August 2007, sub-titled ‘Towards an alternative dialogue -Re-reading Heritage for Conflict Resolution”, (an abridged version of his Vesak Commemoration Lecture delivered in Katmandu, on 28th May 2007), which came to my attention a little late, my immediate reaction as a student of history of the old school, was one of astonishment. I asked myself first of all whether it was possible to subvert, in the guise of ‘demystifying all forms of parochialism in a scientific manner, and placing alternative histories before the next generation,’ the tenets which guided the study of the two disciplines of archaeology and history, two disciplines which try to interpret ‘heritage.’ Our scholar was seeking a different paradigm away from what he called ‘Orientalist –Antiquarianism’ to introduce ‘alternate concept of shared cultures representing the actual but somewhat less known Heritage sites situated in multi-cultural societies.’ It seemed to me that the very idea of interpreting these disciplines to meet certain objectives like conflict resolution claimed as a ‘totally novel concept, and state-of-the –art techniques’ [in the presentation of heritage sites], is external to the methods of scientific investigation relating to these disciplines, then or now, and therefore, the proposition opened up with a contradiction. Apart from the use of ‘scrap’ of evidence to give an equal footing to some [ethnic] groups, which had contributed to the ‘heritage pot,’ in a comparatively lesser proportions, thereby placing the greater contributions of other groups in a lesser light, as the learned scholar’s thesis seems to suggest, such deviation could also let lose forces which are quite opposed to the very objective which one seeks to achieve, namely, heritage as a tool for conflict resolution. My fear that the established basic tenets of historiography and archaeological interpretations were being discredited was vindicated, when I found, on careful reading of the article, that the very purpose of it was what they call in ‘postmodernist’ language, the ‘deconstruction ’ of the existing order, which has received various nomenclatures, ranging from ‘exclusionist nationalism’ (Romila Thapar) and others (LankaWeb ; 12 April 2014).

Govt justifies troops presence in North - A day after three key operatives of the banned LTTE were killed in a major military operation in Sri Lanka's north, the government today justified maintaining troops in the former war zones. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy on human rights and Government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday's incident has underlined the need to keep the military on alert. "We were asked and criticised about the presence of the military in the north and the need to scale down its presence by the international governments at the Geneva UN Human Rights Council...We explained to them the need to keep the military going as it was a decision for a sovereign government to take in view of the national security needs," he said.  "Yesterday's incident was clear evidence of that," Samarasinghe said after briefing the outcome in Geneva to the Buddhist high priests in the central town of Kandy today.  The Army said three armed suspects who attempted to escape the troops were killed in a cordon and search operation in the area of Padaviya in North Central Province on April 11.  Samarasinghe reiterated the call made by Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G L Peiris.  He said Sri Lanka would not cooperate with the UNHRC in implementing the resolution adopted late March which was aimed at setting up an international investigation on the country's alleged human rights abuses during the final phase of the war with the LTTE.  "We will not participate as we have no confidence in such a process. We are a government which is committed to achieving reconciliation through credible local mechanisms," Samarasinghe said.  He said Sri Lanka would not give into attempts by the pro-LTTE diaspora to destabilise the country.  The Sri Lankan government claimed that pro-LTTE diaspora is moving the Western governments to act against it (Daily Mirror : 12 April 2014).

Bodies of slain LTTE leaders identified by relatives - Relatives of three suspected LTTE operatives, who were shot dead by the military yesterday in Nedunkerni in Vavuniya,, today identified the deceased at the Anuradhapura hospital, police said.They said that after conducting the post mortem the bodies were buried in Anuradhapura today (Daily Mirror : 12 April 2014).

Three top Tigers killed in clash with army - First confrontation since May 19, 2009 Air Tiger among the dead - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The largest man hunt launched in the Northern Province since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009 ended in the early hours of yesterday with three persons, Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan and Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gopi, being killed.  The military said that the remaining body was believed to be of Navaratnam Navaneethan alias Appan. There was no official confirmation at the time this edition went to press.  The Defence Ministry confirmed the death of three LTTE cadres and the recovery of their bodies following a confrontation at Vedivachchikallu, south of Nedunkerni.  Thevihan had been involved in the LTTE air attacks on the Anuradhapura air base in October 2007 and the Kolonnawa Petroleum Storage facility also in the same year. Yesterday’s confrontation was the first between the army and the LTTE since the LTTE’s military muscle collapsed on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on May 19, 2009.  The previous day, troops recovered four back-packs containing rations, medicine and clothes.  The government launched a major hunt for LTTE cadres in the wake of Gopi shooting at a police officer on Match 13 at Dharmapuram, a one-time LTTE stronghold east of Kandy-Jaffna A9 road.  Troops recovered one 9 mm weapon, four hand grenades, several documents as well as some dry rations, along with the bodies.  A senior military official told The Island that a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) activist, Mrs Balendran Jayakumari, had harboured Gopi at her Dharmapuram residence though she knew of his involvement in terrorism. When the police arrested Jayakumari and took her 13-year-old daughter, Vipooshika into protective custody, the TNA raised the matter at the 25th session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  The LTTE activists in London launched a protest campaign outside the British Premier’s office, demanding the British intervention to secure their release. Addressing the UNHRC, under General Debate on Agenda Item 2 on the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General, Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthi Sasitharan alleged that Vipooshika had been arrested for participating in protests demanding the release of her detained brother. Sasitharan said that Vipooshika’s arrest was a threat to every child protesting injustice caused to Tamil speaking people.  Police headquarters said that following investigations into ongoing attempts to revive the LTTE, authorities detained 60 persons, including 10 women in connection with their alleged involvement in the new terrorism project.  Authoritative sources said that as both Gopi and Thevian had lived abroad, investigators were in the process of checking their relationship with Diaspora activists. Intelligence services believe that Appan had been staying at Jayakumari’s home for some time and was involved in clandestine operations. Sources said that they had been funded by the Europe-based LTTE groups (Island ; 11 April 2014).

Audio: Army says Gobi shot dead - Ponniah Selvanayagam Kajeeban alias Gobi, a former LTTE intelligence cadre, was among the three LTTE leaders who were shot dead by the Army during a clash at Vedivachchikallu in Nedunkerni, Welioya, the Army said.  The shootout occurred when a group of soldiers encircled a house in Nadunkerni on a tip off that the suspects were staying there.  “The three suspects were identified as Gobi,Appan, and Thevian. Judicial inquiry is being held at the scene of the shooting,” Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.  “The detectives recovered arms, ammunition, explosives and other material from the hideout,” he said (Daily Mirror : 11 April 2014).

Britain to continue its push for international probe against SL - Alleging human rights violations - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - In the backdrop of Sri Lanka opting not to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution, the British government warned that it will use its position in the Geneva-based key human rights body to actively press for an international investigation.  British Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said that "the international community now has a duty to act, and we will be using our position on the UN Human Rights Council to actively press for an international investigation given the lack of a credible domestic accountability process to date."  He said that the international community has spoken through the United Nations Human Rights Council, and it is imperative that the government in Colombo listens to what has been said and what is asked of them.  "We can conduct an investigation through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights", he said.  "We were completely vindicated in our decision to go to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, because had we not gone there, we would not be in the position that we are today." Swire noted.  British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed hope that the Sri Lankan government will attend the summit on preventing sexual violence in London in June 2014."I have invited the 143 nations that so far have endorsed the declaration that I launched on ending sexual violence to attend the summit, but I cannot force any of them to do so. However, given the events in Sri Lanka in recent decades, it would be highly appropriate for the Sri Lankan government to be there and to present their plans. I have encouraged them to do so," Hague said.  In another development, the 2013 Human Rights and Democracy Report, released by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has criticized Sri Lanka’s human rights record.  The report observed that there was "no improvement in the situation for freedom of expression during the last three months. Sri Lanka dropped three places to 165 out of a total 180 in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index" (Island : 11 April 2014).

HR probe: Govt. won’t cooperate, but wants secret UN report released - by Shamindra Ferdinando- Now that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has received a mandate to inquire into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, it would be imperative that a confidential war time dossier prepared by the UN mission in Colombo was made public, an authoritative security official told ‘The Island’. The official emphasized that there couldn’t be a better ‘source’ than the UN report that dealt with fighting on multiple fronts in the Vanni region, both west and east of the Kandy-Jaffna road from August 2008 to May 13, 2009.The then head of the UN mission in Sri Lanka, Neil Bhune (July 2007-February 2011), supervised the project. Bhune was succeeded by Subinay Nandi, a Bangladeshi national.  The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development stressed the need to reveal the dossier in a document titled Facts and Figures: Addressing Accountability. Referring to a recent UN statement that the issue of confidentiality of sources/eyewitness needed to be considered at a later stage, the official said that instead of depending on unsubstantiated allegations propagated by interested parties the UN investigators could review the dossier prepared by the UN Country Team. The official pointed out that UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s three member Panel of Experts (PoE) in its March 2011 report rejected the UN findings on the basis the deaths and injuries reported were likely too be too low.  According to the dossier approved by the UN mission in Colombo, it estimated the number of deaths at 7,721 killed and 18,479 wounding during the period from August 2008 to May 13, 2009. However, it didn’t specify losses suffered by the LTTE fighting cadre, a failure even discussed in classified diplomatic cables originating from its mission in Colombo, at the height of the war.  UN spokesperson said told ‘The Island’: "The High Commissioner for Human Rights will now be making arrangements for a comprehensive investigation requested by the United Nations Human Rights Council and these are issues which will need to be considered at a later stage. In any case, the protection of witnesses and their consent to sharing their identities remain the overriding considerations when dealing with these matters." The military alleged that the PoE dismissed the report as it clearly contradicted the lies propagated by the UK media outfit, Channel 4 News as well as its own assessment. Both estimated the number of deaths at over 40,000 killed.  The military pointed out that the UN report was based on information provided by local staff of the UN and other NGOs in the LTTE-held area, the ICRC, religious authorities and other sources. The official said that the UN mission in Colombo could still get in touch with those who had contributed to the report to enable UN investigators to verify facts (Island : 08 April 2014).

GOSL must initiate Website & Hotline to report LTTE supporters & funding details - by Shenali D Waduge - In what has sent shockwaves across the world, LTTE Diaspora & supporters both local and international are now a worried lot. Legally, they are cornered. Their propaganda machinery has now been checkmated with a UN Security Council Resolution that is both mandatory and binding. With the declaration of LTTE and 16 LTTE front banned and blacklisting of 424 individuals the momentum to rope in the rest of the beneficiaries of LTTE terror over 3 decades should be the next course of action the GOSL must take. Sri Lanka’s diplomacy must go an extra mile to demand that the very nations bellowing about ‘accountability’ need to now clean up their own yards and bring to book all the linchpins that have stockpiled LTTE exhorted monies and other illegally acquired funding. Moreover, all those in the cocktail circuits and who have been recipients of LTTE funds over the years for their ‘academic expert opinions’ must also be exposed. It also affords a long awaited opportunity for Tamils who had been coerced and manhandled into making ‘voluntary’ donations to the LTTE kitty over 3 decades to come out and name those to whom payments had been made. The following are the listed LTTE & LTTE fronts: (LankaWeb : 08 April 2014).

Prof. Peiris declines to speculate on speculation - External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has said that India’s abstention at the vote on US-led resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the recently concluded UNHRC session in Geneva had strengthened avenues for dialogue.  "If you go on supporting resolutions against Sri Lanka then a dialogue becomes more difficult because of the coercive nature of the means that are required… it [India’s abstention] is certainly helpful and we appreciate it," The Hindu quoted Prof. Peiris as having told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association in Colombo on Monday.  Asked to respond to how Sri Lanka sees its ties with India should a BJP government led by Narendra Modi come to power in New Delhi, he said: "I don’t wish to speculate on a speculation."  External Affairs Minister met the FCA to explain Sri Lanka’s decision to shun the UNHRC probe.  "Nobody can come here without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan government," The Hindu quoted Peiris as having said.  Following the U.S.-backed resolution — adopted on March 27 by the Human Rights Council in Geneva — that calls for an international probe in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government immediately rejected it. Explaining the decision, Mr. Peiris said Sri Lanka decided not to participate on account of reasons pertaining to the legality of such a probe, issues of fairness and equity and questions over the budget required for the process (Island : 08 April 2014).

HR probe: Govt. won’t cooperate, but wants secret UN report released

Sri Lankans must invite and felicitate Zamir Akram, head of Pakistan delegation to UNHRC - by Shenali D Waduge - When a country not just votes for Sri Lanka against the tides but goes the extra mile to eloquently deliver a speech giving reasons why they are voting against the US sponsored Resolution, that country and in particular the head of that delegation needs to be thanked and felicitated far before thanking nations that abstained for their own self-serving compulsions. Sri Lankans listened with admiration while Mr. Zamir Akram showed how Pakistan had done its homework to highlight reasons that the Resolution depicted duplicity, bias and double standards and Pakistan gave the punch that should have come from Sri Lanka’s delegation in reminding the Sponsors of the Resolution their own track record of human rights violations that remain without acknowledgement or accountability running over centuries. It is therefore, suggested that Sri Lankan organizations invite Mr. Zamir Akram to deliver a speech in Sri Lanka and to felicitate him for the magnanimous manner Pakistan showed solidarity with Sri Lanka. In our eyes, Pakistan has been a true friend (LankaWeb : 08 April 2014).

Sri Lanka war crimes probe: EU too, won’t call for review of 20-year UN confidentiality clause - By Shamindra Ferdinando- The European Union sees no reason to call for an immediate review of UN confidentiality clause pertaining to sources/eyewitnesses to facilitate a war crimes investigation undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  A senior European Union spokesperson said: "The European Union encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate with and to consider technical support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the international community. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will determine the details of its investigation."  The official was responding to The Island query whether the EU would request UNSG’s Panel of Experts’ (PoE)/UN to review their position on the controversial recommendation pertaining to confidentiality of sources/eyewitness now that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had received authorisation to conduct an investigation.  The UN has refused to disclose the identity of the accusers for 20 years thereby ruling out any chance of Lanka rebutting their accusations face to face. Therefore they will remain phantom accusers.  Responding to The Island queries, both the US and UK asserted that the UN would have to decide on the confidentiality clause. They ruled out the possibility of them calling for a review.  The UN told The Island that the issue of confidentiality of sources/eyewitness needed to be considered at a later stage.  Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields produced by UK media outfit, Channel 4 News as well as PoE while estimating the number of deaths at over 40,000, asserted that the actual number of civilian deaths could be much more.  The PoE recommended that the identities of those who had made war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka shouldn’t be released until March 31, 2031 (Twenty years from the day it was released).  (PoE report: Page 6-Point 23): "In some instances, the Panel received written and oral material on the condition of an assurance of absolute confidentiality in the subsequent use of the information. The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) confirmed through formal legal advice that the provisions set out in the Secretary General’s Bulletin on "Information sensitivity, classification and handling" (ST/SGB/2007/6) could be applied to its records. This Bulletin provides for classification of a document as ‘strictly confidential’ with correspondingly strict limits on any access for a period of 20 years, following which a declassification review may be undertaken that weighs the equities involved in retention or release. Moreover, OLA confirmed that, where necessary and appropriate for the Panel’s work, the panel could give an undertaking of absolute confidentiality in the subsequent use. As a result, nearly all of the Panel’s substantive records will be classified as ‘strictly confidential’ with, in some cases, additional protections regarding future use."  Twenty two countries on March 27 voted for a US-led resolution meant to empower the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate war crimes allegations as well as other violations from February 2002 to May 2009. Being a member of the UNHRC comprised of 47 countries, the US too, voted for its own resolution (Island : 08 April 2014).

Prof. Peiris explains why Sri Lanka won’t cooperate with UN probe - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Sri Lanka will not cooperate with the proposed war crimes investigation undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, though the government remains committed to work with the United Nations as well as other international agencies, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris emphasized that the government of Sri Lanka wouldn’t accept the jurisdiction of the UNHRC to undertake an inquiry, therefore the question of the government cooperating with the proposed mechanism didn’t arise. Prof. Peiris was responding to a query by The Island yesterday in the wake of UN Chief Ban Ki-moon urging Sri Lanka to extend its support to UNHRC.  A resolution moved by the US calling for an external investigation received 22 votes at the recently concluded UNHRC session. Being a member of the UNHRC, the US voted for its own resolution.  Minister Peiris said that the government decided against cooperating with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights primarily due to three reasons.  The proposed investigation was beyond the scope of Ms Pillay’s office, the Minister said, adding that the second reason was her hostility towards Sri Lanka. The minister pointed out whatever those calling for UN intervention in Sri Lanka say; Ms Pillay would not approach the inquiry with an open mind. The UN rights chief’s claim that the Sri Lankan government was perpetrating atrocities against the Tamil people under the guise of fighting terrorism, which implied that there was no threat of terrorism in Sri Lanka and it was simply a creation of the Government. Not more than a week after the war ended in 2009, she called for an international inquiry against the Sri Lankan Government. "Under what basis did she call for such a move? These statements make it more than obvious that she is biased," Prof Peiris said. The government was also seriously concerned about the funding of the proposed investigative mechanism, the minister said. Sri Lanka could be at a great disadvantage due to the UNHRC being the recipient of large scale funding from several countries now calling for UN intervention, the minister said. Responding to another query, Prof. Peiris said that many member states of the UN were concerned about the way the UNHRC received its funding.  South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Nkoana-Mashabane during the high level segment of the recently concluded UNHRC session expressed concern over politicization of the UN body. She said: "South Africa stands ready to work with all countries in the Council. For the Council to deliver on this vast mandate, it is important that the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is funded through assessed contributions, commensurate with the challenges we face is predictable. We must resist the bilateralisation of the mandate of the Council through earmarked donor funding to this office."  Prof Peiris said that those pushing for external investigation here were silent on the progress made by a Presidential Commission investigating cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  Referring to an ongoing project titled Joint Needs Assessment; the minister said that the government was working closely with the UN to tackle problems faced by the displaced.  The minister said that since the conclusion of the war in May 2009, the government with the support of the international community had taken tangible measures to improve the living conditions of people living in war-torn areas. The ground situation was better though various interested parties continued to paint a bleak picture, the minister said (Island : 07 April 2014).

Will Geneva Vote mean a paradigm shift in India’s neighbourhood policy? - By Bandu de Silva - There has been no overall response in Sri Lanka to India’s stand this time over the voting on the US sponsored Draft Resolution (D/R) at UNHRC session in Geneva despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spontaneous response to release the Indian fishermen in custody and a thank you letter since despatched to the Indian Prime Minister. There have been much discussion on what brought about India’s change of mind at the last moment to abstain from voting after making a powerful explanation of reasons why the Draft was not acceptable to India because of its intrusive nature. The Island newspaper editorially asked why India stopped at that if she was so convinced. Others raised similar question.  In my last article published in the Asian Tribune on March 21 2014, commenting on Sathya Moorthy’s article ““Why India should not vote against Sri Lanka at UNHCR ”, (Ceylon Today, March,13 2014), I argued the reasons why India could not cast a vote against Sri Lanka at the UNCHR sessions in Geneva if a rational foreign policy was followed but concluded that Sathya Moorthy’s and my expectations might not come through. That was considering the negative record of history of Indo-Sri Lanka bi-lateral relations during the whole period since independence except for the duration of the time of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka and that of Prime Ministers Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi of India with both of whom the Sri Lankan Prime Minister maintained very cordial personal and official relations.  The way India responded negatively this time to the US sponsored D/R, my final assertion proved wrong but the reasons I used to argue why India cannot take a negative position towards Sri Lanka if there was rational thinking remain valid. This is now substantiated by the explanation offered by India’s representative at UNCHR in Geneva, Ambassador Dilip Singh, just prior to the vote taking. That explanation, in my view, points to the final triumph of the people behind the scene in Indian policy making in the South Blok. It is not that there had been no rational thinking on the part of India when it came to relations with the close neighbor Sri Lanka, but during the last few years, the South Block’s views on how the neighbourhood policy should be guided had been side-tracked by forces different from those which guided Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to treat Sri Lanka like plantation colony . What dominated Indian thinking in recent times was not even self-interest but short term electoral -political compulsions like remaining in power. The vote bank in Tamil Nadu and Pudihchery in the south for the Congress party was very much in view (LankaWeb : 07 April 2014).

What the UNHRC Resolution Tells Me:We have to be a self reliant economy to withstand our enemies - By Garvin Karunaratne, Former Government Agent, Matara District - When the dust of the storm created by the Superpowers at Geneva settles down it is necessary to take stock of our strengths and weaknesses and to decide what we should do. Let us not forget that we are a sovereign country.  We have to go it alone and be strong to withstand problems created by our enemies. This time the enemies are the USA and the UK. They will be up to their googly tricks to win us over by the offer of some minuscule Aid, and eventually, in a very clandestein manner, try to trip us unawares, make us fall and then decapitate us. This they have done again and in our life time; we have seen what was done to Vietnam, to Somalia, to Iraq,to Afghanistan and is being now done to Libiya, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. We have to be doubly careful of the Libraries working with US Aid and the US teachers in our schools.  We have no alternative but to marshall our resources in a manner that will enable us to regain our economy that has been totally battered by following their dictates and many of us fail to understand that the Superpowers have decimated our economy by forcing the Structural Adjustment Programme through the IMF on our countries.  On the IMF policies that we yet follow, let me only quote Professor Jeffery Sachs. In The End of Poverty(2005) he lamented that the African Third World countries were totally ruined by the World Bank and the IMF. “ Western Governments enforced draconian budget policies in Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. They virtually ran the economic policies of the debt ridden continent recommending regimens of budgetary belt tightening known technically as Structural Adjustment Programmes…. By the Start of the Twenty First Century Africa was ;poorer than in the late 1960s when the IMF and the WB had first arrived on the scene.” ;  Now from his latest book:: “The Price of Civilization”(2011) he devotes a full chapter criticizing the IMF. “Free Markets by themselves are not able to ensure the efficiency of the economy.. Free Markets also needs the Governments to help regulate the market…. Freemarkets do not guarantee fairness to the citizens of a generation; they do not guarantee sustainability for future generations… the Free Market System must be complemented with government institutions that accomplish three things: provide public goods such as infrastructure, scientific research and ensure the basic fairness of income distribution and long term help for the poor to escape from poverty.” (LankaWeb : 07 April 2014).

Weekly Defence Column - by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 06 April 2014).

LTTE rump wants travel ban on Lankan MPs - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - After securing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month, pro-LTTE Tamil organizations in the UK are vigorously campaigning for the imposition of a ‘travel ban’ on Sri Lankan parliamentarians.  The Sunday Island reliably learns that the ultimate goal of these pro-LTTE Tamils is to push for a ‘travel ban’, ‘trade ban’ and freeze assets of Sri Lankan parliamentarians. However, their short term target is to stop President Mahinda Rajapaksa attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The opening ceremony is due to be held at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014.  "LTTE activists living in the UK are furious that they were banned by the Sri Lankan government. They have now started lobbying British parliamentarians of all political parties. These MPs have indicated that if they work hard, they will be able to impose a ‘travel ban’ before the Commonwealth Games, sources knowledgeable of the developments in London said.  "If they fail to impose a ‘travel ban’ in time, they are planning to gather in their thousands to protest against the President’s proposed visit", they said.  In the meantime, Sri Lankans domiciled in the UK are under the impression that the Sri Lanka government has not done enough to counter the UNHRC resolution. They are of the view that the government failed to win over the new British parliamentarians for their cause.  "We have only a few Conservative MPs supporting us for years now. They were also won over at the time Acting High Commissioner P. M. Amza was in London", they opined, pointing out that Sri Lanka had failed to woo new MPs, especially from the Labour Party.  Can you imagine what will happen to Sri Lanka if the Labour Party wins next year’s General Election? Unlike the Sri Lankan government, pro-LTTE groups had many British MPs on their side, Janaka Alahapperuma, president of the British Sri Lankan Forum said.  "Some high-profile people assured President Rajapaksa that their personal contacts would be used to stop British Prime Minister David Cameron taking any drastic actions against Sri Lanka, but it never materialized", he noted.  He said that Cameron is acting aggressively and wanted to set up a Sierra Leone type war crime tribunal against Sri Lanka. For the first time in the history, both ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party are jointly acting against Sri Lanka due to lack of aggressive lobbying by the government.  President of Sinhala Association UK, Douglas Wickramaratne said that the voting in Geneva once again exposed the limitations of our diplomatic mission in London. The laid back approach is a complete failure.  "We have a good story, but are unable to tell it to the world. Organizing a demonstration outside number 10, Downing Street or in front of the UN building in Geneva wasting millions of tax payers’ money just before the voting in Geneva is too little and too late", he said.  Face-to-face meetings with parliamentarians of all political parties, regular briefings to the press, correcting the biased reports of the media like Channel 4 by demanding the right to reply are some of the ways our mission can justify its existence, he suggested.  British Prime Minster David Cameron has been reported saying that Britain will work closely with its international partners to support the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka to establish an international investigation.  In response to a question, Cameron told British Parliament on Thursday, "We believe that progress on accountability, human rights and reconciliation is important in establishing an enduring peace in Sri Lanka. Such progress will ensure Sri Lanka can reach its full potential as a strong and prosperous nation".  He also said ahead of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution vote on Sri Lanka on March 27,"…I personally engaged with a wide range of UNHRC member states including those from the Commonwealth." (Island : 05 April 2014).

SPANISH INQUISITION: in the name of Rights - by Senaka Weeraratna Attorney – at – Law The term ‘bias’ is defined as an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective and a refusal to even consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. An individual may be biased towards or against another individual, a race, a religion, a social class, or a political party. Being biased connotes being one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, and not having an open mind. Bias arises in many forms and shapes and is generally treated as synonymous with prejudice or bigotry (Daily News : 05 April 2014).

LTTE rump wants travel ban on Lankan parliamentarians.

Government’s goodwill not reciprocated: LTTE fronts ban comes after years of tolerance – Dr. Kohona - By Manjula Fernando, Courtesy The Daily News - Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona said the proscription of 16 organisations under the UN resolution 1373 which called for international cooperation for suppressing terrorism financing, was what required now after years of patient tolerance of the actions of these fronts.  He however opined that the Sri Lankan ban, to be fully effective, it must be mirrored in the countries where these organisations operate freely.  Q. Sri Lankan Government, early this week, took action to proscribe 16 organizations which it identified as fronts of the LTTE involved in terrorism financing overseas, under the UN resolution 1373 which came into being after the US’s 9/11 attack. Why is the resolution 1373 important? A. Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter required UN Member States to adopt a range of measures to criminalise terrorist fund raising, fund transfers and money laundering, providing support for any terrorist enterprise and take appropriate follow-up legal action. Charter VII resolutions impose mandatory obligations on UN Member States.  This action by the Security Council was, in large measure, a response to the 9/11 attacks on the US. Although terrorism had plagued many countries of the world for decades, including Sri Lanka, it was only after 9/11 that the US really began to marshal its resources and world opinion to counter the global threat posed by terrorism.  Since then countries have, consistent with Security Council Resolution 1373, increasingly used their domestic legal regimes and military/intelligence capabilities to undertake counter terrorism measures (LankaWeb ; 05 April 2014).

Britain will work closely with int’l partners on SL -Cameron - British Prime Minster David Cameron said that Britain will work closely with its international partners to support the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka establishing an international investigation.  In response to a question, Cameron told British Parliament on Thursday, “We believe that progress on accountability, human rights and reconciliation is important in establishing an enduring peace in Sri Lanka. Such progress will ensure Sri Lanka can reach its full potential as a strong and prosperous nation.”  He also said ahead of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution vote on Sri Lanka on 27 March,”…I personally engaged with a wide range of UNHRC member states including those from the Commonwealth.” (Daily Mirror; 15 April 2014).

Accuser as judge and jury - US Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison is doing everything in her power to justify her country’s resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. She cannot be faulted for doing her job. But, some of the arguments she has put forth in support of the US action are not convincing, to say the least.  Ambassador Sison has told foreign correspondents in Colombo that the US should not be blamed for long-standing divisions in Sri Lanka. Here, one sees the so-called straw man fallacy. No one in his or her proper senses will make such an allegation. Sri Lanka’s divisions, especially those along ethno-religious line, are as old as the hills and some of them even predate the discovery of America!  But, the recently adopted US-sponsored UNHRC resolution has caused reconciliation to elude this country further. For, it has made LTTE groups active overseas intransigent and cocky so much so that they are now all out to use the UNHRC to avenge the decimation of their military muscle and pursue their separatist goal politically with the help of some western governments.  The US envoy has urged the Sri Lankan government to fulfil its obligations to its people and take meaningful, concrete steps on reconciliation and accountability. The latter, no doubt, must do so, but it takes two to tango, doesn’t it?  What about the proponents of the UNHRC resolution, who recognised Prabhakaran as the sole representative of Tamils? Reconciliation is anathema to them because they need ethnic tensions to fuel their Eelam project and secure block votes. It is not reconciliation that they seek but revenge and an opportunity to create conditions for re-launching their Eelam project. They are doing their damnedest to have the incumbent government responsible for defeating the LTTE dislodged because they see it as an insurmountable obstacle in their path. They are striving to pave the way for a malleable government like the one which allowed itself to be railroaded into signing a blatantly lopsided CFA with the LTTE and compromising national security at the behest of external forces. Their not-so-surreptitious plan and the agenda of the West desirous of engineering a regime change here to further their geo-strategic interests dovetail.  The US policy towards the LTTE has been consistent and it has repeatedly declared its commitment to helping preserve Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity. But, sadly, there is little that it could do to avoid being seen to be promoting the interests of pro-LTTE groups because of its diplomatic badger hunt against Sri Lanka in Geneva (Island Editorial : 04 April 2014).

Banning LTTE front organisations - by Nalin de Silva - The government has decided to ban sixteen front organisations of the LTTE. This is something that the government should have done long time ago but it is a welcome move even if it is somewhat late. It is hoped that the relevant gazette notification is published without undue delay and the government does not change its mind after receiving advice from pundits on human rights to the contrary. Perhaps the government did not take this step earlier as there was no evidence of the LTTE reviving its activities then. However, with the Gopi incident and the implications it had on Ruki Fernando and the priest Praveen and of course Vijeyakumari, the government would have thought enough is enough. The banning of these organisations as "foreign terrorist" organisations is ironically under the UN resolution 1373, which was passed by the UN soon after the so called September attack in the USA. In Sri Lanka there was no one such attack as we were under continuous attacks from the LTTE almost on a daily basis, and hence we do not have a specific September eleven. All days are September elevens as far as we are concerned but the West always ignored this basic fact (Daily News : 04 April 2014).

Is the Catholic Church spearheading war crimes inquiry against Sri Lanka? - by Shenali D Waduge - An article titled ‘Church’s Perseverance in Sri Lanka pays off’ written by Anto Akkara claims that the UN has decided to investigate possible war crimes because of a request made by the Sri Lankan Catholic Church. The writer perhaps is unaware of the ties between the LTTE and the Church over the years. Now that LTTE and 16 LTTE fronts have been officially banned it would be a good time to investigate these ties over the years. More so now that the ban imposed by the Sri Lankan Government include the Global Tamil Forum headed by a Catholic Father (Fr. Emmanuel) and the Church has done nothing against his nefarious activities.  The article itself is filled with numerous errors. First is the need to correct that the UN never officially placed civilian deaths at 40,000 and the statement by Gordon Weiss former UN spokesman upon retiring from the UN was disassociated by the UN itself http://un.lk/for-the-record/un-statement-on-former-spokesman-views/  In so far as rule of law is concerned, for advocates that demand the Governments apply rule of law and due procedure without bias why would they in turn wish to demand the release of 2 Catholic human rights activists who had been arrested without ascertaining what they had done wrong? Is it not a slap on justice to demand their release simply because one wore robes and belonged to the Catholic Church while the other carried a label called ‘human rights’?  Is this why the nod of silence has prevailed throughout centuries of pedophilia taking place inside the Church environs and traumatized children are now coming forward with their tales of woe? Returning to the 2 arrests why should Ruki Fernando or Father Praveen be released ? Is it because Ruki is supposedly a ‘prominent journalist’ or because Praveen is a Catholic Father? That does not look too good for law enforcement to be told that journalists, lawyers and Catholic clergy cannot be arrested! Not a single entity asked what they had even committed except to go on an international tirade asking their release!  The article makes reference to Bishop Rayyappu Joseph and Bishop Saundaranayagam. The article claims that ‘‘There has been always [adverse] reactions when we speak about unpleasant things’ – what if these reactions were as a result of Rayappu Joseph opening the ‘Embassy of Tamil Eelam’ in London, or because he allowed LTTE to operate an office inside Madhu Church and the office was officially opened by him upon invitation by the LTTE? Would the US watch Catholic Bishops open Al Qaeda House or allow Al Qaeda to operate from any of its Churches? (LanakWeb ; 04 April 2014).

Sri Lanka bans LTTE fronts

... This should have been done long time ago.

Hope this one not for the name sake.

LTTE Fronts Banned – Sri Lankan envoys abroad must now deliver - by Shenali D Waduge - LTTE and 15 other LTTE fronts have been banned by the GOSL under UN Security Council Resolution 1373 w.e.f 1st April 2014. The order signed by External Affairs Minister Prof. GL Pieris based on recommendations by the Secretary Ministry of Defence and Urban Development as the Competent Authority will hereafter regard persons, groups and entities as committing, attempting to commit, facilitate or participate in the acts of terrorism. The order enables funds, assets, economic resources belonging to or owned by the designated persons and entities to remain frozen until the removal of their names from the designated list. These persons and entities are prohibited from moving, transferring or dealing with frozen assets without the permission of the Competent Authority. The seriousness of the Order needs to now be conveyed to nations where these foreign terrorist organizations and persons are now domiciled. It is now the turn for the diplomatic war to begin and Sri Lanka needs to appraise its envoys on how to take on the next battle (LankaWeb : 03 April 2014).

UNHRC resolutions and the politics of discomfiture - By Malinda Seneviratne - For Sri Lanka, the only relevant resolution at this year’s UNHRC sessions is the one tabled by the United States of America. It is relevant because it was on (read ‘against’) Sri Lanka. If, however, the world is serious about the UNHRC and therefore whatever resolutions are tabled, voted on, adopted or rejected, then we would see decent coverage in the international media.  Something seems to have happened in the world of media, or rather the big name media houses in the West as well as those that are located in that political bloc for reasons of ownership or ideological bent. There were many UNHRC resolutions. The most telling had nothing to do with Sri Lanka, namely the Pakistan-sponsored resolution on the use of drones (read, ‘Pakistan’s Resolution against the USA’) and the five resolutions on Israel. Check the web. BBC says nothing. Al Jazeera is silent.  You will have to sweat a bit to find any news report on these resolutions. And yet, Al Jazeera and others in what might be called the Washington Media Bloc were all over Sri Lanka in the run up to the vote and thereafter.  A quick glance at voting patterns might explain this state of affairs. It might also tell us that nothing that happens in the UNHRC is about human rights.  The Drone Resolution, if you will, was passed with 27 voting for it, 14 abstaining and just 6 voting against it. The wording tells a story.  “The Council urges all states to ensure that any measures employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones, comply with their obligations under international law in particular the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality,” the resolution stated.”  The unnamed target of this resolution is obviously the USA for you can’t talk ‘drones’ without mentioning that country. Now if the US voted in favor of this resolution or abides by the majority will of the UNHRC it would be a huge setback to Washington’s current strategy of domination (orchestrating internal instability and drone attacks). It is pertinent to recall that two years ago in a side-event in Geneva the elder statesman of US politics Rev Jesse Jackson said ‘Those who own the drones violate human rights’ (LankaWeb : 03 April 2014).

British Foreign Secy. wants Lanka to fully cooperate with UN resolution - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - British Foreign Secretary William Hague requested Sri Lankan Government to fully co-operate with the UNHRC resolution, and to work alongside the international community for the benefit of its people.  Sending a written statement to the British parliament on Monday, 31st March on United Nations Human Rights Council resolution calling for an international investigation into Sri Lanka, Hague said that the passing of the resolution had sent an important and strong message to the Sri Lankan government – that they must address the grievances of the recent past in order to help secure lasting peace and reconciliation, and a prosperous future for all the people of Sri Lanka. The resolution represents a significant step forward in ensuring the truth is established for the Sri Lankan people.  Hague said that the British Government was pleased with the outcome and strongly believed that it was the right decision.  "My right Honourable friend the Prime Minister committed the UK to calling for an international investigation following his visit to Sri Lanka last year where he witnessed the situation on the ground first hand. The UK was an important co-sponsor of the resolution, alongside the US, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius.  "By voting in favour of this resolution, the international community has shown that it has listened to the many independent voices, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights herself and domestic support in Sri Lanka, calling for an international investigation and helped the UN HRC to establish a strong and unambiguous resolution. The United Kingdom will continue to work with the UNHRC and our international partners to ensure proper implementation of this resolution. We encourage the Sri Lankan government fully to co-operate with the resolution, and to work alongside the international community for the benefit of its people.  "It is important also to recognise that Sri Lanka is an extraordinary country with enormous potential and the end of the conflict presents an opportunity for it to become a strong and prosperous nation. This resolution will help to address the legitimate concerns of all communities. It presents an opportunity to tackle the root causes of conflict, continued human rights concerns and set Sri Lanka on the right path for reconciliation. We hope that the Sri Lankan government will embrace that opportunity" (Island : 02 April 2014).

REVERSE DISCRIMINATION FOR SINHALESE : RECIPROCATION BY TAMILS - by Shenali D Waduge - At this important juncture of Sri Lanka’s post-independent history there are some factors that need to be reminded to all citizens of Sri Lanka. Some of these hometruths may not be palatable to people but these need to be said and recorded (LankaWeb : 02 April 2014).

Ban on LTTE fronts: several years’ effort - by Madura Ranwala - Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya yesterday said banning of 16 pro-LTTE fronts by the External Affairs Ministry wasn’t an overnight affair but an outcome of a three to four years work.  He stressed that it had been done according to the United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 adopted at its 4385th meeting on September 28, 2001 following the terrorist attacks which took place in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11 the same year.  He rejected the allegation that it was a reaction to the Geneva resolution adopted against Sri Lanka at the 25th Session of HRC in Geneva.  Meanwhile, he said Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa would visit Mullaitivu today (03 April) and inaugurate several projects.  Among them are handing over 100 houses to the resettled families in Keppapilavu under the second stage of the three stage project of providing houses to those resettled in that area, the handing over of close to 100 acres of paddy land from the air force camp premises for farming, and handing over several houses renovated by the Army to the owners.  He also said that the Secretary, on his way back in the evening would declare open a solar power pilot project to generate 20KW, at the 2nd Engineer Services Regiment Army camp at Anuradhapura.  "There are two other sites of the same project with similar capacities at Medawachchiya Navy base, Punewa and Palavi Air Force base that will be inaugurated simultaneously," he said (Island : 02 April 2014).

GoSL bans 16 LTTE front organizations - In the wake of intelligence reports pertaining to possible attempts by the LTTE rump to stage a come back, the government is taking measures to counter the threat. The following is the full text of a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry: An order, designating persons and entities in terms of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 which sets out strategies to combat terrorism and to control terrorist financing has been signed by Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, and will be published in the Government Gazette shortly. This order is based on the recommendation by the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, as the Competent Authority regarding the identification of persons, groups and entities, believed on reasonable grounds to be committing, attempting to commit, facilitating or participating, in the commission of acts of terrorism.  The substantial effect of an order under this Regulation is that all funds, assets and economic resources belonging to or owned by the designated persons or entities remain frozen until they are removed from the designated list.  Moving, transferring or dealing with frozen assets without the permission of the Competent Authority is prohibited. In terms of the Regulation, any person who fails to comply with an order to freeze assets is liable to heavy penalties.  Meanwhile, Defence Ministry and military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the ban was enforced under a UN Security Council resolution 1373 which was implemented following the September 2001 terrorist attack in the United States.  He said that apart from the Tamil Tiger rebels, the government has listed 15 other groups operating overseas who are keen on having a separate in Sri Lanka.  Among those listed are the Global Tamil Forum, the British Tamils Forum and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, two influential Tamil Diaspora groups operating in Britain and the United States. "Under the ban legal action will be taken against anyone having links with those groups," he said.  The ban also lists four influential Tamil Diaspora activists, Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan, Reverend Father S.J Emmanuel, Visuvanathan Ruthirakumaran and Sekarampillai Vinayakamoorthy (Island : 01 April 2014).

Cameron’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ example misleading – GoSL - by Shamindra Ferdinando - British Premier David Cameron was making an attempt to portray the UK’s response to the Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland as the perfect example of how accountability issues should be addressed, a senior Sri Lankan official told The Island yesterday.  The official was responding to a statement the Conservative leader made in Parliament on March 26 in response to an oral question asked by Ian Paisley (North Antrim).  MP Paisley: The charge levelled at President Rajapaksa that he has failed to address the issues of the past properly is frequently levelled, in slightly different circumstances about politicians in Northern Ireland. That being the case , why is the Prime Minister being inconsistent? He steadfastly opposes the internationalization of our internal affairs. Surely he should also opposes the internationalization of the internal affairs of a trading partner such as Sri Lanka and urge it to sort out its own problems.  Prime Minister Cameron: I would give two answers to that very incisive question.  First, here in the UK, including in Northern Ireland, we have taken major steps to disinter the past and to discuss it and deal with it. The Bloody Sunday inquiry is one such example.  That has not happened in Sri Lanka. Its lessons learnt exercise is not going into the detail that is needed about the appalling events that happened, particularly at the end of the war. Secondly, though we guard our independence and sovereignty jealously, we did call upon friendly nations, including the United States to help us with our peace processes. Frankly, in confronting one’s own past and one’s own problems, other countries can sometimes help. I think Sri Lanka should take the same approach. Premier Cameron’s statement was meant to justify UK throwing its weight behind the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka taken up at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 27, the official said.  External Affairs Ministry official said that nothing could be as inappropriate as the Bloody Sunday inquiry as an example. The official said: "What Premier Cameron conveniently didn’t say was that he on behalf of the British government apologized for the Bloody massacre in January 2010 nearly four decades after the British paratroopers killed13 unarmed civilians, seven of them teenagers, in Londonderry. Another died some time later from injuries suffered on January 30, 1972.  The official pointed out that Premier Cameron apologized following the publication of an inquiry report at the end of a 12-year investigation. Responding to a query, the official pointed out that the British media had reported that those facing prosecution would be represented by lawyers hired by the Defence Ministry. The evidence gathered by Lord Saville who spearheaded the Bloody Sunday inquiry too, could not be used for any prosecution as soldiers, who spoke to the judge anonymously, were assured their evidence would not be made available to the police, the official said.  Commenting on UK demanding Sri Lanka to address accountability issues immediately or face the consequences, the official said that the British were yet to publicize their much talked about investigation report on the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The British set up an internal inquiry in July 2009 to probe invasion of a country on the false pretext of searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), while demanding an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism, the official said (Island ; 01 April 2014).

Attacks on Buddhist Temples in South Korea ignored by UNHRC/ Navi Pillai and Ban Ki Moon - by Shenali D Waduge - South Korea is an Asian country. South Korea is also the home of Ban Ki Moon, the present UN Secretary General who is a devout Christian. South Korea’s population is 50million. Though South Korea is predominately Buddhist that a Church started with 5 members 50 years ago is today having over 750,000 people shows the extent that Christianity has prevailed in South Korea. Its strange that with the UN and the UNHRC head Navi Pillai in particular drawing references to religious intolerance why they have been stoic silent on the unprecedented violent attacks upon Buddhist places of worship. South Korea was the ONLY Asian nation to have aligned with the Christian West bloc of nations alongside nations scared of the West to vote against Sri Lanka backing the US Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council.  The Resolution against Sri Lanka drawn from the report by Navi Pillai expresses alarm at the rapid rise in violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, particularly against members of religious minority groups. The Resolution urges the government to investigate all attacks, by individuals and groups on all religious places of worship, hold the perpetrators responsible and prevent future such attacks.  The below examples of religious intolerance in South Korea happened and is happening for decades. South Korea is the home of the UN Secretary General himself, yet the emphasis against Sri Lanka with hardly 20 cases of violence in 5 years which themselves are questionable against Buddhist temples scorched and destroyed completely in South Korea only serves to raise the question of double standards at play. This is reiterated further in Navi Pillai’s silence over 700 mosque attacks in the UK.  In 2008, when 200,000 Buddhist monks and laypeople rallied in Seoul, South Korea protesting against religious bias and constitutional infringement by the Lee Myung-bak administration not a hum came from Navi Pillai or the entities lining up to accuse Sri Lanka of religious intolerance (LankaWeb : 01 April 2014).

Indian SC upholds verdict commuting Rajiv killers’ death sentence to life imprisonment - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN - Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, April 1: The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review its February 18 judgment commuting the death sentence of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case—-Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan—-into life imprisonment.  A three-judge bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh in a brief order passed in the CJI’s chamber said: "We have carefully gone through the review petition and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petition and the same is accordingly dismissed."  The Bench had already rejected the review petition filed by the Centre against the January 21 verdict commuting the death sentence of 15 convicts, including some of the associates of forest brigand Veerappan. The convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case were granted reprieve applying the principles enunciated in the January 21 verdict.  In its review petition, the Centre contended that the court did not consider the merits of the case and also ventured into the domain of the government by commuting the death sentence in the case. It further contended that the February 18 judgment was passed without jurisdiction by the three-judge bench instead of by a larger bench of five judges as the case involved substantial interpretation of law and provisions of the Constitution.  The Centre said, "the impugned judgment is patently illegal, suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record and flies in the face of well-established principles of law laid down by this Court and contained in the constitution and other statutes. In the present case, the issue raised was that of the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay, which allegedly attracted Article 21 of the Constitution in favour of the convicts. Therefore, it involved a substantial issue of interpretation of the Constitution and ought to have been heard by a bench of five judges, as mandated by the Constitution."  The Centre contended that the apex court interfered with the order of the President rejecting the plea for mercy without its jurisdiction.  "Furthermore, the interference of this Court with the merits of the order of the rejection issued by the President, in exercise of the power conferred by Article 72, is without jurisdiction. Once the President had, in exercise of his power under Article 72 of the Constitution, rejected the mercy petition, this Court only has a limited power, under judicial review, to disturb the order of the President."  The Centre said: "If the Supreme Court was of the opinion that there has not been a proper consideration of the mercy petition, the same ought to have been remitted back to the President for fresh reconsideration. Alternatively, if the issue raised was with respect to delay, as in the present case, the court ought to have referred the matter to the President requesting an expeditious disposal of the petition. Further the judgment commuting the sentence in this case goes contrary to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which leaves this to the jurisdiction of the appropriate government—-the central government in this case—-as per Sections 432, 433 and 435 of the Criminal Procedure Code." (Island : 01 April 2014).

UK says it led charge against Sri Lanka - Hugo Swire  - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London  - British State Minister of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said that the UK had taken a forward-leaning position and provided leadership to bring a UN resolution on Sri Lanka for an international investigation. Addressing the Westminster Hall debate last Tuesday (25/03/14) at the British parliament Swire said that such a resolution would help break new ground if the council was successful in establishing an international mechanism.  "The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, my ministerial colleagues at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and I have personally engaged with the majority of Human Rights Council countries. On 21 March, my right hon.  Friend the Prime Minister led a call for European Council conclusions that put the EU’s full support behind the resolution.  "We have been encouraged by the responses, but will continue to press hard for support right up until the vote takes place. We are taking nothing for granted. We have been working extremely closely with non-governmental organisations and other interested groups and listening to their views and aspirations," he said.  Speaking at the same debate Conservative MP for Ilford North Lee Scott said a comprehensive international investigation was needed as the Sri Lankan Government was not dealing with the matters themselves.  "I would like to see put forward as tough a resolution as is humanly possible. I have seen that the current draft resolution says that crimes up to 2009 would be investigated, but many crimes have been committed since then that must be looked into as well. The demilitarisation zone should be expanded to include the east of the country, where crimes have been perpetuated, as well as the north.  It is also important for there to be a free political stage—people should not be persecuted for trying to speak up and stand as opposition parties in Sri Lanka, as they are currently", Scott said.  "The Sri Lankan Government has never given any signal that they intend to carry out their duties as a Government representing all people in their country, so nothing should be taken off the table when considering what we must do to ensure that the resolution is adhered to and justice is done. Without question, before there can be even a chance of reconciliation, there must be justice.  I call for peace for all in Sri Lanka. The accusation has been levelled at me that I am speaking on behalf of only one people. I am talking on behalf of everyone—I do not want anyone in Sri Lanka to suffer, whatever their religion or background might be. It is not for me to say who is guilty or not; the whole point of a comprehensive international investigation is to find that out. Someone was responsible for the death of women and children, for the rape of women and for the persecution that has gone on, and they must be held to account", he further said (Island : 01 April 2014).

Mandates of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - By Neville Ladduwahetty - Paragraph 10 and 10 (b) of the US-proposed UN Resolution A/HRC /25/L.I/Rev.1 that was passed in Geneva on March 27, 2014, "requests the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR): (b) To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetuated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedure mandate holders". During a meeting on Monday between the OHCHR with NGOs, in the sidelines of the 25th session of the Council, Ms. Pillay stressed that the OHCHR "has the power to establish an international mechanism" to investigate crimes, as it falls under the human rights protection mandate of her office. Ms. Pillay is reported to have stated: "Now apart from calling for an international investigation, we have interpreted our mandate to say that the High Commissioner herself has power to investigate a situation". Furthermore, that "This did come out when we needed legal advice to see whether the Secretary General can himself set up a panel on Sri Lanka when as you know not a single inter-governmental forum had addressed the issue of the serious crimes committed. Obviously the fact that the Secretary General went again means that we are very clear that the UN does have these powers, because it falls under the overall mandate of protecting human rights." (Tamil Guardian, March 17, 2014). By Ms. Pillay’s own admission, the High Commissioner has "interpreted" the mandate of the OHCHR as having the right to investigate alleged violations of human rights. However, her "interpretation" is not good enough for sovereign member states to comply. Member states need more than "interpretations". Member states need unequivocal statements that have legitimacy of the sort of a General Assembly resolution. Until then, Sri Lanka has no alternative but to appeal to the General Assembly that conducting inquiries into the internal affairs of sovereign states cannot be permitted based on "interpretations" by temporarily-appointed individuals with no accountability (Island ; 31 March 2014).

SL bans LTTE fronts - The Sri Lankan government has in a decisive move with far reaching implications proscribed as foreign terrorist entities, several overseas organizations suspected of being fronts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The government banned the organizations as “foreign terrorists” utilising the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 which was brought about by the USA on September 28, 2001 after the attack on World Trader Center in New York on September 11, 2001.  It is expected that External Affairs Minister Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris will announce details of the proscription imposed on such foreign terrorist entities later this week.  The report said: “It is learnt that the Sri Lankan ministry of External Affairs has gazetted legislation outlawing several organizations reportedly functioning in several countries including the USA, Canada Britain, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, France and Australia.  “Among organizations proscribed are the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) headed by New York lawyer Visuvanathan Ruthirakumaran,Global Tamil Forum headed by Catholic Priest Fr.SJ Emmanuel,the LTTE group led by Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan and the tiger group led by Sekarampillai Vinayagamoorthy alias Vinayagam.  It is expected that External Affairs minister Prof.Gamini Lakshman Peiris will announce details of the proscription imposed on such foreign terrorist entities later this week.  The proscribed entities listed in the Gazette consist of the main LTTE and 15 other alleged front organizations of the tigers.The proscribed organizations are as follows (Daily Mirror : 31 March 2014).

Vindictive Navi Pillay too biased to conduct impartial inquiry - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - The final count in the UNHRC which did not give US-UK-EU-OHCHRC resolution a clear cut majority in a body of 47 members has become controversial with one side claiming that it is half full and the other side saying that it is half empty. Whatever the political arguments may be, it is useful to scrutinize how the numbers finally came down to assess the overall meaning and consequences of the vote. Even as a speculative exercise the numbers are important because it was a game played with US throwing all its might behind the anti-Sri Lankan Resolution. So it is fair to assess how the bare minimum was used to extract the maximum gain by the Big Powers to push their political agenda.  One question that can be raised is as follows : if in the United Nations Human Rights Council of 47 members a resolution is passed with the votes of 23 members does it constitute a victory or a defeat? In pure mathematics the majority consists of 24 plus. But US sponsors of the anti-Sri Lankan resolution failed to get the decisive figure of 24 which defines unequivocally the majority in the Council. Technically, the US and its sponsors can claim to have won not because in the final count those who voted for the US resolution added up to more than those who did not vote for it. That, however, is a technical issue that can be argued till the American Ambassadress, Michele Sisson and Ms. Navi Pillay go home. And Sri Lanka either has to live with its consequences or resist any intrusions into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation which is the legal position, as argued both by Prof. G. L. Peiris and Ravinath Aryasinha, the Permanent Representative in Geneva.  The irony, however, is in the so-called victory. It was a foregone conclusion given that the entire weight of the mighty West was thrown in to beat little Sri Lanka. But it is America’s failure to score a more convincing total by crossing the defining line of 24 that makes it a hollow victory. It is the 12 abstentions that split the votes three ways which gave the US and its Western camp their show of victory. There is, of course, no one way of interpreting the 12 abstentions. But if India’s declared stance in refusing to vote for its “strategic partner” is any guide then it is a definite slap in the face of America (LankaWeb ; 31 March 2014).

India is an ENEMY and not a FRIEND - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - For the second time in succession, India has voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC for the resolution brought by USA and its allies against Sri Lanka. Let our President at least now realize that India is not a friend and for that matter Pakistan is a sincere friend. Of course, she has never been a friend who trained LTTE, the most notorious and brutal terrorists outfit in the world LTTE to set against Sri Lanka. We reminisce the true courage President Mahinda Rajapaksa had at the last stages of the war against LTTE terrorist without bowing down America, UK, France and other western allies to stop the war but continued until LTTE was completely annihilated. Of course, our Defence Secretary Gotabaya ‘s unstinted and unvarying support facilitated Presidents task to go ahead with the war. But unfortunately, since of late we see the gigantic courage President had gradually diminishing over the years specially in relation with India. Too much of appeasement on India is very visible. President Rajapaksa has become naïve (though still locally popular) and unable to stop Indianising Sri Lanka. Over the years, the GoSL has been tying diplomatically to be a friend but Indian Government has prostituted our friendliness into timidity and acting as an arch enemy and playing a double game. It’s high time Sri Lanka understood that India is not a friend and took constructive steps to show our strength. For the second time, India showed that they have no faith the way Sri Lanka is heading. If so then why the hell are they trying to bring more and more investments to Sri Lanka if the condition is not conducive to good governance. Sri Lanka is already Indianised.What moral right that India has to blame Sri Lanka for human rights violation when half a billion Indians are deprived of basic human needs like shelter, water and sanitation. It was reported that half a billion people don’t have toilet facilities. (reminds me of the reality film “Slum Dog Millionaire). When few of the richest in India live in luxury, the poorest of the poor live together with cows, water buffaloes, goats pigs and dogs in way side shanties. This is common scene in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state. I suppose other states are no different other than Haryana State. Should we remind India of the human rights violations in Jammu-Kashmir borders? It’s time we treated India as a foe and not a friend. We need to take some bold decisions mentioned herein to make India realize that we are no more a scapegoat for their internal Tamil Nadu politics. Close the Indian consular office in Jaffna immediately; Stop accepting dangling carrots from India for our development. Surely Sri Lanka can survive without their self motivated help; Stop any future Indian investments flow into Sri Lanka and ask the current investors like IOC, Palali airport construction etc to pack up and leave the country; Boycott all Indian imports including food items and import from other countries even at a price. Stop importing Tamil Nadu films; Stop visa over the counter to Indians who travel to Sri Lanka (many of them are not genuine tourists but who cross the borders from Tamil Nadu (TN) to seek Kallathoni work( working illegally). Make obtaining visa difficult and hard and follow the Indian immigration agonizing practice in granting Visa to Sri Lankan even to the pilgrims who go on pilgrimage); (adding insult to injury, India has allowed visa over the counter to majority countries excepting a few countries including Sri Lanka since this letter was written) Stop import of Maruti cars and instead encourage Japanese small cars by reducing import duty; Ask the Centre Government to take action against Tamil Nadu who harass and assault Buddhist pilgrims including Buddhist priests and Catholic pilgrims who visit Chenai; Lastly all steps should be taken by the GoSL to stop India taking over our economy gradually. The above letter which was published in Lankaweb on 23 March 2013 stands currency even today. For the third time, India has proved to us that she is not a friend of Sri Lanka as we think but a born enemy by agreeing to support the US sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming UNHRC Sessions. It’s high time the present Government treated her as our number one enemy in the neighbourhood (Sri Lanka News Online : 31 March 2014).

PRESIDENT TELLS AFP ON UNHRC RESOLUTION:'REJECTED' - Will press ahead with Sri Lanka's own reconciliation plan - Resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts - President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected Thursday's UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a probe into alleged human rights violations, telling AFP that he would instead press ahead with Sri Lanka's own reconciliation plan. "We reject this," President Rajapaksa 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. The President said he had drawn comfort from India's abstention in Geneva. "I think it is encouraging that India did not vote against us," he said. President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka's home-grown process had made sweeping recommendations to ensure ethnic unity and the government was implementing them. "We need time to implement the recommendations of the LLRC," the President said. "I want to repeat again that we are going ahead with this process." He said the US had mounted a major campaign to drum up support for the censure motion and he was at a disadvantage from the start. The EU votes as a block and the US had more than a dozen votes already in the bag while we started with none," he said. The resolution was passed with 23 voting in favour. The majority of the UNHRC members either voted against or abstained. Of the 47 member states, 12 voted against the resolution and another 12 countries abstained. Commenting on the voting pattern, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said the outcome of the US sponsored resolution reflects that more countries are against the U S at the UNHRC. In 2013, as many as 25 member states voted in favour of the resolution, thus obtaining an absolute majority. However, this time the US and other sponsors could not muster 50 % support (Daily News : 30 March 2014).

A bigger plan by the LTTE nipped in the bud - Courtesy The Daily Mirror (Saturday, 29 March 2014 00:49) - Hectic events over the past few weeks in Sri Lanka have driven home three salient truths on the security front relating to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation. The first is that Tiger or pro-Tiger elements in the Tamil Diaspora will persist with efforts to resurrect the LTTE and disrupt life in Sri Lanka. The second is that the Sri Lankan state will effectively respond to such a challenge regardless of international implications. The third is that the strongly entrenched security apparatus in the country is capable of cracking down hard on any such perceived LTTE revival attempt and crushing it.  Last week saw this column focusing on the shooting incident in the Tharmapuram area of Kilinochchi district and subsequent events including the manhunt for an LTTE operative known as “Gobi” and the security crackdown on suspected attempts to revive the LTTE. What the country at large seems to have failed to comprehend is the seriousness of “what might have been” had not the security authorities countered the challenge posed.  “The defence establishment has been lulled into a sense of false complacency due to the past years of LTTE inactivity in Colombo and the suburbs after the military debacle at Mullivaaikkaal in May 2009. Security measures in Colombo have been progressively relaxed. This has created a situation where it may be possible to mount an “operation” in Colombo utilising the element of surprise.” (LankaWeb ; 30 March 2014).

US sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC - by Asoka Weerasinghe,. Canada - Hon. John Baird, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs Deepak Obhrai, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich, MP, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hon. Jason Kenney, MP, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Multiculture - Dear John, Deepak, Lynne & Jason: Re: US sponsored Resolution againt Sri Lanka at the UNHRC; So with the US sponsored UNHCR vote against Sri Lanka, 23 countries in favour, 12 against and 12 abstentions, Canada’s intentions to have it go through with more countries voting for it, pooouf! It went up in smoke. There seem to be saner people in other countries, who are not vindictive and not depended on separatist Tamil-refugee votes and who really believe in human rights, not like those in the West, and that includes Canada. If Canada had believed in human rights in Sri Lanka, Canada would have acknowledged the classic text book example of the Sri Lankan Government and her armed forces giving back the most treasured human right of any civilized country, the right-to-life, to its 21 million peoples which had been hijacked for 27 bloody years by the Tamil Tigers. We haven’t as yet acknowledged this fundamental and honourable human rights act. And why not Canada? Are we to believe that Canada couldn’t care two front teeth of a dead beaver about Sri Lanka’s peoples and their human rights? If Canada understands and believes in human rights, then Canada would have acknowledged the classic text book example performed by the Sri Lankan government of liberating 295,873 Tamils on 19 May 2009, from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers who used them as a human shield for 30 months. My Canadian government up to now has not acknowledged this amazing humanitarian act of human rights by the Sri Lankan government. And why not Canada? (LankaWeb ; 30 March 2014).

This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help, says President of Sri Lanka

UNHRC resolution against SL does not shut the door on domestic inquiry - US - ….. but justice and accountability cannot wait - By Zacki Jabbar - The US says that the UNHRC resolution calling for an international war crimes probe into the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka which was adopted in Geneva last week did not shut the door on the Rajapaksa government conducting a credible and independent domestic inquiry.  Michele J Sison, the US Ambassdor in Colombo, told a round table with a group of journalists at the American Center on Friday, that they had to move a third successive UNHRC resolution against the Sri Lankan government since it had failed ,despite repeated requests by the global community, to probe the allegations of serious human rights violations against its security forces as well as the LTTE during the last stages of the war which ended in May 2009 or in the alternative to extend it to the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).  However that did not mean the resolution which was adopted by a margin of 23 to 12 with 12 abstensions had shut the door on a Sri Lankan inquiry being conducted according to universally established legal procedures which all UN members were signatories to, she noted.  "In this regard the Rule of Law needs to be strengthened, impunity ended and basic legislation such as the Victim and Witness Protection and Right to Information bills, both called for by the LLRC, be enacted. We hope the offer of technical assistance made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would also be made use of."  Asked,if the third US sponsored UNHRC resolution was not too harsh considering the number that voted against and also abstained, Sison replied that the international community had sent out a clear message that "the time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka is now and justice and accountability cannot wait."  The Ambassador said that contrary to criticism leveled against her country, the UNHRC resolution was for the benefit of Sri Lanka. "It was undertaken in support of the Sri Lankan people in recognition of the resilience they have shown after years of war and their yearning for democracy and prosperity. The text was discussed at length with UNHRC member and observer states as well as with other stakeholders." For generations Sri Lankans have known too much violence. They deserve better and should be able to live in dignity in a prosperous, united and peaceful country. That was the aim of this latest resolution and will be the goal of U.S. policy moving forward, she emphasized. The US was ready to assist and looked forward to continuing its engagement with the Rajapaksa government and also strengthening the bonds of friendship with its people (Island : 29 March 2014).

US disappointed over India’s decision

US disappointed over India’s decision - The United States on Friday expressed disappointment over India abstaining from US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.   "It is disappointing to us that India abstained from voting on this resolution when they voted yes for the last two years," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.  "We have made our disappointment known to Indian officials. Beyond that, I'd refer you to them in terms of how they voted," Harf said (Daily Mirror : 29 March 2014).

Cooperate with resolution-US to SL - US Ambassador Michele J. Sison on Friday urged Sri Lanka to cooperate with the resolution and the plan laid out for a comprehensive international investigation adopted at the UNHRC on Thursday.  She told a group of media personnel at the American Center that the US encourages Sri Lanka to continue to cooperate with the resolution and to welcome the special-procedures-mandate-holders, who have requested to visit the island.  “The two pending requests by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and Special Procedures Mandate Holders for the right of minorities should be prioritized,” she added. Ambassador Sison also dismissed allegations that the US-backed resolution was ‘against’ Sri Lanka and assured it was undertaken in recognition of the resilience shown by Sri Lankans following years of conflict and their yearning for democracy and prosperity. She said the adoption of the US-backed resolution titled, “Promoting Reconciliation, accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”, at the UNHRC on Thursday sends out a clear message to the Sri Lankan Government to take meaningful and concrete steps on reconciliation and accountability.  “It calls upon the SL Government to fulfill its stated obligations to its own people. There are two baskets of issues covered in the resolution; one is the request for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake a comprehensive and independent investigation into the alleged human rights violations committed by both parties during the conflict. The other portion is with regard to the concerns on the situation in Sri Lanka here and now,” the Ambassador said.  She noted specific allegations with reference to the ongoing situation in Sri Lanka and added that the US is deeply concerned about continued attacks, intimidations and detentions of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, attacks on religious minorities and religious places of worship as well as the weakening of the rule of law and increasing impunity for illegal actions.  “Violent rhetoric and the encouragement of violent actions only serve to create further disharmony, and hinder reconciliation. We continue to call for an end to such acts of intimidation and for all those detained to be provided due process and granted immediate access to legal counsel,” the Ambassador said. “We have been vocal in our support of the LLRC report and its recommendations. Moreover, all three resolutions have acknowledged progress made by Sri Lanka since 2009 in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, and resettling the majority of internally displaced persons,” she added. She highlighted the HRC25/L1/Rev.1 resolution referring to the time period covered by the LLRC for the proposed independent, international investigation on alleged human rights and humanitarian violations in Sri Lanka by both parties.  “The resolution text encourages and does not close the door in any way on domestic mechanism since it even calls for the implementation of LLRC recommendations that have not yet been completed including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extra judicial killings, demilitarisation of Northern Sri Lanka, evaluation of detention policies, devolution of power in the north of Sri Lanka, evaluating detention policies and the devolution of power. But it should be noted that not enough has been done to move forward on these recommendations,” she said.  Ambassador Sision also stressed on the importance of enacting the Victim and Witness Protection and Right to Information bills, both called for by the LLRC (Daily Mirror ; 28 March 2014).

Mexico reneges on promise; three Asian countries switch sides - US-sponsored UNHRC against Sri Lanka - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Much to the surprise of the Sri Lankan delegation at the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Mexico, voted for Thursday’s US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in spite of its promise to skip the vote in return for Sri Lanka’s support to get elected to the rights body.  Mexico was among the 14 countries elected through secret ballot on November 12, 2013 to serve on the UNHRC for a period of three years beginning on 01 January 2014. Others were Algeria, China, Cuba, France, the Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Vietnam, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Geneva based diplomatic sources told The Island that Mexico had promised Sri Lanka that it would dissuade the US from moving a resolution at the UNHRC and in case the Obama administration went ahead with its move, it would abstain.  Asked whether the Sri Lankan government had raised the issue with Mexico, authoritative sources revealed that Mexico justified its action on the basis its representatives tried to soften the language of the resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.’ Sources said that the Mexican claim was nothing but laughable when the resolution meant to empower the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to investigate alleged wartime atrocities during the last phase of the war.  The resolution received the backing of 22 countries. Being a member of the UNHRC comprising 47 countries, the US was also able to vote for its own resolution. Twelve countries voted against while 12 abstained.The first US resolution was endorsed in 2012 with 24 countries voting for and 15 against while eight countries abstained. In the following year, 25 countries backed the second US resolution while 13 countries opposed, eight abstained and one didn’t even turn up (Gabon).  Sources said that the situation in Geneva would have been much better this year if Kuwait, the Philippines and Indonesia remained on Sri Lanka’s side. All three had abstained due to heavy US pressure, sources said, adding that the Philippines couldn’t have disappointed the US particularly in view of President Barack Obama’s impending visit to Manila. Obama is scheduled to visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in April this year (Island ; 28 March 2014).

Tamil Nadu parties slam Manmohan govt for not backing anti-Lanka resolution in Geneva

Tamil Nadu parties slam Manmohan govt for not backing anti-Lanka resolution in Geneva - Tamil Nadu parties across the political spectrum today slammed India’s abstention from voting on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Thursday.  While most of them including DMK have welcomed a majority of countries adopting the resolution, they have been critical of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s stand in not voting in its favour.  On Thursday, India had abstained from voting in the US-sponsored resolution at UNHRC, saying it imposes an "intrusive approach" of international investigative mechanism which was counter-productive, apart from being "inconsistent and impractical".  The country had, however, voted against Sri Lanka, charged with alleged war crimes during the peak of hostilities in 2009, in the previous years amid clamour for its support by Tamil Nadu political parties, including former UPA constituent DMK and ruling AIADMK.  Even Congress veteran and Union Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram felt that India should have supported it. Expressing his ‘personal opinion’, Chidambaram said India should have voted in favour of the resolution, irrespective of whether it was strong or not, since 23 countries had supported the US-backed initiative.  However, the Congress Party downplayed Chidambaram’s remarks. "He is certainly entitled to that view and we understand that he is from Tamil Nadu. Equally, the Congress, on a national perspective, is entitled to agree to disagree with it", party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.  DMK chief Muthuvel Karunanidhi flayed India’s stand, saying its ‘inhumane’ decision has left the Tamils, both at home and abroad, disappointed. Referring to India’s explanation that the resolution at the UNHRC imposed an "intrusive approach" besides undermining Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, he said this was "strongly condemnable" and that even Congressmen in Tamil Nadu will not accept this. If national sovereignty was an issue, Karunanidhi asked: How could first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ‘intervene’ in the racism issue in South Africa, or how could his daughter Indira Gandhi help Bangladeshi leader Mujibur Rehman in that country’s liberation?  He recalled he had demanded that India move a separate resolution seeking credible international probe into alleged human rights violations during the peak of conflict in 2009. The DMK Chief claimed credit for India’s support to a similar resolution in 2012, when his party was part of the ruling UPA dispensation, but it had walked out of the government last year after "India in association with Sri Lanka watered down" the resolution last year, besides engaging in ‘anti-Tamil’ activities.  With 23 countries, including US, which had no "direct relation" with Tamils in the island nation, passing the resolution, India’s abstention was a "matter of shame" and it amounted to killing one’s own child, Karunanidhi charged.  Veteran CPI (M) leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP, TK Rangarajan, questioned the very authority of the Manmohan Singh government to take such a policy decision since it was a ‘minority’ one and elections were on.  "My opinion is that the government cannot take any decision on international matters. It should have convened an all-party meeting since any new government may come to power after elections. What the Congress (government) did is against people," he said.  MDMK founder Vaiko also slammed the government, saying it had committed an "unpardonable crime" by not voting in favour of the US-backed resolution.  CPI leader D Raja had described New Delhi’s action as "another betrayal" by the Congress-led UPA government.  Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), an ally of DMK, welcomed UNHRC adopting the resolution and demanded dismissal of Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.  India’s abstention showed it did not respect people’s sentiments, VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan said.  Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) leader K Veeramani also criticised India for not voting in support of the resolution.  Pro-Tamil ‘May 17 Movement’ claimed India’s abstention "clearly shows that it is in favour of Sri lankan government." Its founder Tirumurugan Gandhi said India does not want any pressure on Colombo and claimed New Delhi’s south Asia policy "is failing." (Island ; 28 March 2014).

We were never against SL: India - Indian envoy Dilip Sinha said India does not support the operative para 10 OF the resolution which asks for an international inquiry but encourages Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry's report and findings.  India yesterday abstained from the vote at the United Nations session in Geneva which calls for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in the final stage of the island's civil war which ended in 2009.  Mr Sinha speaks to NDTV after the vote in Geneva (Daily Mirror : 28 March 2014).

A dangerous precedent - India has, at long last, seen through the wiles of its newfound western friends. In what has been described as a surprise move, it refrained from backing the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC on Thursday. The reason it has given for its decision is of interest: "An external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes is not a constructive approach. In our view, adopting an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty and institutions is counterproductive. Hence we have in this instance abstained on the resolution." If so, India should have voted against that resolution.  This kind of intrusive approach poses a threat not only to Sri Lanka but also to all other nations which refuse to be puppets of the West. India is not free from ethno-religious conflicts and it also runs the risk of being forced to subjugate its national sovereignty to the diktats of the West issued through the UNHRC. It may be powerful and influential internationally to resist such interference, but the fact remains that US and its allies have been able to create a dangerous precedent to advance their agenda because India compromised its principles and voted for country specific resolutions against Sri Lanka twice in 2012 and 2013.  There’s none so blind as the UNHRC which refuses to see. But for Sri Lanka’s successful war against terror, the people of the North would not have been able to elect a provincial administration with a retired Supreme Court judge at the helm to look after their interests; they would still have been under the jackboot of a trigger-happy school dropout thirsting for human blood; child abductions and the violent suppression of dissent would have continued and only those vociferous supporters of the UNHRC resolution here would have benefited because they were in the LTTE’s good books.  The situation in Sri Lanka needs to be assessed realistically. The defeat of terrorism has benefited all communities. Tamils can move about freely with their children attending school without fear of being abducted and turned into cannon fodder; they can exercise their franchise and have themselves heard at all levels of government so much so that even those political leaders who grovelled before Prabhakaran and recognized him as the sole representative of Tamils are today campaigning for democracy. Muslims can pray at mosques without being massacred in their hundreds and cultivate their lands. Ethnic cleansing is a thing of the past. The Sinhalese can travel in buses and trains without being blown to bits and live in far-flung villages as the LTTE is not there to butcher them at night. The North and the East have seen an unprecedented development drive (Island Editorial : 28 March 2014).

UNHRC resolution: US musters 23 votes, Sri Lanka 12: India abstains

Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination cannot be brushed aside - The Centre on Thursday asserted in the Supreme Court that the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991 was a very serious and heinous crime which could not be forgotten so easily or brushed aside.  A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana reserved its verdict on a writ petition filed by the Centre, challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release the seven convicts in the case.  On Wednesday, senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, defended the State’s decision taken on February 19 and said the situation had now changed as there was no LTTE presence and no threat to the law and order if the seven accused were released.  Refuting this stand, Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati, citing the 1999 judgment in the case, said Murugan and two others were Sri Lankan nationals, who had carried out this heinous crime. “People may forget what happened in 1991 but we can’t. What will happen to the families of the victims if they are to be released?” (Daily Mirror : 28 March 2014).

UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka: Open letter to UNSG Ban Ki-moon - by Dr Surath Wickramasinghe,President, CHAMBER OF CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, SRI LANKA - The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), Sri Lanka, is the apex body of the Construction Industry comprising of Allied Institutes / Associations, National Contractors Association, Sri Lanka, Allied State Agencies, and the Manufacturers and Suppliers of Building Materials. At it’s Council Meeting held recently, it noted that the Report prepared by Sri Lanka’s LLRC was undertaken to serve as the beacon for reconciliation between communities in an inclusive manner. It’s multitude of recommendations have already been examined for implementation, while in parallel, development is being undertaken to retrieve 30 years of lost opportunity. Consequently, the Council unanimously resolved to support the Sri Lanka Government in its efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the entire Country and its people of all ages, income groups, races and religions.  Sri Lanka has gone through a brutal civil conflict for almost 30 years, resulting in several thousands of innocent Sri Lankan lives being lost. We in Sri Lanka and the Construction Industry are in many ways supporting the Government to accelerate the development of the Country’s post conflict programmes to enable all Sri Lankans to lead a quality life in a peaceful society. Against this backdrop, it is a fact that Sri Lanka is transiting from the war ravaged nation. We are now on the threshold, of a prosperous future for all Sri Lankan’s with Social Infrastructure taking place, together with progress in many sectors such as Urban Development, Tourism, Agriculture and Industry to name a few, happening rapidly with Local and Foreign Investment. In these circumstances, the Council of the CCI firmly believes that all issues encompassed within a genuine process of reconciliation require time and space. The key is to affirm the intent to undertake the process and not to derail its overall mission of nation building. Accordingly, external interventions through UN resolutions can undermine rather than complement Government’s thrust to lock into a timeframe of change for the betterment of all peoples of Sri Lanka.The Council of CCI is of the view that those nations sponsoring the Resolution at the UNHRC will take cognition of the ground reality and endeavour to make Sri Lanka a better and safer place for its citizens (Island ; 28 March 2014).

Geneva shouts: ‘Human Rights – We are Right’ -  It was jolly time in Geneva, The voting at the UNHRC went the way Navi Pillay and the "international community" had wanted, though not exactly how they planned it. There was a problem with the numbers, as those who abstained – were far too much for the movers to feel very happy. Yet it was time to enjoy beating Sri Lanka.  Navi Pillay was the toast of the evening. Diplomats, State officials from the West, and Civil Society swarms who were planning the moves against Sri Lanka were dancing to a fast American beat. It was the Obama/Cameron mood at play. The beat of the western drums was often drowned by shouts of "Navi, Navi – Boom Boom". In the midst of the Navi Boom echoes, there were shouts of "Human Rights – We Are Right", "We are Right – Always Right".  After some time the western beat gave way to that of dholak drums from North India, as Indian diplomats took to the floor with shouts of "Navi Pillay - Jai, Manmohan – Jai" from some and "Sri Lanka – Hai, Hai" from others. Some of the diplomats and civil society catchers who had gone beyond the tippling stage with the free flow of liquor, came out with their inner political feelings in the current election mood in India, with some shouting "Modi ki Jai" and others replying louder with "Rahul ki Jai".  As the mood of celebration caught on, with no abstentions at the bar, there were some signs of the role that Sri Lankan Tamils were playing in the Indian polls campaign getting hotter as the days go by. It did not take long for the rhythms of the Navi Pillay Night celebrations to give way from the dholak to the Nagasalam Beat from Tamil Nadu. Nagasalam percussionists with Mridangans and Ghatams, and flutists too, were providing the new rhythms as some raised shouts of "Human Rights Nehi – Tamil Nadu Yehi". As the beat got faster others began shouting "Tamil Eelam Vendam - Jayalalitha Vendum" (No to Tamil Eelam – Yes to Jayalalitha"). (Island ; 28 March 2014).

UNHRC resolution: US musters 23 votes, Sri Lanka 12: India abstains - India says ‘intrusive approach’ counterproductive apart from being ‘inconsistent and impractical’ -  by Shamindra Ferdinando  - The government of India withdrew its support for US-led resolution which was adopted yesterday at the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, with 23 countries voting for and 12 against. Twelve countries abstained.  Earlier a voting was taken whether the voting should go ahead as scheduled. Sixteen voted in favour of and 25 voted against a postponement. Six countries abstained. The move to put off the vote was made by countries backing Sri Lanka.  India’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Dilip Sinha announced India’s decision to abstain from voting on the basis that an external investigation mechanism would hinder the efforts of Sri Lanka to promote reconciliation rather than contributing constructively. Sinha asserted that such a move would complicate the prevalent situation in Sri Lanka.  Dilip Sinha said this resolution titled promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ at the UNHRC imposes an "intrusive approach" of international investigative mechanism which was counterproductive apart from being "inconsistent and impractical".  Sinha noted that unlike the resolutions in 2009, 2012 and 2013, this resolution asked the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to "investigate, assess and monitor" the human rights situation in Sri Lanka which was an "intrusive" approach that undermines national sovereignty.  "It has been India’s firm belief that adopting an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty and institutions is counterproductive. Any significant departure from the core principle of constructive international dialogue and cooperation has the potential to undermine efforts of Human Rights Council for promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms," he said.  Moreover, any external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes for protection of human rights in a country, was not reflective of the constructive approach of dialogue and cooperation envisaged by earlier U.N. General Assembly resolutions, he added.  Japan, Indonesia and South Africa too, abstained.  A senior government spokesman told The Island that the government really appreciated India’s decision as India was under tremendous pressure to vote for the resolution. India backed two previous US resolutions in 2012 and 2013.  Geneva based GoSL sources told The Island that the Indian move had caught the LTTE rump and the pro-Eelam Diaspora groups unawares though the US and the EU had been aware of its decision. Sources said that those Indian political parties wanting to push for an international war crimes tribunal too would have been surprised by the Indian move. Sources said that India had in fact agreed to throw its weight behind the US project aimed at launching an international war crimes investigation.  The LTTE brought pressure to bear on South Africa to vote for the resolution. Diplomatic sources said that South Africa asserted that such a move would be detrimental to its efforts to bring the government of Sri Lankan and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) back to the negotiating table (Island : 27 March 2014).

GoSL Statement in Geneva - The following is the statatement made by Ravinatha P. Aryasinha - Ambassador / Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka on behalf of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC: Anyone unaware of the ground situation in Sri Lanka walking into the Human Rights Council today could not be blamed for thinking that Sri Lanka is the most troubled place on this planet. However, as you are aware, Sri Lanka is clearly not an urgent situation that warrants the Council’s continued attention. Draft resolution HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 is the third consecutive resolution presented by the US against Sri Lanka in this Council in the past three years. It is presented without the consent of Sri Lanka as the country concerned. It is presented in spite of Sri Lanka’s continuous engagement with the UN and the Council as acknowledged by countries across regions. It is presented in spite of continued and tangible progress demonstrated by Sri Lanka on the ground in addressing issues related to the reconciliation process including accountability, within the framework of Sri Lanka’s domestic reconciliation process.  Five years since the end of terrorism and the conclusion of the conflict however, unprecedented attention is being paid to Sri Lanka within this Council and on its sidelines. Many countries have questioned and continue to question the real motives and imperatives behind what is clearly politicised action against Sri Lanka in the Council.  It is an established principle of International Law that parties seeking remedy for a perceived grievance must exhaust all possible avenues within the domestic jurisdiction, prior to seeking redress in the international arena. Therefore, the State where the alleged violation occurred should have an opportunity to redress it by its own means, and exhaust the framework of its domestic system, before recourse to an international mechanism. It is ironic that with extensive domestic mechanisms in place, a resolution has been brought before the Council. This amounts to an infringement of state sovereignty and pre-judgment of the outcome of domestic processes (Island : 27 March 2014).

India had cheated SL Tamils: TNA

India had cheated SL Tamils: TNA - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) opposed India for its decision to abstain from the US sponsored resolution in UNHRC which was passed today.  TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told foreign media that India had cheated the Sri Lankan Tamils by the stance it had taken with regard to the resolution.  However TNA Parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan commenting on the matter told Daily Mirror that India must have had some reasons to abstain from voting for the resolution.  “We will come to know the reasons behind India’s stance in due course and we don’t want to comment on these now,” he added.  However Mr. Sampanthan welcomed the resolution and said his party hopes that the Sri Lankan Government would cooperate with the UNHRC in implementing the resolution. He added that TNA is ready to play a role in this process together with the Sri Lankan Government.  “This resolution is a victory for all Sri Lankans who struggle for truth, justice and reconciliation,” he further said (Daily Mirror : 27 March 2014).

Geneva vote paves way for int’l probe -US Secy of State - Soon after a US led resolution calling for the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner to initiate an investigation into the allegations of serious human rights abuses and related crimes as well as monitoring of post-war situation in Sri Lanka was adopted at the 25th session of the UNHRC, US Secretary of State, John Kerry said the Obama administration was committed to help Sri Lankans realize a future in which all could share the country’s success.  The following is the full text of the statement: "Today’s vote in the UN Human Rights Council sends a clear message: the time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait.  This resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to support the Government of Sri Lanka as it pursues reconciliation and respect for human rights and democratic governance. That’s why the resolution requests that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights continues monitoring the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. That’s why it calls on the Office to conduct an investigation into allegations of serious human rights abuses and related crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war. And that’s why the United States will continue speak out in defense of the fundamental freedoms that all Sri Lankans should enjoy.  We are deeply concerned by recent actions against some of Sri Lanka’s citizens, including detentions and harassment of civil society activists. Further reprisals against these brave defenders of human rights and the dignity of all Sri Lankan citizens would elicit grave concern from the international community.  The Sri Lankan people are resilient. They have demonstrated grit and determination through years of war. Now, they are demanding democracy and prosperity in years of peace. They deserve that chance.  The United States stands with all the people of Sri Lanka. We are committed to helping them realize a future in which all Sri Lankans can share in their country’s success. " (Island ; 27 March 2014).

OHCHR under the thumb of Western powers-GoSL - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right (OHCHR) was under the thumb of Western powers due to the UN body receiving heavy funding from US and its allies and, therefore, they had exerted undue influence on the organisation, a senior GoSL official alleged yesterday.  Quoting latest available statistics, the official pointed out that the OHCHR received only one third of its funding requirement from the UN regular budget approved by the UNGA every two years.  Responding to a query, the official explained that as the donors had a right to allocate funds for specific projects, the OHCHR would be in dire straits in case major donors withheld funding. In spite of the OHCHR urging major donors to desist from earmarking funds for specific projects, hence give the organisation the opportunity to make allocations on its own.  UK based sources pointed out that of the USD 111 mn in voluntary contributions made to OHCHR in 2012 by 75 donors, about 66 per cent was made by eight donors, namely US (11.9%), Netherlands (11%), Sweden (10.7%), Norway (11.1%), EU (6.4%), Germany (6%), UK (5.6%) and Canada (4.4%). France, Ireland and Spain too, make substantial contributions.  An External Affairs Ministry official told The Island that the OHCHR had been overwhelmed by the US-EU combine which was pursuing a politically motivated campaign meant to undermine the government. The official alleged that undue pressure had been brought to bear on the OHCHR by those wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal. The official pointed out the circumstances under which the US cut off funds to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in October 2011 after the Palestinian Authority was accepted into the UN agency as a full member in defiance of American, Israeli as well as European pressure to keep the Palestinians out.  The overwhelming backing for the Palestinians’ bid to join the UNESCO was a huge boost for their campaign to gain international recognition as an independent state, and a blow to Israel and the US, who opposed the move.  Members voted by 107 votes to 14 to accept Palestine as a full member state to loud cheers from delegates in Paris. Fifty-two countries, including the UK, abstained (Island : 27 March 2014).

Int’l community shouldn’t be part of the problem-Pakistan UNHRC 2014: - The international community should act as a facilitator for peace and stability and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram said on Wednesday (March 26). Ambassador Akram said: "There is a dire need to comprehend and cooperatively address the enormous challenges being faced by Sri Lanka rather than penalising the country for rooting out terrorism from its soil."  The Pakistani envoy was commenting on OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) report on Sri Lanka. The following is the Pakistani envoy’s statement to the UNHRC: "My delegation believes in a culture of engagement for ensuring the promotion and protection of human rights. We believe that country-specific initiatives are confrontational and counter-productive and seriously undermine the spirit of cooperation and coordination on important human rights issues.  We believe that the High Commissioner’s Report contained in document A/HRC/25/23 is not balanced and some of the elements including recommendation to establish an international inquiry mechanism exceed the mandate granted by HRC resolution 22/1. We are also disappointed over the discriminatory approach followed by the OHCHR with regard to placement of Sri Lanka’s comments in response to the report on the extranet.  Sri Lanka is a country with excellent democratic credentials. It has successfully overcome 30 years of brutal terrorism by the LTTE with external support. Now is the time for international community to help the people of Sri Lanka to heal their wounds and not penalize them for defeating the LTTE at the behest of people who still continue to align themselves with these terrorist forces.  There is also a need to acknowledge the commitment and cooperation, extended by the government of Sri Lanka to the entire human rights machinery (Island : 27 March 2014).

Aryasinha alleges resolution inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests - Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha alleged that a key imperative driving the US resolution was not genuine concern for the welfare of the Sri Lankan people but electoral compulsions of some States at the behest of certain extreme elements with links to the LTTE. Aryasinha said: "Such biases and extreme ideologies ignore the ground realities, the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan people, and trivialize the price paid by all Sri Lankans to defeat a 30-year brutal terrorist conflict and consolidate peace.  "Before this Council takes a decision on the draft resolution, I wish to appeal to the conscience of the member States. Sri Lanka has embarked upon a painstaking process of reconciliation and nation building, five years since the end of the brutal conflict lasting almost three decades, waged by the LTTE.  "Irrespective of the outcome of today’s decision , I wish to categorically state that the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka, and indeed all peace loving people in my country will never countenance any return of armed conflict or terrorism." (Island ; 27 March 2014).

SL rejects Pillay’s report as erroneous and biased - The government yesterday rejected the conclusions and recommendations of the UNHRC High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, pointing out that they were not placed within the ambit of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), reflected bias and were tantamount to an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a soverign state.  Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinath Ariyasinha addressing the 25th Regular Session of the UNHRC said: "It is in the light of this misplaced attitude, that we are neither able to comprehend nor agree to action in this Council, which fails to acknowledge, let alone appreciate, the consolidation of peace and the very tangible progress Sri Lanka has made in reconciliation. Regrettably, instead, the Council continues to pay disproportionate attention to Sri Lanka, spearheaded by political motivations."  Ariyasinha pointed out that in addition to the clear lack of mandate and pre-conceived nature of its recommendations, he was surprised by the numerous errors and misperceptions contained in the draft report on Sri Lanka, despite the High Commissioner and her team having undertaken a comprehensive and week-long visit to Sri Lanka where they were provided with unfettered access to study first hand the situation on the ground. Many such instances of errors and misperceptions are referred to in detail in Sri Lanka’s "Comments" on the Report. "We have drawn attention to the fact that the High Commissioner has raised concerns regarding a range of issues based on information of questionable veracity and conclusions arrived at in a selective and arbitrary manner.We have addressed some of the errors and misperceptions contained in the Report, and we have requested the OHCHR to correct such distortion of facts."  Similarly, the misplaced attention paid to the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel (IRP) report on Sri Lanka in the High Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Council in the current session, whose conclusions are also drawn from the discredited PoE report, and therefore not based on credible sources of information, can be construed as yet another attempt to legitimise the IRP and PoE reports despite clear lack of mandate to do so, he noted. "We pointed to this attempt at politicisation of the situation of Sri Lanka through the IRP report in our statement at the Interactive Debate with the High Commissioner under Agenda Item 2 of this session." (Island ; 26 March 2014).

Canadian convicted in US for abetting LTTE - A Canadian Tamil Tiger operative extradited to the United States to face charges of supporting the banned LTTE has been sentenced to two years in prison by a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the National Post reported.  Piratheepan Nadarajah, 37, from Brampton, Ontario has pleaded guilty in October 2013 at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn in New York after admitting to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support including sophisticated military technology to a foreign terrorist organization.  Nadarajah and another suspect Suresh Sriskandarajah, alleged operatives of the LTTE, were extradited from Canada and arraigned on December 27, 2012 in the United State federal court in Brooklyn, New York.  He has asked the judge to sentence him for 16 months, the time he already served behind bars in Canada and the U.S., but the judge has sentenced him to 2 years.  He is likely to be deported to Canada after he served the sentence, the National Post said.  Nadarajah was charged with conspiring and attempting to acquire US$1 million worth of anti-aircraft missiles, missile launchers, and other military equipment and conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the LTTE.  According to a FBI statement Nadarajah and several co-conspirators have negotiated with an undercover FBI agent to purchase and export US$1 million worth of high-powered weapons and military equipment for the LTTE, including 20 SA-18 heat-seeking, surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missiles; 10 missile launchers; and 500 AK-47s.  Nadarajah and his associates have attempted to acquire the weapons at the direction of senior LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka, including Pottu Amman, and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The anti-aircraft weapons were to be used by the LTTE to shoot down Kfir aircraft used by the Sri Lankan military.  He was arrested in Toronto following a joint RCMP-FBI investigation called Project O-Needle in 2006. He fought extradition in Canada, in December 2012 lost the battle when the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the orders to extradite Nadarajah to the U.S. to face charges against him.  Nadarajah is the sixth Canadian to be imprisoned as a result of the joint RCMP-FBI investigation into the North American support network that financed and supplied the Tamil Tigers (Island : 26 March 2014).

It’s better to get rid of this two headed serpent than keep him inside the Government

Sri Lanka’s pitiable failure on Geneva front War Crimes charge: Urgent need for reappraisal of GoSL's response - By Shamindra Ferdinando - US Statement Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley on March 10, 2011 declared that the Defence Department treatment of former intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning was ‘ridiculous, counter-productive and stupid.’  Crowley was speaking in the wake of the international media quoting Manning’s lawyer, Lt. Colonel David Coombs as having said that his client had been forced to sit naked in his cell for seven hours and then forced to stand naked at attention at the front of his cell for about ten minutes.  Manning, accused of releasing classified information to Wiki Leaks was held in detention at Quantico military base outside Washington DC.  The US military, while confirming the claim made by Lt. Colonel Coombs, emphasized that the practice was in line with military policy.  The US State Department swiftly forced Crowley to quit. At the behest of his former superiors, Crowley issued a brief statement taking full responsibility for his controversial statement. "Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and the spokesman for the Department of State."  No country dared to issue a statement condemning the US action. Those who preach of the importance of freedom of speech remained silent.  It wasn’t an isolated case.  In June, 2010, Gen. Stanley McCrystal, the then Commander of all US and NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan was compelled to end his 34-year-military career following his criticism of the Obama administration. The US regime reacted angrily to comments the war veteran and some of his aides had made to Rolling Stone magazine.  With the vote on the third US resolution moved against Sri Lanka taking place tomorrow (March 27) at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), it would be pertinent to examine the US position vis a vis post-war Sri Lanka. The US resolution was meant to humiliate Sri Lanka over accountability issues and a range of other issues, including the suppression of free speech (Island ; 25 March 2014).

‘War crimes’ in Sri Lanka: - UK silent on India’s accountability- GoSL likely to refer to India’s ‘terrorism project’ during Geneva session - by Shamindra Ferdinando- The British government has side-stepped the contentious issue of India creating terrorism in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s as Western powers and India are finalising an anti-Sri Lankan resolution.  The Island raised the issue with the British High Commission in Colombo as well as the Foreign Office in London.In an opinion column published in The Hindu on March 17, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Seeking the truth and justice helps to put countries on the right track toward reconciliation. Sierra Leone is a good example. Special Court convictions drew a definitive line under a tumultuous period of Sierra Leone’s history and addressed impunity in response to victims’ needs to promote healing."  Asked what would be Hague’s position with regard to India’s culpability in causing terrorism in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said yesterday that the text of the resolution was still under discussion in Geneva. The resolution focused on violations by both sides of Sri Lanka’s conflict, namely the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, according to the Foreign Office.  The British Foreign Office didn’t make any reference to the government of India. Responding to a query regarding British position on an international mechanism to investigate atrocities, including those committed by the Indian Army during its deployment here (July 1987 to March 1990), the Foreign Office said: "Our Prime Minister, David Cameron said during his visit to Sri Lanka in November last year, we would support a call for an independent international investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law by both sides of Sri Lanka’s war (the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka), in the absence of a credible, transparent and independent domestic process. The draft resolution is still under discussion."   Geneva based sources told The Island that the US and its allies had agreed that the proposed investigation should inquire into alleged serious violations and abuses if human rights and related crimes by the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). The LLRC investigated the conflict from February 2002 to May 2009.  Asked whether the UK had taken up Sri Lanka issues at the UNHRC before the end of the conflict in May 2009, the Foreign Office said: "Before 2009 the UK was heavily involved in supporting Sri Lanka’s efforts to find a peaceful solution. Sri Lanka is subject to UNHRC discussion due to the lack of progress on human rights concerns and no credible domestic process to investigation violations of international law by both sides (LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka) during the war. This is despite Sri Lanka promising, in a joint statement with the UN Secretary-General in 2009, to address accountability for alleged violations during the war." A senior GoSL official currently involved in Geneva deliberations told The Island that the latest resolution was meant to cause instability. Responding to a query, the official explained that in the wake of India throwing its full weight behind the anti-Sri Lanka move, the government would have to review its position in Geneva. The official acknowledged that Sri Lanka, too, remained silent on India’s culpability, though New Delhi voted twice in 2012 and 2013 for US resolutions. However, the government was seriously contemplating referring to India’s terror campaign in Sri Lanka during the current Geneva session (Island : 25 March 2014).

Northern CM’s circular curtails officials’ freedom of movement - Many an eyebrow has been raised over an attempt by Northern Chief Minister, C. V. Wigneswaran to restrict public servants’ freedom of movement through a special circular which, he has said, is in keeping with practices adopted in other provinces, various existing procedures and guidelines as well as expert advice received at a two-day seminar in late January this year.  Northern Chief Minister has introduced the new regulations with effect from February 15, 2014.  The circular prevents high ranking civil servants from leaving the Northern Province without his permission.  Chief Secretary of the Northern province, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh has moved the Supreme Court against the CM’s circular (Island : 25 March 2014).

Australian govt. tight-lipped on whether it will support international inquiry into SL - The Coalition government is continuing to sidestep whether it will support an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, despite Labor and the Greens now both backing it.  The US-backed resolution, to be debated by the United Nation's Human Rights Council this week, aims to enforce an international independent investigation into alleged war crimes, which could lead to the prosecution of current members of the Sri Lankan government.  Despite Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop attending the debate it is unknown whether the Australian government will back the resolution.  While Australia is not one of the 47 members of the council who vote, it is able to co-sponsor the resolution if it backs the inquiry.  Opposition spokeswoman for foreign affairs Tanya Plibersek called for Australia to support the investigation on Monday, saying we should support our ''usual allies'' and that the national mechanisms by the Sri Lankan government had been so far unsuccessful.  ''Our call for the Australian government is to support the draft resolution before the Human Rights Council is to reduce violations and abuses and puts us in company with all of our usual allies when it comes to foreign affairs decision making,'' Ms Plibersek said.  Under a Labor government in 2012 and 2013 the Australian government supported the Sri Lankan government to conduct their own internal investigations.  But Liberal Senator Michael Sukkar hinted that the Australian government may not support the external investigation, saying the government would rather work closely with the Sri Lankan government to improve accountability and progress on human rights.  ''It is this approach rather than one that seeks to isolate the Sri Lanka government that we consider will ultimately achieve human rights,'' he said.  Mr Sukkar said the government was yet to receive the final text on the resolution and would ''not be pushed into making a decision by the Labor or the Greens''. But time is running out. The council is set to meet on Thursday in Geneva.  In a letter to Minister Bishop, six eminent citizens including Chancellor of Southern Cross University, John Dowd, former foreign minister Gareth Evans, and former prime minister Malcolm Fraser have urged the government to support the investigation, saying the human rights situation on the island continues to deteriorate. ''A culture of impunity encourages commonplace torture, enforced disappearances and sexual violence,'' the letter wrote.  ''This resolution is of real relevance to all citizens of Sri Lanka. Any credible investigation into violations committed by both sides would provide all Sri Lankan communities the space and environment to come to terms with crimes committed in their respective names.  ''The Australian government must support this resolution, as without meaningful truth, justice and accountability for the alleged crimes committed during the war, there will be no genuine opportunity to set Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation and lasting peace,'' the report said.  Ms Plibersek strongly supported the contents of the letter, saying it was impartial and focused on the facts, acknowledging there were ''wrongs on both sides of the Sri Lankan conflict'' (Daily Mirror : 24 March 2014).

India for int’l probe into SL’s accountability issues - … but won’t allow its crimes here to be investigated - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The US and its allies have been able to secure India’s support for an anti-Sri Lankan resolution scheduled to be taken up at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this week, following an understanding that the proposed investigation would cover the eelam conflict only from Feb. 21, 2002 and May 19, 2009.   Geneva based sources told The Island that those pushing for an international war crimes probe had been compelled to give in to India’s demand that its crimes here should not be probed, to obtain its support.  The UNHRC comprising 47-members will take up the resolution on Thursday (March 27).  Sources said that throughout informal consultations in Geneva, India had emphasised that the proposed investigation shouldn’t go beyond the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Sources pointed out that India’s position was contrary to the stand taken up by Sri Lanka that in case the global community agreed on an inquiry it should cover the entirety of the war.  President Mahinda Rajapaksa has repeatedly stressed that it will be grossly unfair to investigate only a part of the conflict.  Government sources alleged that India’s move to block a comprehensive investigation was meant to prevent an investigation into India launching a terrorist war in Sri Lanka. India was desperate to thwart any investigation which would cause embarrassment to the government of India at a time it was seeking a bigger role in the UN, sources said, denying claims in some quarters that India had made an attempt to soften the language of paragraph 8 of the draft resolution, which referred to the need for an "independent and credible international investigation" and "investigate alleged violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes."  The US-UK-India combine has backed UN rights Chief Navi Pillay’s recommendations and conclusions regarding human rights violations and the need for an international inquiry mechanism in the absence of a credible local process.  India has endorsed the US call for monitoring human rights situation in Sri Lanka and assessing progress on relevant national processes, to undertake a comprehensive independent investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and and establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures. They also agreed to present an oral update to the UNHRC at its 27th session and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion on the current resolution at its 28th session.  India voted for two previous US led resolutions in 2012 and 2013 (Island : 24 March 2014).

Tamil-wing of Catholics aid and abet Tamil extremism – Part I - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - Of the many contradictions, misinterpretations, distortions and perversions in the political culture of the north the role of religion, in all its dimensions, is the least explored and understood. In contrast, Buddhism has been explored almost exhaustively in the south, mainly to demonize it as the force that exacerbated inter-ethnic relations..  One of the remarkable contradictions of Jaffna society, missed by sociologists and other social scientists, is that it is primarily a Hindu society dominated by the Christian – mainly Catholic – hierarchy. From S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, the Christian leader of Tamil separatism, to Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar, the English-educated Christian elite has dominated its political class.  Of the all the Western institutions it is the Catholic Church that loom large over the northern political landscape. To paraphrase Bishop S. Jebanesan, Catholicism that came with the Portuguese remained deep-rooted unlike the subsequent denominations which had a tenuous hold on Jaffna. (p.42 – The Bible Trembled, R.F. Young and S. Jebanesan). The Catholic Church became a stronghold of the Karaiyar caste (fisher caste) in the coastal belt. They also joined the Tigers in large numbers and were in the forefront of this movement.  The diocese of Mannar under Bishop Joseph stands out as a typical example where Catholicism and Tamil extremism intertwined to make mono-ethnic Tamil extremism an inextricable and indistinguishable part of the Catholic Church. After Biahop Deogupillai he became leading local symbol of the Tamil crusade to politicize the Catholic Church and turn it into a tool for the extremist separatist ideology of Velupillai Prabhakaran. For instance, his act of allowing one of his priests to hijack the Statue of Holy Mary at Madhu and run with it, nearly 20 km north of Mannar into Vellankulam, a territory held by Prabhakaran, was a political act designed to bless the cadres of Prabhakaran fighting with his back to the wall. It had nothing to do with saving the image of Holy Mary because the advancing forces were under strict orders not damage the Madhu Church. And they didn’t despite the LTTE forces using the Madhu grounds to fire at the Sri Lankan forces inching their way up the north-western shoreline (LankaWeb ; 24 March 2014).

Chief Secy.’s rights case:Leave to proceed granted - Alleged interference by NP CM - By Chitra Weerarathne - The Supreme Court yesterday said that the impugned document by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.?Wigneswaran, pertaining to standing administrative orders issued to the Chief secretary of the Province appeared to encroach on the rights of the appointing authority of the Chief Secretary, the President, the National Public Services commission and the Provincial Public Service Commission.  The Fundamental rights violation application filed by the Chief Secretary of the Northern province, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh, alleging administrative interference by Chief Minister Wigneswaran was supported before the Court yesterday.  The Chief?Minister is a retired Supreme Court judge.  The Supreme Court said that it was a basic principle of the rule of law that the exercise of powers, must not only be conditioned by provisions of the Constitution, but also be in accordance with the laws of the land.  The court said its duty was to ensure that the first respondent Wigneswaran complied with without violating the basics of the constitution. It was pertinent to know that Article 154 (B) (11) prescribed the duties of the Chief Minister of the Province. Anything outside was unconstitutional. Any abuse or misuse of power by fanciful methods must be controlled by judicial order of the Court.  The Court suspended the operation of the Administrative standing orders by the Chief Minister until final determination of the petition. The interim order is subject to conditions that the petitioner being an officer appointed by the President, under section 31 of the Provincial Councils Act of 1987, as amended, continues to be, under his directions, on transfers, leave and disciplinary control. Transfer, dismissal in national public service come under the purview of the National Public Services Commission, and subject to the control of the National PSC. In Provinces it belongs to the Provincial PSC.  The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Chief Secretary suspended the operation of Administrative standing orders by the Chief Minister.  Hearing was fixed for July 17.  The registrar was directed to communicate the order to the Chief Minister Northern Province first respondent, forthwith.  Gomin Dayasiri appeared for the petitioner.  Palitha Gamage appeared with S.L.A. Rasheed for the second respondent the governor of the NP, Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.  The Bench comprised the Chief Justie, Mohan Pieris, Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Sathya Hettige (Island : 24 March 2014).

The UNCHR has been hijacked by the Superpowers ! - By Garvin Karunaratne-Formerly of the Administrative Service of Sri lanka - It is sad that the UNHCR, an international institute which should look after Human Rights has today been hijacked by certain Imperialist Countries and is being used to punish sovereign countries that do not follow their dictates.  The UNHCR of today was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 charged with the task of upholding “the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights”.  One year after its institution the UNHCR adopted its “Institution Building Package”, where the UNHCR held as its aim, “to assess the human rights situation in all 193 UN member states” In addition there is a Complaints Procedure where individuals and organizations are entitled to bring complaints about human rights violations.  What we are seeing today is a situation where the UNHCR has failed miserably in its task of assessing the human rights situation in all UN countries and has allowed itself to be hijacked by mighty members like the USA to do their imperialist bidding of bringing charges against particular members, who fail to carry out their dictates.  It is up to the members of the UNHCR to stand up to be reasonable and to judge the complaint resolution moved by the USA ,the UK and certain EU countries, assess whether the accusations leveled against Sri Lanka are true and factful giving the country full chance to explain the circumstances. Today we hear of a twenty minute slot of time granted for the leader of the Sri Lankan delegation to speak (LanakWeb ; 24 March 2014).

Sack Minister Hakeem - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia It was reported in the print media that Mr. Rauff Hakeem of SLMC, currently the Minister of Justice has sent a dossier to UNHRC consisting 50 pages titled “Religious Violence in Sri Lanka” blaming that under the present Government there are religious intolerance and hate campaigns citing around 241 anti-Muslim attacks and 52 Christian churches between the 12 month period from January to December 2013 . Majority of these are not religious attacks but rightful protests against illegal religious activities by the Muslims and the Evangelist sects. These protests cannot be labelled as attacks as cited by Hakeem in his dossier to UNHRC. Also how do we know that some of these committed by another Muslim Sect in the country as it’s happening in Iraq. It appears that the people using democratic rights of protests for abusing the religious freedom by opening Takrang shed prayers room and calling them mosques, and unauthorised constructions in Buddhist temple lands have also been listed as attacks in the given list to UNHRC. Protests of forcing Halal Meat on the non-Muslim majority community also have been cited in the list as Religious intolerance and hate campaigns by Hakeem and his SLMC. Forcing non-muslims to consume Halal products is like forcing non-muslim women to wear hijab. His report to UNHRC also cited attack on Christian churches. We see opening prayer centres by fundamental Evangelists in every nook and corner of the country which are not really churches but purely religious conversion centres and can such protests be labelled as religious intolerance? Protests of any nature be it political or otherwise is a fundamental democratic right of expression of freedom. There are anti-Government protests seen very frequently on the streets of Sri Lanka these days by political parties, student organisations , women organisations and politically motivated NGOs with an ulterior motive to add more fuel to the UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka. Hence any protest against the abusing the Religious tolerance and freedom by the fundamental Muslims and Evangelist Christians cannot be merely labelled as religious intolerance. Recently Minister Hakeem addressing a Government political rally lambasted Bodu Bala Sena a patriotic Buddhist front as an extreme Buddhist front. Hakeem has forgotten that having MUSLIM ethnicity added on to his party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress itself is a symbol of extremism. If he can publicly lambast BBS, BBS has the same right to lambast fundamental muslims or SLMC for inciting religious hatred (Sri Lanka News Online ; 23 March 2014).

House-to-house search in north for two LTTE suspects - By Chris Kamalendran View(s): - A Police-Army joint operation has been launched in the Northern Province to track down two former LTTE cadres wanted for criminal activities and a two-million-rupee reward has been offered for any information, a senior police officer said.  The operation has been launched in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna districts for the suspects identified as Kajeeban Ponniah Selvanayagam alias ‘Gopi’ a.k.a. Kasiyan, and Navaratnam Navaneethan. The Police yesterday released the photographs of the suspects with descriptions.  House-to-house search operations and rounding up of residents and ordering them to assemble on playgrounds were part of the search.In some areas, residents were told to remain in their villages until the search operations were over. In Vavuniya, former LTTE cadres were summoned to the 561 Brigade headquarters and advised not to provide shelter to the two suspects.  In Mannar, the residents were told to inform the police in the event outsiders were accommodated.Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the suspect Selvanayagam was wanted for a shooting incident in Dharmapuram in Kilinochchi last week while the other was wanted for a series of criminal activities including robberies (Sunday Times ; 23 March 2014).

Reject US Resolution against Sri Lanka  - By Charles.S.Perera; 53, rue du Petit Pont, 93220, Gagny, France, 4 March,2014. Honourable Delegate to the 25 Session of the UNHR Council, Geneva, Your Excellency, Please reject the USA Resolution Against Sri Lanka and Let Sri Lanka live in Peace.  Sovereignty of a nation should be respected under all circumstances. But the USA and its Allies do not recognise that time honoured democratic principle. For USA , sovereignty of a developing country ends when USA decides to intervene into its internal affairs.  USA known for its torture camps, killing of innocent men, women and children in drone attacks, for destruction of countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, through bombardment, has no moral right to present a resolutions at UNHRC against Sri Lanka, which carried out a responsible military operations to eliminate terrorism that caused immense suffering to its people for three decades ?  For that matter USA has no right to include into its resolution against Sri Lanka an International Independent Investigation into Sri Lanka as suggested by Ms.Navi Pillai, which suggestion had been made by her through her own partiality towards the Tamil Terrorists of Sri Lanka- her distant cousins.  No war is clean, war against terrorism is the worst, as terrorists have no legal norms in inflicting terror.   For USA the terrorists are only those who take up arms against USA and its Western Allies. All those groups taking up arms to terrorise the people of the developing countries, devastating the countryside are for USA and its Western allies, freedom fighters who are in disagreement with the elected governments of the Country. That offers USA the motivation to step into change regime.  This was how USA viewed the terrorists of Sri Lanka. The terrorists were kind, friendly ,and respectful towards their Ambassadors, and representatives visiting the areas under their control. Thus all their assassinations, massacring of innocent people by explosion of bombs, or by using the terrorist suicide cadre, were for USA and its allies normal activities of freedom fighters.  In Syria, USA armed and supported the rebels against the Government of Syria, which developed into a situation of utter chaos. This could have been avoided if there was a timely intervention to bring the warring parties for a dialogue.  In accepting the terrorists of Sri Lanka as freedom fighters USA and its allies were assenting their activities of terrorism. Thereby, USA and its allies became supporters of terrorism in Sri Lanka. They aided and abetted terrorists giving them moral support.  A USA Ambassador to Sri Lanka during terrorism – Robert O’Blake, had a close relationship with the terrorists and insisted that the Government of Sri Lanka should find a political solution to end terrorism and not resort to a military solution. Foreign Secretaries of France and UK met the President during the last phase of military operations against terrorism, to demand a cease fire (LankaWeb : 23 March 2014).

LLRC Report: Principled stand aimed at assisting SL’s post-war reconciliation - Russia - by Zacki Jabbar-Russia says that its principled position on Sri Lanka and the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report, was aimed at assisting the post war recovery process."We support Sri Lanka’s efforts towards post-conflict recovery, development and complete reconciliation on the basis that there cannot be external interference and pressure. This is my government’s principled position with regard to the LLRC report," said the Military, Air and Naval Attache to the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Captain (Navy) Igor Pavlov, addressing a ceremony to celebrate the "Defender of the Motherland Day" in Colombo recently. Pointing out that the two countries had an excellent understanding on a range of multilateral issues, he pledged continuous Russian support to Sri Lanka internationally and at global forums. "There is ample scope for developing the extensive exchanges, including military-technical cooperation. Our bilateral relations are based on mutual respect and understanding," he said.  Pavlov observed that the "Defender of the Motherland Day" was a significant date personifying the great services of the Russian armed forces to their country and people. He noted that it was a day for the brave, strong and real patriots. "It’s an occasion dedicated to all those who have served their motherland in both civil and military capacities or even those preparing to join the armed forces. They have contributed to achieving stability in our State and strengthening pride in the power of Russia. It’s rightly considered a national holiday which embodies historical and military traditions. Pride in Russia’s glorious achievements, a deep understanding of the high value of military service and a duty to protect your motherland are passed from generation to generation. Such patriotic emotions live in our people’s blood and in their national character," he declared (Island ; 22 March 2014).

An Appeal to the Delegates to the 25 Session of the UN Human Rights Council Geneva - By Charles.S.Perera - Sovereignty of a nation should be respected under all circumstances. But the USA and its Allies do not recognise that time honoured democratic principle. For USA the sovereignty of a developing country ends when USA decides to intervene into its internal affairs.  USA known for its torture camps, killing of innocent men, women and children in drone attacks, for destruction of countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, through bombardment, has no moral right to present a resolutions at UNHRC against Sri Lanka, which carried out a responsible military operations to eliminate terrorism that caused immense suffering to its people for three decades ?  No war is clean, war against terrorism is the worst as terrorists have no legal norms in inflicting terror.  For USA the terrorists are only those who take up arms against USA and its Western Allies. All those groups taking up arms to terrorise the people of the developing countries, devastating the countryside are for USA and its Western allies, freedom fighters who are in disagreement with the elected governments of the Country.  This is how USA viewed the terrorists of Sri Lanka. The terrorists were kind, friendly ,and respectful towards their Ambassadors, and representatives visiting the areas under their control. Thus all their assassinations, massacring of innocent people by explosion of bombs, or by using the terrorist suicide cadre, were for USA and its allies normal activities of freedom fighters.  In accepting the terrorists of Sri Lanka as freedom fighters USA and its allies were assenting to the activities of the terrorists. USA and its allies thereby became responsible for the terrorism in Sri Lanka. They become a party to terrorism aiding and abetting the terrorists giving them moral support.  A USA Ambassador to Sri Lanka during terrorism – Robert O’Blake, became friendly with the terrorists and insisted that Sri Lanka should find a political solution to settle terrorism and not resort to a military solution. Foreign Secretaries of France and UK met the President during the last phase of military operations against terrorism to demand a cease fire (LankaWeb : 22 March 2014).

Campaign against SL takes new turn

UK calls for UN-backed Sierra Leone type war crimes tribunal

MDMK manifesto proposes to lift the ban on LTTE in India - India’s MDMK party, led by Vaiko has promised in its manifesto released on Saturday that it would lift the ban on LTTE in India and would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils, if it takes part in government formation after the Lok Sabha polls.  The party said it would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils. According to MDMK, the referendum should be held in places where Lankan Tamils live, PTI reported.  The MDMK also promised to work to force India to take severe action against Sri Lanka if it continues to attack Indian fishermen and also retrieve Katchatheevu - an islet in Palk Strait - from Sri Lanka.  The Party in its manifesto also said it would rename the country as the United States of India.  According to the MDMK, the Indian Constitution when it was formed promised a federal governance structure.   In order to strengthen the country's unity, the Indian Constitution should be revisited and the country be renamed as United States of India, and the party said it would strive for that (Daily Mirror ; 22 March 2014).

‘Distorted agenda with political interests behind UNHRC resolution’ - European Parliament member backs Sri Lanka - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - Member of European Parliament, Geoffrey Van Orden said that the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva has been tabled with a "political interests with a very distorted agenda".  Orden made this observation during the debate on Resolution on EU Priorities for the 25th Session of UNHRC in the European Parliament last week.  He said the spotlight has shifted off Zimbabwe, the Ukrainian people of the Crimea - not least the Tatar population, are again subject to bullying oppression.  "Thematically, what about victims of terrorism around the world? What about the Christian communities subject to brutal attack in so many countries? What about the continuing African slave trade? Why do we keep picking on Sri Lanka?" he questioned.  Orden went on to say, "There is a country that had the courage to deal with the terrorists after 30 years of conflict, which cost thousands of lives and almost brought the country to ruin.  The government, it seems, hasn’t been forgiven for its success for ending the terrorist occupation of the North of Sri Lanka, for resettling nearly 300,000 IDPs, for the rehabilitation of nearly 12,000 former LTTE cadres, a massive programme of demining, enabling thousands of acres of land to be brought back into use, the construction of bridges, roads, and schools, re-establishment of the rule of law (with new police stations and over 1,400 Tamil-speaking police officers), and its own process of Accountability and Reconciliation through the wide-ranging LLRC process, he noted.  He said that it was a pity that the Tamil Diaspora in European countries do not see for themselves the progress that has been made and join positively in reconstruction and investment in Sri Lanka.  "I do not think for a moment that the Government of Sri Lanka has got everything right – why not invite a distinguished outside judge to join the oversight of human rights investigation?, he asked.  But this Parliament should not continue to be a spokesman of political interests with a very distorted agenda, Orden pointed out (Island : 22 March 2014).

Regarding the article “No Indian vote against against Sri Lanka” – but “a strong bi-lateral neighborhood policy” - by Bernard Wijeyasingha, USA - The inclusion of the 13th amendment in the latest round of human rights resolution against Sri Lanka should be a wakeup call to Colombo that this issue of singularly giving the Northern and Eastern provinces land and police acts when it goes against Sri Lanka’s laws of equal treatment to all provinces should demonstrate the political motives of India. At the end of March India will join the UNHRC in condemning Sri Lanka on human rights issues, including supposed ongoing human rights violations on minorities. That translates to stopping Christian missionaries converting Buddhists or the Muslims doing the same. Considering that India has all these elements in her society including the human rights violations committed during Operation Blue Star, or her massive military presence in Kashmir where Kashmiri people routinely suffer acts of human rights violations to India’s military history with the United Liberation front of Assam.  This also includes India’s military atrocities on similar movements against the tribal people of Nagaland, the states of Mizoram, and Manipur. This also includes the atrocities committed against the Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat. Yet the UNHRC continues to ignore them and only focus on Sri Lanka while India continues to harbor NGO pro Eelam groups such as TESO and TELO. What is even more demeaning to Sri Lanka is that India will not do the same with human rights violations that occur on a regular basis in Pakistan or Bangladesh, let alone China.  In all the human rights violations mentioned above that have been committed in India there are expat Indians of these communities who are still waiting for the UN to address these issues. From the Sikh community to the Indian Muslims to those from the North eastern states have formed groups across the world and petitioned the UNHRC to address their grievances which go unaddressed. To add gasoline to the fire, Great Britain has demanded that the UNHRC take on a “Sierra Leone type war crimes tribunal on Sri Lanka!!!” This is the very height of arrogance. London does not even make it a secret that this demand is due to requests made to her politicians by pro LTTE groups in the UK. Sri Lanka is being singled out, falsely accused and the depth and scope of those trumped up accusations are getting worse by the passing year (LankaWeb ; 22 March 2014).

“No Indian vote against Sri Lanka” but “a strong bi-lateral neighbourhood policy - By Bandu de Silva - The above Caption summarises what Satya Moorthy wrote in Ceylon Today newspaper dated 13th March 2014. The article had been originally featured in the Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter.  Satya Moorthy’s article which was entitled “Why India should not vote against Sri Lanka at UNHCR ” would have warmed the hearts of many Sri Lankans. The issue where the article was published, however, matters little provided it was well communicated. It is the communicator and the contents issuing, as it is in this case, from a person who is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter, that would call for attention by both the political and bureaucratic establishment in New Delhi as well as other opinion-makers.  If one followed my recent long article which was published in the printed version of Ceylon Today from March 10to March 15 2014, unfortunately missed in the Online version except the first installment because of its length, (one could read, it in full in Asian Tribune website) one would have seen that I have argued that India, commencing from the inception of independence, did not follow a positive neighbourly relationship with any of her neighbours barring Burma. Sri Lanka was no exception. The need for India to develop strong bi-lateral relations –based neighbourhood which idea Satya Moorthy seems to be advancing is not proved by India’s record of conduct of bilateral relations with any of her neighbours.  In contrast, in respect of Sri Lanka, I argued that from the time of independence, India treated Sri Lanka as a country not deserving to be considered a neighbourhood Frontline State, but first, as a colonial plantation, and later, as a country where a hegemonic relationship close to gun-boat diplomacy would do. The transgression of Sri Lanka’s airspace by missile carrying Mirage jets with orders to shoot if there was any opposition, which accompanied the transport planes which came on the ostensible “Mercy Mission’ reminded one of the time Western Gun boats sailed up and down the China Sea from Shanghai to Tien-sing and the march of foreign troops from Tien-sing to Beijing. That is not to mention the cross-border terrorism In Sri Lanka which Prime Minister Indira Gandhi promoted earlier (LankaWeb ; 22 March 2014).

UK calls for UN-backed Sierra Leone type war crimes tribunal - Campaign against SL takes new turn - by Shamindra Ferdinando - An unprecedented British push for a Special Court for Sri Lanka on the lines of UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone has surprised even those who have been calling for an international investigation into atrocities allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE during Eelam War IV (August 2006-May 2009).  Authoritative government sources told The Island that the UK would have made its last move at the behest of influential LTTE activists in the UK. British Foreign Secretary, William Hague has unveiled the British plan in India amidst ongoing Western efforts to persuade Premier Manmohan Singh to announce his backing for US-led resolution scheduled to be voted next Thursday (March 27).  India voted for US-led resolutions against Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013.  In an opinion column published in The Hindu on March 17, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Seeking the truth and justice helps to put countries on the right track toward reconciliation. Sierra Leone is a good example. Special Court convictions drew a definitive line under a tumultuous period of Sierra Leone’s history and addressed impunity in response to victims’ needs to promote healing."  Asked whether what UK’s position would be on an international mechanism to investigate atrocities, including those committed by the Indian Army during its deployment here (July 1987 to March 1990), a spokesperson for the British High Commission in Colombo said: "As we have previously said and as our Prime Minister said during his visit to Sri Lanka in November last year, we are supporting a call for an independent international investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, in the absence of a credible, transparent and independent domestic process. The UK takes allegations of war crimes seriously including those allegations of wrongdoing by our own Armed Forces. For example, allegations relating to Iraq that have been brought to our attention are subjected to thorough examination – including through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team, independent Public Inquiries, and in the UK and European courts."  The official directed The Island to submit two others queries to British Foreign Office. One question was about Mr. Hague’s position as regards India’s culpability in causing terrorism in Sri Lanka in the 1980s against the backdrop of former Liberian President Charles Taylor being moved to a high security British jail after his sentence for aiding and abetting war crimes in the neighbouing Sierra Leone was upheld by a UN-backed tribunal. We also asked the British High Commission whether the UK had taken up the Sri Lanka issue at the UNHRC before the end of the conflict in May 2009.  Although our questions were sent to London Press Office on March 18, the Foreign Office has not answered them despite reminders. The same queries were subsequently forwarded through the British High in Colombo but there was no response.  The Special Court for Sierra Leone established jointly by the government of Sierra Leone and the UN had been mandated to try not only human rights violators in Sierra Leone but those external elements which had caused terrorism. The Appeals Chamber judges of the court on September 26, 2013 upheld Taylor’s conviction that was made by the Trial Chamber in April 2012.  Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga during a recent official visit to Washington pointed out that an international investigation could upset Sri Lanka’s relationship with India. Reuters quoted Weeratunga as having said: "If there is an international investigation, the whole period has to be investigated - from the 1980s onward - which includes the two-year tenure of the Indian Peacekeeping Force, which will upset India and our relationship with India." (Island : 21 March 2014).

Now, Pillay equates SL with North Korea - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillai, has equated the government of Sri Lanka with that of North Korea during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se at the onset of the ongoing 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  Well informed sources told The Island that Pillay had demonstrated her hostility towards Sri Lanka when the top level South Korean delegation met her during the high level segment. Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, too, had been in Geneva during the high level segment of the session. Sources alleged that it was a calculated move to influence South Korean government to throw its weight behind the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka scheduled to be taken up next Thursday (March 27).  South Korea is a member of the UNHRC comprising 47 countries divided into five regional groups.  Alleging that Pillay had been campaigning openly in support of the US resolution, government sources said the former South African official was pursuing an agenda of her own.  Responding to a query, sources recalled the circumstances under which Pillay compared the human rights situation in Sri Lanka with that of Russia. She declared spending more time on Sri Lanka than Russia due to deteriorating situation here.  Ms. Pillay's offensive meant that she was prejudiced and therefore Sri Lanka couldn't accept her office playing any role in an external investigation into atrocities allegedly committed during the conflict here, a high ranking Sri Lankan government official said.  External Affairs Ministry official said that Sri Lanka had never faced an attempt to compare Sri Lanka with North Korea even at the height of the northern war (Island ; 21March 2014).

NPC Chief Secretary takes Chief Minister to court

NPC Chief Secretary takes Chief Minister to court - by Chitra Weerarathne - Vijayalakshmi Ramesh the chief secretary of the Northern Provincial Council, has filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court complaining that the Chief Minister of the Province C.V. Wigneswaran, from the day he became the Chief Minister had been attempting to interfere with her employment.  The Chief Secretary has submitted that aforesaid attempt to remove her from office, without a valid reason, is wrongful, arbitrary, illegal and malicious. The appointment of the chief secretary came under the purview of the President. The powers vested in her are by legislative, executive and constitutional processes. But she is not given powers to transfer, employ appoint, or remove employees of the provincial council. There is an apparent infringement of fundamental rights.  She has been subjected to arbitrary, discriminatory treatment and her right to engage in her lawful occupation is being denied. She wanted the court to declare the same, the petitioner has complained.   Among the respondents are Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Governor of the Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri, Chairman of the Public Services Commission Dr. Dayasiri Fernando, the Secretary to the Minister of Public Administration and the Attorney General (Island : 21 March 2014).

USA & UK SPONSERED RESOLUTION AGAINST SRI LANKA IS MERE VENGEANCE - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - Sri Lanka is just a tiny dot in the world map. Yet two powerful countries USA and UK are very much concerned about this tiny island which is also called the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Why are these two countries are so concerned about Sri Lanka, started bullying for almost three years and bringing Resolutions at the UNHRC session against Sri Lanka for war crimes? Is it because of our strategic position in the Indian sub-continent? It’s true during the WW II Trinco harbour was a strategic point so the enemies could hide their naval ships in the harbour to attack the enemies. But nowadays, powerful countries like USA, UK, Russia and China bring their war ships openly to any international waters and anchor them to meet any contingencies to attack the countries they want to attack. Currently US has naval war ships anchored at the door steps of some middle Eastern countries, then in South Korea, Diego Garcia, Japan to name a few countries. So I doubt the strategic position of Sri Lanka is so important to countries like USA in this modern world.  The only reasons I can think (may be wrong) of why America & UK are hell bent to destroy Sri Lanka’s political and economic stability are (1) Vengeance- since the President and his armed forces never listened to USA & UKs requests for ceasefire against LTTE during the last stages of the war and carried out the war until LTTE was conclusively annihilated, they wanted to take revenge. Defeating LTTE despite their pleas to stop it is an egg on the faces of USA,UK & Canada and ‘perhaps UN. They couldn’t digest the moral defeat they faced and not being able to save LTTE terrorist outfit (2) USA, UK and Canada are jealous because Sri Lanka being just a dot in the world map defeated the world most brutal terrorist organisation aka LTTE whereas America & its allies of NATO still couldn’t defeat the Al Quaida terrorist outfit albeit USA killed it’s leader Osama bin Laden. (3) showing gratitude- It is also alleged and suspected that the politicians of USA, UK, Canada and a few of the EU Countries are in LTTE Diaspora’s payroll for various party and personal funds, perks and other fringe benefits. (4) Sri Lanka’s close relationship with China and Russia would bring a threat to their domination in the Asia-Pacific Region. It is for these above reasons that USA & UK wants to humiliate, bully and destroy Sri Lanka by bringing the Resolution against Sri Lanka for war crimes at the forthcoming UNHRC session in Geneva. May be to destabilise our country and work for a regime change and place an American puppet as in Afghanistan, Iraq ,Libya to name a few. I see their actions as mere vengeance for not listening to them to save the LTTE hierarchy.  However, the irony of this resolution is that being two powerful countries USA & UK, they have failed find some powerful sponsors to support the resolution but instead got two insignificant powerless countries to back the giants i.e Mauritius and Montenegro two American puppets. Montenegro is one of the newly formed countries by USA, UK & NATO in 2007 with a population around 620,000 when balkanising former Yugoslavia. In other words Mauritius and Montenegro are two American puppet countries who had joined USA as co-sponsors mainly to get more and more American financial support to run their countries. I wonder whether these two countries know where Sri Lanka in the world map like some USA congressmen who is supporting the Resolution didn’t know where Sri Lanka in the world map.

US boycotts UN human rights conference with drone resolution looming - Pakistani leaders hope to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council to pass a resolution that would force US drone strikes to adhere to international law – a request that inspired the US to boycott the talks altogether, according to a new report.The draft of a Pakistani resolution, first reported by Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy, proposes that nations “ensure transparency” when discussing drone strikes and “conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.” While official numbers are nonexistent, experts have suggested that anywhere from 200 to nearly 1,000 Pakistani civilians have been killed by US drone strikes, with as many as 200 children possibly among that total. The issue of drone strikes, while remaining largely out of US headlines, has become one of the most polarizing in Pakistan. While previous reports have made it clear that Pakistani leaders have authorized at least some drone strikes, they publicly maintain that that unmanned American aerial vehicles constantly buzzing in the skies undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty. The proposal revealed Wednesday, which also calls for “an interactive panel discussion” on the use of drones, is a clear appeal from Pakistan to the international community. The Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, entered its third day of discussing the resolution Wednesday, yet the US delegation was nowhere to be found (RTCom : 20 March 2014).

SLFP Jaffna organiser flays Ananthi over ‘Geneva lies’ - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member, Angajan Ramanathan yesterday said that Tamil speaking people wouldn’t be deceived by fellow NPC member, Ananthi Sasitharan’s widely reported allegation that children in the Northern Province were still living under warlike conditions, though fighting ended in May 2009.  Jaffna District SLFP Chief Organizer Ramanathan was responding to Sasitharan’s accusations that the ‘Eelam Tamil children’ were facing war with genocidal intent. Accusing the Sri Lankan Army of controlling every aspect of Tamil life, Sasitharan told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session that the military was directing systematic sexual violence at Tamil women and children. She further alleged: "The children are also forced to work. Military personnel are being appointed as teachers in schools. In the world of our children, the armed conflict is still there as before."  Ramanathan alleged that Sasitharan was acting at the behest of disruptive elements seeking to undermine peace and stability. Referring to a recent spat between Sasitharan and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) National List MP, M. A. Sumanthiran over her involvement with the LTTE, Ramanathan stressed that even the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) didn’t endorse some of her actions.  Ramanathan said: "She has repeatedly said that she hasn’t heard of her husband, Elilan since he surrendered to the army on the Vanni east front on May 18, 2009. Elilan had been in charge of LTTE operations in the Trincomalee District during Norway arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA).  Whatever the likes of Sasitharan propagated at the UNHRC and at various other international and local forums to justify ongoing push for international war crimes probe, the entire world knew of the brazen use of children as cannon fodder by the Tigers. The LTTE indiscriminately threw children into high intensity battles throughout the conflict and Sasitharan’s husband, Elilan too, was actively involved in the LTTE."  The SLFPer recalled the circumstances under which the LTTE and the UN had reached an agreement in May 1998 to stop using children in combat operations. But, the LTTE continued with the despicable practice until the Sri Lankan military eradicated the LTTE on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May 2009. Those who had been seeking external intervention on the false claim to save children from the Sri Lankan Army since the conclusion of the conflict never raised their voices against the use of children in combat operations, Ramanathan said (Island : 19 March 2014).

Court issues notice on NP CM - By Chira Weerarathne - The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on C. V. Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, the Secretary of the Walikamam East Pradeshiya Sabha, the Assistant Commissioner of Local Government, Northern Province and connected respondents. The notice returnable on April 4, is in respect of the Writ Application filed by Udayakumar, the Chairman of the Walikamam East Pradeshiya Sabha, who has challenged his removal from the post of chairman.  The petitioner has said that the council budget was approved unanimously and properly but some members had stayed outside the room, where the meeting was held. Later those persons, who boycotted the meeting, had got the Chief Minister to order an inquiry to find out whether the notice had been given to councillors in the legally prescribed manner. Two days after the ordering of this investigation, another meeting was held and the budget was rejected. The budget was however not defeated twice. Hence the chairman could not be deemed to have vacated his office under Article 169 of the Local Authorities Act. Hence the deemed vacation of post by the petitioner is arbitrary and should be quashed by the court. J. C. Weliamuna appeared with Mevan Bandara Kiriella, instructed by Lilanthi de Silva for the petitioner.  The Bench comprised Justice Sisira de Abrew (The President of the Court of Appeal). (Island : 19 March 2014).

Patriots meet with Australian Parliamentarians - by Chanaka Bandarage - On Tuesday, 18 March 2014, a group of Sri Lankan Australians (16) from the ACT, NSW and Vic met with Australian Parliamentarians in the Canberra Parliament and explained to them in length the adverse effects of the proposed US Resolution on Sri Lanka. Altogether 8 MPs and Senators from different sides of the Australian politics were met with.  The meetings were held in a friendly, cordial and polite atmosphere.  The Sri Lankan Australian delegation made a humble request from the Australian legislatures to support Sri Lanka at the forthcoming Geneva sessions. They explained to them that the proposed US Resolution will not unite the Sinhalese and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka (and overseas), but will polarise them. The significant gains achieved by the government and people of Sri Lanka in the past 4+ years, especially in relation to ethnic reconciliation and communal harmony will be hampered and tarnished as a result of the proposed US Resolution.  The delegation requested from the Parliamentarians to advise their respective political parties that the Australian Government should not co-sponsor the US Resolution in Geneva this year. It was strongly emphasised that such a move will not favour Sri Lanka, and will send Sri Lanka backwards. In general, the Australian legislatures offered a positive feedback to the Sri Lankan Australian delegation (LankaWeb : 19March 2014).

US-UK moving third resolution on the basis of C4 propaganda - By Shamindra Ferdinando -  The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) had the wherewithal to provide accurate real time intelligence required by ground forces pushing into rapidly shrinking LTTE-held territory on the Vanni east front. In fact, the SLAF had the capacity to conduct such operations during the night thanks to Israeli manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including the EMIT Blue Horizon II acquired in 2007. In fact, Sri Lanka had acquired Israeli UAVs in 1996 during the tenure of the then President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who authorized the acquisition of a range of expensive weapons to boost the SLAF’s firepower as well as surveillance capacity. By 2008, the SLAF had the means to deploy UAVs to designate LTTE targets with laser beams, thereby paving the way for Israeli built Kfirs to deliver laser-guided ammunition. As the army executed a well coordinated rescue mission to save those held hostage by the LTTE, the government invited the Colombo-based diplomatic community to observe UAV footage.  The SLAF carried out its last UAV mission over the Vanni east front on May 17, 2009 to facilitate ground operations spearheaded by the celebrated 58 Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva. The US-UK coalition now pushing for a war crimes investigation as well as India are fully aware of the SLAF’s capacity. Therefore, it would be a travesty of justice if they accepted ridiculous allegation that the Sri Lankan military used information received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to target makeshift medical facilities during the last phase of fighting.  But Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields portrayed a different picture. The documentary produced by British media outfit, Channel 4 News and shown on Channel 4 alleged that the military brazenly exploited information provided by the ICRC to direct attacks on makeshift medical facilities. The then UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss declared that Tamil doctors serving on the war front had no option but to request the ICRC not to inform the Sri Lankan military of where makeshift medical facilities were. Weiss said that the ICRC had briefed warring parties regarding medical facilities situated on the opposing parties’ territory to prevent accidental attacks. But the Sri Lankan military used information received from the ICRC to mount operations (Island : 18 March 2014).

Right of Reply by Sri Lanka 25th Session of the Human Rights Council Agenda Item 4 - by Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva - Mr. President,Sri Lanka wishes to exercise its right of reply on statements made regarding the arrest and detention of Ms. Balendran Jeyakumari, and the detention of Mr. Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen. (1).Investigations revealed that K.P. Selvanayagam a.k.a. Gobi who had been overseas and returned to Sri Lanka was actively involved in reviving the LTTE through regrouping LTTE cadres and recruiting unemployed local youth with the intention of using them for acts of terrorism. (2) The intention of these LTTE operatives headed by Gobi had been to recover arms cachés hidden by the LTTE prior to their defeat. (3).The key operative directing the operations, Gobi, had been evading arrest. Following further investigations, the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) had recovered an arms caché including mortar and RPG type live ammunition, 3 hand grenades, 2.5 kg claymore bomb and ammunition for T-56 weapons. (4) Pursuant to this recovery, and a lead obtained on the whereabouts of Gobi, a team of Police Officers proceeded to the residence of Balendran Jeyakumari in Killinochchi. During the search operation Gobi had fired at the Police, injuring a sub-Inspector and escaped. (5) At this residence, the landlady Balendran Jeyakumari and her 13 year old daughter Vibooshika were present. Since suspect Gobi while being armed escaped, a search was carried out on the said residence. A Menelab F-3 type mine detector was recovered. Therefore, Ms. Jeyakumari was placed under arrest on suspicion of aiding and abetting Gobi in his activities. (6) As Balendran Jeyakumari had been unable to provide an appropriate caregiver/relative to keep her 13 year old daughter, she was taken along with the mother and produced before the Killinochchi Magistrate. Based on the Magistrate’s order, Vibooshika has been placed under the care of Probation and Child Care Services. (7) The aforementioned arrest was made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The ICRC has access to all detainees being held at Boossa. Therefore, it is regrettable that an elected member of the Northern Provincial Council, Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan, has chosen to misrepresent this case in this august body and depict it as an arrest made of a child who had participated in protests. It is also regrettable that Ms. Sasitharan, despite being a member of a provincial administration, has chosen to make statements in the Council using time allocated to two NGOs. We also note that Ms. Sasitharan, in referring in her statements to the Council to “Tamil Eelam”, has failed to adhere to the agreed language of the United Nations, and is in violation of the Constitution she has pledged to uphold as a Provincial Councilor (LanakWeb : 18March 2014).

What world should know about Dr. Varatharaja before he speaks at UNHRC in Geneva against Sri Lanka - by Shenali D Waduge - Tipped to speak at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva on 19th March 2014 is Dr. Varatharaja, one of the five doctors who appeared in the Channel 4 clips and who also admitted that he and the other doctors lied and who has now found his way to foreign climes with the help of the Tamil Diaspora and is appearing after several years of silence to come out with another new version. 2014 version by Dr. Varatharaja is likely to spin a new story against Sri Lanka. It would be nicer if he were to praise the post-conflict efforts for having returned to the very areas he served under LTTE he would have seen what a new look the North has now.  Certainly the credibility factor comes into question. However, Dr. Shanmugarajah has addressed this aspect by providing a sworn affidavit and the details he has divulged more or less compliments the media briefing that the 5 doctors requested for in July 2009.  Nevertheless, Dr. Varatharaja’s re-entry after years of silence is likely to add some spice but definitely it should raise some questions against his credibility. For ideally what he should have done once Dr. Shanmugarajah’s affidavit was made public in January 2014 was to immediately counter it if there was any falsehood to what Dr. Shanmugarajah swore in writing. When Dr. Varajatharaja remains silent and then is about to make a grand appearance before the UNHRC to drop what the LTTE Diaspora has coached to be a ‘bomb’ it is something we should simply brush aside as being another staged drama for which the Tamil Diaspora is becoming quite famous for and naturally so given that they are associating themselves with a lot of foreign directors and filmmakers with coaching provided in-hous (LankaWeb : 18 March 2014).

SLMC Joins TNA in Discrediting Sri Lanka at the UNHRC - by Dilrook Kannangara - SLMC is part of the government coalition. However, it always undermines the government and the nation due to its allegiance and association with Middle Eastern extremist cults. It does this while enjoying the perks of being part of the ruling coalition. It is high time the ruling party made a decision to expel the double agents of the SLMC and cut down on the myriad of perks showered on them (LankaWeb : 16 March 2014).

Hello Hakeem; What is this Agreement ?

File Photo

Listen to Ada Derana News on 15 March 2014

This guy should have been arrested a long time ago to investigate the links with LTTE

Stop Big Bullies - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - Addressing the 'Janapathi Janahamuwa' program telecast live last week, President Rajapaksa has said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in connivance with a handful of powerful countries, based on wrong information, demanded an international investigation against Sri Lanka despite the fact that the government had eradicated three decades of terrorism and ensured the most important human right that a person can have, 'the people’s right to live in any part of the country without fear'. In an another piece of news item, the President added that the Government has succeeded in resettling people who were displaced by terrorist atrocities in the North and the East and the responsibility is ahead of the government to resettle thousands of Sinhalese and Muslims, who were chased out of the Jaffna peninsula by the LTTE terrorists decades ago as part of their ethnic cleansing scheme, to ensure their legitimate rights. The President also added that the Government has faced an obstacle in ensuring such rights for the Sinhalese and Muslim communities as some politicians in the North backed by some foreign forces and their NGO bandwagon who are dependent on these forces are against this move. As we are aware, Sri Lanka is enjoying peace and harmony after three decades of brutal war waged by the Tamil Tigers, who believed only on suicide bombing techniques and power of the gun against the democratically elected government and its people irrespective of their ethnicity with an intention of carving out a separate fascist state. During the period of war against terrorism Sri Lankans had hardly a single day of peace having to suffer carnage at the hands of the suicide bombers of the LTTE. We have witnessed how the LTTE used child soldiers, launched suicide attacks, used women in suicide attacks, assassinated politicians including ethnic Tamils, government ministers, Sri Lankan President, taken hostages, and committed all kinds of crimes to finance its operations including human trafficking. We also witnessed how Sri Lankan security forces under the political leadership of the elected government with the overwhelming support from the peace loving citizens of all communities in Sri Lanka defeated  the terrorism , while freeing 21 million Sri Lankans from the yoke of the LTTE who held them to ransom for decades. After providing the most important human right that a person can have, to live without fear of death, the government of the day had said to have spent Rs 4 billion to develop the Northern Province and all basic amenities such as pipe-borne water, electricity and houses to those affected. Although the US, EU, Britain, Canada, India and several other countries have designated the Tigers a foreign terrorist organisation, it is a well known fact that those groups of displaced LTTE members residing in those countries, who called themselves 'Tamis Diaspora', are continued to raise funds and make use of the funds already collected to carryout crimes against humanity are now making use of those funds to exert pressure to the politicians of respective domicile countries under the guise of 'human rights' to achieve their ultimate goal of carving out a separate racial state exclusively for Tamil people (whose total population is around 14%, according to the latest Census) which they failed to get via terrorism. The TNA, a pro- LTTE group who survived unharmed during the war against separatist since most of its leadership lived comfortably among the majority Sinhalese in Colombo while providing the necessary political support to the outfit, has strengthen its separatist campaign by making use of the ill-framed sections in the 13th Amendment, crafted under the Rajiv- JR pact signed under duress, to its fullest advantage.   The government made a big blunder by not taking appropriate steps to ban TNA , knowing it past very well , or to amend the Constitution to get rid of the Provincial Council system as a matter of priority (Sri Lanka News Online ; 15 March 2014).

LTTE shooting of Sri Lankan Policeman in Kilinochchi demands immediate action

LTTE shooting of Sri Lankan Policeman in Kilinochchi demands immediate action - byShenali D Waduge - The incident of a former LTTEr living in an Indian-built home in Kilinochchi shooting a Sri Lankan policemen during a search operation cannot be ignored. In the 1970s Prabakaran had just 26 men and over a handful of decades later that number turned into thousands and led to thousands of corpses and a brutal terrorist conflict that lasted 3 decades. The players that spurred LTTE then are no different to those that are attempting to revive the LTTE again. Read between the lines to understand what the calls to remove the army will next lead to or hoping to lead to. The world falsely accepts LTTE as liberators and freedom fighters taking up arms on behalf of the Tamil people and the Tamil cause. That claim is nullified when LTTE killed its first victim Alfred Duraiappah in 1975 when Prabakaran was just 21. Duraiappah was the Tamil Mayor of Jaffna. LTTE’s next targets were also Tamil – Tamil policemen on duty in Jaffna and scores perished. These are clear evidence that even as far back as 1970s LTTE did not represent Tamils but the ultra egos of a handful that wanted to rule over Tamils using the gun.  The following events raise some pertinent questions while also nullifying some false perceptions.  Top on that list is the need to accept that LTTE or any other Tamil militant group did not take up arms because of the July 1983 riots. Tamil youth were trained and armed well before 1983. These trainings took place in both Tamil Nadu and inside the jungles of Sri Lanka and with the knowledge and clandestine involvement of the Indian Government. This action by India is a crime and India stands guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.  The details of various Tamil youth forming into parties next should ask who were funding these groups? who supplied them their initial arms for what purposes were they set up and the most important question was why did ordinary Tamil people watch and allow these ‘boys’ to commit the crimes they did (LankaWeb : 15 March 2014).

Police - army dragnet to capture LTTE suspect - Following shooting of SI - Police and army teams have been deployed to track down the former LTTE cadre who shot at a Sub Inspector in Kilinochchi last week.  The SI, attached to the Terrorist Investigation Unit, was shot during a search operation to arrest the suspect in his home, police said.  The suspect was a temporary resident in a Killinochchi housing scheme built with the aid of the Indian government. He is believed to have fled the area after the shooting (Island : 15 March 2014).

‘LTTE is like an octopus – we have cut its tentacles, but not hit the eye’ - Australia will not support proposed US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka - BY SURESH PERERA - Every indication is that Australia will not be supporting the proposed US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR sessions in Geneva, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of patriotic Sri Lankans based Down Under with the active back up of High Commissioner, Admiral (Retd.) Thisara Samarasinghe, a key member of a dedicated group said last week.  "We have been assured at the highest levels that the Liberal Party government of Prime Minister, Tony Abbot will desist from taking a stand against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming human rights sessions", says Nagesha Wickramasuriya, media spokesman for Australian Sri Lankans in Victoria.  This is a salutary achievement and a major breakthrough as Canberra co-sponsored the motion against Sri Lanka in 2013, he recalled. "As patriotic Sri Lankans, we worked very hard to make a positive impact and change the tide in favor of our motherland".  It was a tough challenge as the pro-LTTE lobby in Australia has been working according to a planned agenda since January this year to win over Senators in a bid to influence the Canberra government to support the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka, he said in an interview with The Sunday Island during a brief visit to Colombo.  "They lobby across Australia, with particular emphasis on Canberra, to influence the political decision-making mechanism and win support for their anti-Sri Lanka campaign, he noted.  The Tamil Diaspora had infiltrated the Green Party in Australia and even funded it to campaign vigorously against Sri Lanka and put the country in the dock over alleged human rights violations, Wickramasuriya explained. "It was a member of this party who was deported from Sri Lanka some time back".  "What the LTTE couldn’t attain with weapons, they are now trying to achieve through a sinister anti-Sri Lanka propaganda campaign. The LTTE is akin to an octopus – we have cut its tentacles, but not hit the eye. So, the ‘war’ is still not over", he stressed (Island : 15 March 2014).

Ananthi Sasasitharan in Geneva : Question her on husband Elilan’s role in LTTE child soldier recruitment - by Shenali D Waduge - Now that Ananthi Sasitharan is in Geneva she needs to be given the podium to explain how her husband on behalf of the LTTE recruited young children denied them every human right a child is entitled to and trained them not only to kill but to commit suicide by biting a cyanide capsule that Adele Balasingham a nurse living exile in UK first taught them. If the UNHRC now in session does not raise these questions from Ananthi whose husband recruited the most number of Tamil children then there is some serious flaw in the ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’ that the Human Rights Council espouses to protect and uphold.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr8JP5-4lVA  – Adele Balasingham, Head of LTTE child soldier recruitment (LankaWeb : 15 March 2014).

Woman arrested for harbouring LTTE suspect - A woman had been arrested in Kilinochchi on charges of harbouring an LTTE suspect, who was absconding after shooting a police Sub Inspector, the Police said.  “She was arrested on charges of harbouring a criminal. She was produced in Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court and will be brought in Colombo today for further investigations,” SSP Ajith Rohana said.  Meanwhile, foreign media reported as having said by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that the woman, Balendran Jayakumari was being punished for repeatedly protesting over the fate of her son, an under-age rebel who disappeared in the conflicts, which was rejected by the police.  Police said that she had been harbouring the LTTE suspect even before he fired at the Police officer last Thursday.  Issuing a statement, Army spokesman said that they have found a F-3 type Metal Detector which is used to detect metal objects/mines buried underground when the house where the LTTE suspect was hiding was searched followed by the arrest of the house owner Balendran Jayakumari.  The young daughter of the house owner was also taken in to protective custody as there was no adult in the neighborhood willing to give shelter to her, he said (Daily Mirror : 15 March 2014).

US, the Global Policeman exposed - by P.A.Samaraweera, Melbourne- The US was exposed on Thursday’s session of the UNHRC in Geneva for its human rights abuses by a Committee of eighteen experts. This committee is charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee had expressed their deep concern about the US record on human rights and had suggested that the US had failed to meet human rights obligations. The Report had criticised the US for its tactics such as the use of unmanned drones targeting Al Qaida, but killing innocent civilians, transfer of detainees to countries such as Algeria which practice torture, permitting water-boarding of prisoners, ill-treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo bay prison and so on. The Report had also referred to 144 people on death row who had been exonerated. Some of them had been imprisoned since 1973 and most of them were African-Americans. It had also accused US for handing down longer sentences for black prisoners while the whites had been treated leniently.  Walter Kalin, a member of the Committee had said, “…the world had become a dangerous place because of countries that claim International Law does not prevent them from committing human rights violations…” With all this, the unofficial representative of the LTTE rump Navi Pillai and Ban Ki Moon, torch holder of the West, have swept these allegations under the carpet. The UNHRC had been pointing the finger and accusing Sri Lanka, which routed the world’s number one terrorists, while letting bigger fish off the hook. With the release of this Committee findings, all those countries contemplating in putting their hands up for the US resolution should give serious thought to this Report (LankaWeb : 15 March 2014).

TNA claims French support for US Resolution against Sri Lanka - by Mahinda Gunasekara - The Editor, Daily Island Newspaper, Colombo, Sri Lanka - Dear Editor, TNA claims French support for US Resolution against Sri Lanka - I refer to the news report filed by Shamindra Fernando on the subject published in your edition of March 14, 2014, and wish to comment as follows: TNA Chairman of the Northern Provincial, Mr. C.V.K. Sinagnanam’s claim after meeting with the visiting French ambassador in Jaffna that France was supporting the proposed US resolution against Sri Lanka is probably an attempt to boost the flagging morale of the extremist Tamil lobby. They are apparently losing hope of imposing an external probe on Sri Lanka’s conduct during and after the armed conflict against the internationally designated terrorist movement known as the LTTE, their erstwhile heroes. France being a key member of the EU will not make any announcement of a French position without a firm decision of the regional grouping. Sivagnanam’s complaint about the Sri Lanka Army hindering reconciliation and causing difficulties by occupying civilian owned lands is another red herring. He has failed to recognize the valiant efforts of the Army to de-mine the land of LTTE planted landmines and IEDs to make the area safe for IDP resettlement, and other services in building houses, schools, kovils, medical facilities and vast improvements to essential infrastructure. The army has since returned lands occupied during the time of the conflict except for lands in the vicinity of the Palaly base, where previously the LTTE infiltrated to shoot down aircraft on the downward descent to land at the airstrip. These lands which were taken over for security reasons over 20 years ago cannot be returned for reasons stated. The owners of land have been provided with compensation and given alternate lands for their use. The Minister of Health of NPC, Mr. Sathyalingam’s complaint about the dearth of doctors and Education Minister Gurukularajah’s lament about the shortage of Math and English teachers are not problems restricted to the northern province, but experienced in other regions of the country as well, except perhaps the better developed western province. The issue of malnutrition affecting the schooling of children is not just confined to the north, but seen in several places including Thantirimale, Kumbuk Oya in outlying areas of Matale district. We also have the major problem of Chronic Kidney Disease of multi- factorial causes afflicting about 2.5 million people in the NCP, South, Moneragala area, etc., where an average of 13 males aged between 30 and 60 are dying each day. What is needed is not a confrontational TNA controlled NPC but a cooperative one that will join with the Centre to find workable solutions with the limited resources available to the nation (LankaWeb : 15 March 2014).

MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan with banned LTTE leaders in Tamilnadu - by Mahinda Gunasekera Toronto - How come MP Rathika meets banned LTTE leaders in Tamil Nadu after her so called ordeal in Sri Lanka? - More revelations of MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan’s visit to Sri Lanka and Tamilnadu, South India have now surfaced. She claimed that her private visit to Sri Lanka after some 27 years was to meet with relatives and see her former home in Jaffna and engage in some charitable work just before the March 2014 UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Her cousin I believe was Mrs. Ananthi Sasitharan who was elected as an MP of the Northern Provincial Council, whose husband was a key leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorists holding the position of political head of the eastern region. He was responsible for recruiting children to the LTTE’s military wing to be brainwashed to becoming a storm trooper or suicide bomber. Her cousin Mrs. Ananthi Sasitharan while previously working in the Government Secretariat in Killinochchi drawing a salary from the Sri Lankan government (whose husband was a key member of the LTTE at the time), is said to have abused her authority and misused a government vehicle to transport material to a LTTE military camp. She had also met with Catholic clergy and Tamil National Alliance leaders (proxy party of the LTTE) who are supporters of the LTTE on her private visit to Sri Lanka, when the authorities cautioned her against engaging in activities of a political nature when visiting the country as a tourist. At this stage, she created a political rumpus by falsely claiming that she was being kept under house arrest in Sri Lanka, and that people on motorbikes were following her. Her visit was intended to instigate pro_LTTE groups in Sri Lanka to create a public outcry about lack of freedom and mistreatment by the authorities to draw the attention of the UNHRC and the international community in the 2-3 months preceding the UNHRC sessions scheduled to be held in March 2014.  She leaves Sri Lanka by making bogus allegations and then proceeds to meet with more members of her extended Tamil Tiger family in Tamilnadu, South India. Some of those seen in the enclosed photos are leading members of the pro-Tamil Tiger separatist group in Tamilnadu, who have previously been deported from Canada or banned from entering the country. The second photo number 1926713-1-00 shows a LTTE leader who displays a picture of himself with the infamous TAMIL TIGER leader (LankaWeb : 15 March 2014).

Geneva: Now, US named and shamed for HR violations- ... some abuses as old as America itself - The US spearheading a resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva drew heavy flak on Thursday for grave human rights abuses. The US was accused of systematic human rights violations both on its soil and abroad.  The Guardian has revealed that the US was censured on March 13, at the beginning of a two-day examination of the US human rights record by the UN?Human Rights Committee consisting of 18 members responsible for the investigation. The investigation has dealt with a long list of human rights abuses including detention of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo, target killings as well as clandestine surveillance operations undertaken by the National Security Agency (NSA).  Expressing its serious concerns over the US rights record, the expert committee asserted that its concerns related to faultlines as old as America itself, such as guns and race, according to The Guardian. The US has moved two successful resolutions against Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013 at the UNHRC. The Guardian quoted the head of the US delegation, Mary McLeod, Principal Deputy Legal Advisor as having said: "While we are certainly not perfect, our network of federal, state and local institutions provide checks on government...Since the founding of our country, in every generation there have been Americans who sought to realise our constitution’s promise of equal opportunity and justice for all."  McLeod is quoted as having said that Obama is working to reduce the number of detainees in Guantánamo; drone strikes are conducted "in compliance with international law" and the NSA is under "substantial oversight" by other parts of government. The administration was taking measures to reduce disparities in racial sentencing and profiling, and the death penalty was steadily declining in the 32 states that still practiced it.  However, the US failed to respond to specific issues raised by the UN committee, particularly the failure on the part of Obama administration to prosecute any of the officials responsible for permitting waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques under the previous administration.  Walter Kälin, a Swiss international human rights lawyer, who sits on the committee, lambasted the US for refusing to recognise the convention’s mandate over its actions beyond its own borders. The move, Kalin pointed out was taken after 9/11 as a way of evading international scrutiny over Guantánamo and other "extra-territorial" measures of dubious standing in international law.  The Swiss national was quoted as having said: "This world is an unsafe place," Kälin said. "Will it not become even more dangerous if any state would be willing to claim that international law does not prevent them from committing human rights violations abroad?"  Kälin expressed shock at some of America’s more extreme domestic habits. Referring to the release this week in Louisiana of Glenn Ford, the 144th person on death row in the US to be exonerated since 1973, Kalin said: "One hundred and forty-four cases of people wrongfully convicted to death is a staggering number." (Island : 14 March 2014).

Police, army teams to arrest LTTE suspect who shot SI - Police said the suspect who fled after shooting a Police officer in Kilinochchi was a former LTTE cadre who is suspected to have been involved in terrorist activities and several crimes against the state.  The suspect had shot a police Sub Inspector of the Terrorist Investigation Unit during a search operation to arrest him on Thursday in his house.  Kilinochchi police said the suspect was a temporary resident in a Killinochchi housing scheme built with the aid of Indian Government.  They said he had fled the area after the incident.  Several police and army teams have been deployed to conduct the search operation and apprehend the suspect who is still absconding (Daily Mirror : 14 March 2014).

Sri Lanka’s recent experiences with the UN and UNHRC - by Mahinda GunasekeraToronto, Canada - Sri Lanka’s recent experiences with the United Nations - Sri Lanka has been a member of the United Nations since December 1955 completing 58 years of membership in the world body. Sri Lanka has made a noteworthy contribution towards the goals and ideals of the United Nations, especially in the areas of formulating UN Conventions on terrorism, Law of the Sea, GATT negotiations, disarmament, peacekeeping duties, several other areas of international concern and even presiding over the UN Security Council in 1960 during the U-2 spy plane crisis. Sri Lanka has at all times honored the UN’s aims and principles, and in turn expects the UN body to uphold her rights as an equal member of this international organization (LankaWeb ; 14 March 2014).

An Open Letter to Mr. Sampanthan - By Shelton A. Gunaratne [1) - Dear Mr. Sampanthan: May I suggest that the TNA and the GoSL consider ahimsa and dharma principles of Hinduism and the dependent co-arising (paticca-samuppada) doctrine of Buddhism to bring about amity and harmony between the Sinhala and Tamil ethnic communities in Sri Lanka.  If you try to resolve problems in Asia by applying Oriental wisdom rather than by applying Occidental thought, which brainwashed us to rely on the white man’s wisdom for more than 500 years, we will stand a better chance of peaceful co-existence.  Let me call upon the so-called Buddhist rulers of Sri Lanka to adopt the Buddha’s dasarajadharma as their principles of good governance. Just forget about the jargon on human rights, press freedom, etc., that the West and its paid subsidiary, the UN , are using selectively to destabilize countries run by ‘pariahs’ they dislike.  After committing itself to dasarajadharma rule, the GoSL should re-assess what kind of discrimination against minorities exist in Sri Lanka vis a vis the majority Sinhalese. It should not be afraid to ask the question whether Tamils are restricted from owning land and settling down in any part of the island and whether the country can afford to set apart a vast tract of land specifically for one ethnic group.  The GoSL should declare its belief in the ti-lakkhana of existence: dukkha (suffering), anatta (no self) and anicca (impermanence). It should readily agree to dislodge rulers who behave as if they have everlasting souls and want to entrench themselves in power.  Because all problems are points of various ongoing processes, apply the same ti-lakkhana to assess social conflicts. Existence is suffering. Therefore, social or ethnic problems (included in suffering) cannot be totally eliminated. they can only be alleviated. Both GoSL and TNA should thus strive to approach negotiation with this basic understanding. Both Tamil and Sinhala intransigence is the result of their false belief in self or ego. The Tamils seek to depend on external forces (the West, UN and the Diaspora plus Tamil Nadu) to maintain their false ego while the Sinhalese feel miffed. Both parties forget that no permanent solutions exist in a world where all conditioned things are impermanent.  Sampanthan and the TNA must be more realistic: Don’t expect the GoSL to self-incriminate itself by proving it killed any more than 7,000 “terrorists” in the no-fly zone. Surely, the names of the missing or the dead must be known to the TNA by now. Collect these names and produce them before the general public rather than seeking international intervention. Follow the principles of dharma and ahimsa.  The Sinhala Buddhists should study the mutual causality process embedded in the dependent co-arising doctrine to understand the causal links that lead to the karmic effects of tanha (craving) and upadana (clinging), from which the ethnic problem has arisen.  This is just a brief outline of how Oriental “wisdom” could help us restore our ability to self-govern. Andaya’s sibling seems to rely too heavily on Western political science because he cannot think outside of his allegiance to Occidental “wisdom.” Despite his incorrigible bias, his suggestions also should receive GoSL and TNA’s attention at this late stage (LankaWeb : 14 March 2014).

Muslim, Sinhala IDPs’ right to return to NP should be recognised – President

TNA claim of French support for US resolution against Sri Lanka: Embassy won’t comment - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The French Embassy in Colombo yesterday declined to comment on a recent claim by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that France would throw its weight behind the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  European Union member, France, represents the group categorised as the Western Europe and other states in the 47-member UN body.  External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that the EU members in the UNHCR would vote as a group as they had done previously.  Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, C. V. K. Sivagnanam (TNA) quoted the French ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Jean-Paul Monchau as having said France would vote for the resolution. The claim was made following a meeting Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member, Sivagnanam had with ambassador Monchau in Jaffna last week.Responding to a query by The Island, a French embassy spokesperson yesterday said that it wouldn’t say anything in addition to the statement issued by the mission following the ambassador’s visit to the Northern Province.  The French ambassador wasn’t available for comment. Jaffna based sources told The Island that Sivagnanam had told the French envoy that the Sri Lankan Army was a major obstacle to post-war national reconciliation. The army was also accused of taking over land belonging to civilians.  The French Embassy said that during the ambassador’s visit to Jaffna from March 9 to 11, he had the opportunity to meet Northern Province Governor, G. A. Chandrasiri as well as representatives of Jaffna’s civil society including the Centre for Women and Development, the Social Organisation for Networking Development, the Red Cross, Caritas and Sarvodaya North. On the occasion of a visit to the newspaper, Uthayan, the Ambassador congratulated the editor-in-chief, Kanamailnathan, on winning the International Press Freedom award given by the French organisation, Reporters without Borders, and discussed press freedom.  The ambassador also visited Kilinochchi, where he met Government Agent R. Ketheeswaran.  During talks with the province’s elected officials, the Minister of Health of the Northern Provincial Council, Sathiyalingam, complained of a dearth of doctors and other qualified staff in the 100 hospitals of the Northern Province and specifically mentioned the situation of the disabled and special needs category of the population. He also brought up the issue of malnutrition which continued to affect large numbers of children. The issue was also taken up by the Minister of Education Gurukularajah who expressed his concern that malnutrition affected the schooling of children from marginalised households. The Minister informed the Ambassador of a shortage of Mathematics and English teachers in schools.  The Ambassador said reconciliation could, in the end, only be carried out through the will of all Sri Lankans themselves, in the setting of a united country and with the help of cooperating partner countries.  The French envoy completed his programme in Jaffna with a visit to the "Alliance Française de Jaffna", where he met the Director of the committee of the Alliance Française, teachers and students. "The Alliance Française de Jaffna" has over 200 hundred students. The Ambassador also visited the University of Jaffna, where he had the opportunity to hold discussions about France with a group of 40 students. The visit to the Northern Province ended with a guided tour of the Jaffna Public Library (Island : 14 March 2014).

Convergence of Patriots to Canberra - by Chanaka Bandarage - On Friday 7 March 2014 about 50 patriots from different parts of Australia converged to Canberra to meet with representatives of the UNHRC member countries located in Canberra. The delegates met with nearly 30 such Missions located in Canberra. They also met with the Office of Julie Bishop, Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia, a friend of Sri Lanka.  The delegates had lengthy discussion with representatives of the UNHRC member countries and most representatives offered signs that their countries may not vote in favour of the proposed US Resolution in Geneva this time. It seems many member countries are not happy with the way the US is bringing forward such a Resolution that will not help Sri Lanka, but will damage Sri Lanka. The proposed Resolution will be an impediment to Sri Lanka’s economic progress, unitary status (sovereignty) and ethnic reconciliation.  At the discussions, a Petition was handed to the representatives of the UNHRC member countries and that of Ms Bishop’s Office and representatives of the US/UK , Indian and Canadian Governments. Below, please find a copy of the said Petition: (LankaWeb : 14 March 2014).

Why Rauf didn’t give any reports during Prabhakaran’s time? - Wimal - Now Rauf’s document submitted to UN is used by LTTE diaspora to take it up with UNHCR to say that the Singhalese are beating Muslims & Tamils. A copy of the report is given to Gajan Ponnambalam and he has taken this report to Qatar, Kuwait & Saudi Arabia and he is convincing the respective governments to vote against Sri Lanka based on the Hakeem’s falls report.  Friends, Hakeem has done this filthy job in many previous occasions for Halal package. He himself is like a third grade prostitute. Will sleep with whom ever pays him. His Halal package is consisting of Halal money, Halal women & Halal Scotch whisky. In 2000, newly mandated president CBK planed a massive attack on LTTE. Then LTTE attacked the Katunayake Airport & by which time LTTE has lost 12,000 carders. They badly needed a ceasefire to replenish carders & to gain political recognition. Hakeem received a Halal bribe- wine, women & money from LTTE and crossed over to UNP and Government was defeated in 2001 General election.  Thereafter, in April 2002 Hakeem signed an agreement with Prabahkaran who killed thousands of Muslims & chased away thousands of Muslims from North. This treacherous act was electorally defeated in 2004. Hakeem aligned himself with Ranil Wickramasinghe to defeat MR in 2005 & the formula remained same…. Halal style wine, women & Money to address the “ Muslim concerns” as per the Sharia law. When the eastern province liberation began in 2005, Hakeem openly blamed the Sri Lanka forces for the Muthoor Muslim massacre, which was actually done by LTTE (LankaWeb ; 13 March 2014).

Muslim, Sinhala IDPs’ right to return to NP should be recognised – President - By Shamindra Ferdinando - President Mahinda Rajapaksa early this week declared that since the vast majority of internally displaced Tamil people in the Northern Province had been resettled, it was now the responsibility of the government to resettle the Sinhalese and the Muslims chased away by the LTTE.  President Rajapaksa emphasised that the right of all those evicted by terrorists at gunpoint more than 20 years ago to return should be recognised.  The President was addressing a propaganda rally at Ratmalana Railway grounds on Monday (March 10) in support of those contesting the Colombo district on the UPFA ticket.  In an obvious reference to the ongoing attempt to haul Sri Lanka before an international war crimes tribunal, President Rajapaksa said that the release of child soldiers had been conveniently forgotten. The government hadn’t received the appreciation it deserved for the swift release of child combatants, the President said, explaining the speedy rehabilitation and release of combatants.  The President said that society would provide a conducive environment to those returning to civilian life better than detention facilities.  President Rajapaksa said no one could undermine his administration as long as the people were with it.  Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Udaya Perera recently briefed Agnes Asekenye-Oonyu, Head of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on the situation at open welfare centres in Jaffna and the ongoing resettlement project.  Maj. Gen. Perera told The Island that the LTTE had driven people of all three communities out of the Jaffna peninsula during the conflict. The Sinhalese were chased out in the 1980s, the Muslims in 1990 and the Tamils during Operation Riviresa, which regain Jaffna in late 1995. Although the peninsula was brought under government administration in 1996, those the LTTE had driven away had not been able to return, the Major General said.  Major General Perera assured the UN official Sri Lanka’s commitment to resettle the war displaced as soon as possible.  Defence Ministry sources told The Island that the return of about 30 Sinhala families to Navatkuly close to Jaffna had prompted the US Embassy to dispatch its political officer, Michael A. Ervin, to inquire into the circumstances under which they had arrived there. Sources said that the families residing at Navatkuly were among those forced to flee the peninsula at the onset of hostilities in the 1980s. According to the 1981 Census, there had been 19,334 Sinhalese in Northern Province, comprising the administrative districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar. The majority of them had lived in the Jaffna peninsula and owned property at the time hostilities erupted.  Ministry sources said that the natural growth of a particular community too, should be taken into consideration before resettlement of those driven out of the Northern Province got underway (Island ; 12 March 2014).

LTTE show in Canada a flop - By Shamindra Ferdinando - An LTTE rally held at Dundas Square, Toronto last Sunday (March 9) in support of an international war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka attracted fewer than 300 persons though Toronto is home to over 200,000 Canadians of Sri Lankan origin.  Canada based sources told The Island that the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) had declared thousands would attend what it called Tamil Genocide Awareness Rally, but participation had been very low.  They said that several participants carried LTTE flags, though Canada proscribed the group in April 2006. Having categorised the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as an LTTE front, Canada banned it in June 2008.  Sources described the NCCT established two years later as the successor to the WTM.  Asked whether the police had tried to prevent the display of LTTE flags, sources answered in the negative. A statement issued by the NCCT accused the Sri Lankan military of killing 70,000 Tamil civilians. The allegation was made on the basis of the findings made by UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s panel of experts.  In spite of the extremely poor show, the NCCT called for an internationally monitored referendum in Sri Lanka, in line with the precedents set in East Timor and South Sudan, to bestow basic political and human rights to enable ‘Eelam Tamils’ to peacefully determine their own future (Island : 12 March 2014).

Tamil Diaspora split over US-led resolution backed by UK

A day to recollect saving Tamil speaking women from Tigers says Arun T - Int’l women’s day: - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Arun Tambimuttu Batticaloa District SLFP organiser, Arun Tambimuttu yesterday said that those who had been condoning the LTTE's use of females as cannon fodder during the conflict in Sri Lanka were now shamelessly using international women's day to accuse Sri Lanka of ill-treating Tamil speaking women.  Sri Lanka celebrated the international women's day on March 8.  Whatever those pushing for an international war crimes probe may say, Tamil speaking women were safer than ever today, Tambimuttu said in a brief interview with The Island, adding that since May 19, 2009 no woman had died due to the conflict.  Unfortunately, the government, too, had squandered a timely opportunity to remind the international community how it had saved Tamil women from the LTTE, which went to the extent of forming exclusive women fighting units for deployment in high intensity battles. None of those who had been shedding crocodile tears for Tamil speaking women since the conclusion of the conflict, had voiced concern when the LTTE used women in military operations, the SLFPer said, challenging them to produce at least a press release issued during the war critical of the use of females in combat and suicide missions.  Sri Lanka could rightfully be proud of having liberated all child soldiers from the clutches of terrorists and released them together with male and female fighters taken into custody during the final phase of the conflict, Tambimuttu said.  A section of the Tamil Diaspora as well as some members of the international community had taken up the cudgels for Northern Provincial Council member, Ananthi Sasitharan though they had looked the other way when the LTTE assassinated Sarojini Yogeswaran, the Mayoress of Jaffna on May 17, 1998, Tambimuttu said.  Responding to a query, Tambimuttu said that those promoting separatist sentiments wouldn't hesitate to exploit international events to step up pressure on Sri Lanka. Statements issued by various interested parties highlighted their strategy, he said, while acknowledging the need to effectively counter anti-Sri Lanka propaganda.  Referring to a statement issued by the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) on the international women's day accusing the Sri Lankan military of raping of women Tamil speaking women during the conflict as well as during the post-conflict period and systematic continuing abuse of women by the military, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Tambimuttu pointed out this was all part of its strategy to justify Channel 4 News allegations regarding the same. Had those now representing the GTF genuinely felt the need to protect Tamil speaking women, they should have opposed the use females in combat while Prabhakaran was alive. In fact, they should have urged the LTTE at least not to use women and children as human shields during the final phase of the conflict, Tambimuttu said.  Commenting on British High Commissioner, John Rankin statement also issued to mark the international women's day, Tambimuttu pointed out that Adele Balasingham publicly encouraged the use of women in combat and hung cyanide capsules around their necks was now living freely in the UK. Tambimuttu said that the bottom line was that the UK didn't feel the need to take up the issue of women in war zones until the LTTE had lost the war. Tambimuttu said that thousands of lives could have been saved if the international community had intervened earlier.  Tambimuttu said that it would be important to conduct a survey to establish the number of women killed fighting for the LTTE as well as those women killed by the LTTE. "My mother was one among many victims. She was killed along with my father."  Tambimuttu said that women and children wouldn't have been safe if the LTTE hadn’t been defeated. In fact, the international community had done nothing to prevent the LTTE from using women and children in combat and suicide missions in spite of having signed an agreement with the UN in May 1998 to stop the despicable practice of using children, Thambimuttu said (Island : 09 March 2014).

‘Tiger Bishop’ Rayappah Joseph’s proposals to UNHRC  - by P.A.Samaraweeera, Melbourne- ‘Tiger’ Bishop, Rayappah Joseph of Mannar, along with LTTE backers and NGO’s had submitted some proposals asking the US to include them in the final draft of the US Resolution to the UNHRC. In their memo, they had given 7 requests and some of them had been ‘separatism’ to the North and East, an international investigation on war crimes in Sri Lanka, acceptance of the traditional homeland theory, a remembrance day for the tiger terrorists and so on. Rayappah Joseph and his gang had requested that their proposals be included in the US Resolution. The Tamil diaspora as well had requested that the US resolution include these recommendations. So all these groups are canvassing the UNHRC to impose on Sri Lanka what the LTTE failed to achieve with arms.  Rayappah Joseph’s support to the LTTE is no secret. When the LTTE was driven away from the Madhu church premises, he walked away with the Madhu statue to LTTE held territory. Now he is doing all his preaching to revive the LTTE rump. Another well known supporter is Father S.J.Emmanuel who is now the leader of the UK based Global Tamil Forum. Then we have in this group Jaffna Bishop saundranayagam. When Ambassador-at-large Stephen Rapp was in Sri Lanka they had a meeting with him presenting with their so called ‘Grievances’. There was also a time when the Catholic Church had its sympathies with the LTTE. The Church took the stand that the ethnic crisis is a conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhala Buddhists and not an issue between the terrorists and the State. The church preferred a divided Sri Lanka.  During the hey days of the LTTE the Bishop of Jaffna requested all Tamil political parties to cease functioning so that the LTTE could act as the sole representative of the Tamil people. The position of the Church was confirmed by Mr. S. Dixit, a former High Commissioner of India, who stated in his book (‘Assignment Colombo” P.228) that, “What was fascinating was that the Tamil Catholic clergy kept arguing in favour of the LTTE throughout my tenure in Sri Lanka’. So it is not surprising that Rayappah Joseph is carrying on with his support to terror backers! The actions of some Catholic Bishops had eroded the credibility of the Catholic Church (LankaWeb : 09 March 2014).

Rape of sovereignty - The Geneva circus is on with the worst violators of human rights in the world masquerading as champions of democracy. Perhaps, there is no bigger farce than this summit. The UNHRC is dominated by the West and, therefore, it could not be expected to act independently. It has become a kangaroo court in all but name.  Sri Lanka has taken exception to the US-sponsored draft resolution against it as a ‘bad precedent [which] can, in the medium-to-long term, have an adverse impact on all developing countries in the Council." Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha minced no words the other day when he rejected it out of hand on the grounds that it ‘violates the constitutional provisions of Sri Lanka, is highly intrusive in nature and is in breach of the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan people and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka". He described it as being politicised and in clear contravention of accepted principles of conduct in the UNHRC.  Ambassador Aryasinha has come out with a few home truths for the consumption of the global community. But, it is only wishful thinking that the sponsors of the resolution will heed them. There is no way one could wake up those who pretend to be slumbering. What we witness in Geneva, year in year out, is a diplomatic badger hunt. All that the badger being pursued can do is to valiantly fight back, but the mastiffs win the day because might is right at the UN. Regrettably, not only hounds but also other burrowing mammals, so to speak, join the pursuit of the quarry without realising that their turn to run for life will come sooner or later (Island : 09 March 2014).

India Yet To Decide on UNHRC Resolution - by Ira de Silva London, Canada; The Editor, The Hindu Delhi, India; Dear Sir : Reference your news item on March 7,2014 that the Indian External Affairs Ministry has indicated that India is yet to take a final call on the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, is this not what India did on two previous occasions when it was abundantly clear to both those that were for the resolution and those who were against it that India was going to vote against Sri Lanka? It seems that the Indian Government does not have the integrity or honesty to make it known publicly that it will vote against the resolution. India was against country specific resolutions except in the case of Sri Lanka, again illustrating India’s dishonesty and total lack of principles. Sri Lanka is well aware that India will vote against it just as the U.S. and U.K. know that they can count on India to support them because all of them have a common bond, they are the worst violators of human rights which abuses are proven unlike what they claim about Sri Lanka. For the U.K. and India it is also to win votes in their respective countries.  The External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said: “There was no substantive discussion in that meeting on this matter.” - that is diplomatic jargon which is used to indicate a lie. Sri Lankans are well aware that India will vote against Sri Lanka to get votes in Tamil Nadu at the upcoming elections. That has been the pattern always where India harasses Sri Lanka on trumped up charges under the cover of human rights abuses when the whole world knows that India is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world. In the case of Sri Lanka it was India that trained, funded and created the Tamil terrorists to terrorise Sri Lanka and committed gross abuses of human rights on Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka.  It is necessary for the Indian media to publicise that Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and that India’s foreign policy of interference in the internal matters of it’s neighbours is recognized by them, is not appreciated and that they are beginning to consider getting together to counter Indian bullying (LankaWeb : 09 March 2014).

Ambassador Aryasinha says draft resolution violates SL’s Constitution - Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said "the draft resolution on Sri Lanka deposited with the Human Rights Council by a core group comprising - the USA, UK, Mauritius, Montenegro and Macedonia, violates the constitutional provisions of Sri Lanka, is highly intrusive in nature and is in breach of the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan people and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka".  "In being politicised and in clear contravention of accepted principles of conduct in the Council", he said, "the resolution sets a bad precedent, and can in the medium-to-long term have an adverse impact on all developing countries in the Council".  Ambassador Aryasinha made this observation in an intervention made at the commencement of the first informal meeting called by the sponsors of the draft resolution on Sri Lanka and held in Geneva on March 7 (Island : 07 March 2014).

Geneva and PC elections - President J.R. Jayewardene, whatever his faults, was not without wisdom. At a time when non-alignment was a buzzword, he remarked that there were only two non-aligned nations in the world and they were the United States and the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union disintegrated, only the US which was the sole remaining superpower, remains unaligned to any other country. It is aligned solely to its own interests as the world knows very well. This is the country with dirty hands that is leading the ongoing effort at the UN Human Rights Council to impose human rights accountability on small Sri Lanka. We, after nearly three decades of civil war, overcame a terrorist force that many, including the United States, believed was invincible. No wars in the course of history have been fought without human rights violations and ours was no exception. But it cannot be said that such violation was one sided and only on the part of the State of Sri Lanka. It is common knowledge that the LTTE was by far the bigger offender with its acts of sheer brutal terror, mostly inflicted on innocent civilians, legion.  Our newspapers and other media channels have in the last few days been full of what is going on at the UNHRC in Geneva. Most of our people share President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s view that the whole business will end with what he called ``a small black mark’’ placed on our country. The chances of Sri Lanka’s friends defeating the US-led resolution, as has been done at previous UNHRC sessions, are non-existent. This time round, the resolution will probably have less muscle than its sponsors hope because they will be forced to dilute it with a view to broad basing support. Very few Lankans are interested in the nuances of the Geneva happenings and they are not a major global news event. However our opposition, and particularly the UNP, is convinced that Rajapaksa sees political mileage in Geneva to be exploited at the forthcoming elections in the populous Western and Southern Provinces. In our view the biggest advantage the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance has is the perception that they are the winning side. We, after all, are a country that is vasi paththata hoiya (hurrah for the winning side) as the pithy Sinhala idiom has it. The opposition UNP has been written off as perennial losers and the green party has its work cut out in getting its not inconsiderable support base to the polls.  Quite apart from Geneva, there are many issues on which it is incumbent on electors to state their views. We have often stated in these columns that we subscribe to the view that the Provincial Councils do little for the people whose tax rupees support them. They are a white elephant that nobody, except the people of the North and East, long hungering for regional autonomy in predominantly Tamil areas, ever wanted or demanded. But as the late Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali once famously said, ``you cannot give to Jaffna what you will not give Hambantota.’’ So the country has since been saddled with a system that benefits the political class more than any other. Most of those seeking election to the Provincial Councils have their sights on Parliament. They find the PCs a convenient ladder which will help them to climb higher. Also, the perks and privileges that provincial councilors enjoy are considerable as clearly demonstrated by the number of close kinsmen of national politicians running for office. For the government, it is important to demonstrate to the country and the wider world outside that the president’s and its own popularity is largely undiminished however loudly tubs are thumped in Geneva (Island : 07 March 2014).

Ananthi alleges Sumanthiran silenced her in Geneva TNA, Tamil Diaspora split over US-led resolution backed by UK - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Arift has emerged in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with one of the most prominent Northern Provincial Council members, Ananthi Sashitharan publicly accusing TNA National List MP, M.A. Sumanthiran of having deprived her of an opportunity to address UNHRC members at a recent crucial meeting in Geneva due to her alleged past involvement in the LTTE. Ananthi was married to Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan, a hardcore terrorist who masqueraded as the LTTE’s Trincomlaee District political leader during the Ceasefire Agreement arranged by the Norwegian government in February 2002. Ananthi represents the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), the dominant partner of the five-party alliance comprising the TELO, PLOTE, EPRLF, TULF and ITAK.  Addressing the media at the Jaffna press club on Thursday, an irate Sasitharan charged that MP Sumanthiran had scuttled her plans in Geneva, where she was to press representatives of 18 member states of the UNHRC to demand that the US-led resolution recommend an international investigation into war crime allegations. MP Sumanthiran, she alleged was basically seeking the support of member states for the US resolution.  MP Sumanthiran didn’t respond to an SMS message we sent him. The MP was in Australia this week to pressure the Australian government to co-sponsor US-led resolution.  Sasitharan claimed that those who had believed that the ongoing Geneva session would lead to a war crimes probe were frustrated and those who led Tamils speaking people to believe that a tough resolution would be presented to the UNHRC had deceived them.  She warned that the youth would be disillusioned unless the international community ensured that those responsible for war crimes were punished. The international community should take the responsibility in such an eventuality, she said.  Emphasising that there hadn’t been any restrictions imposed on her before she left the country for engagements in Geneva with a TNA delegation, Sasitharan alleged that after a couple of meetings there, MP Sumanthiran had advised her not to address UNHRC representatives direct.  Commenting on MP Sumanthiran’s strategy in Geneva, Sasitharan alleged that the National List MP had failed to push for an international war crimes probe though the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) had passed a resolution demanding ex external probe on accountability issues. Fielding questions, Sasitharan acknowledged that the MP had discussed the role allegedly played by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the militarisation of the Northern Province, the takeover of land belonging to Tamil speaking people as well as the fate of those who had surrendered to the army and the missing.  The TNA won the first Northern Provincial Council election last September. Sasitharan polled the second highest number of preferential votes after Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran (Island : 07 March 2014).

Is UNHRC Navi Pillay probe, a push to replace Sri Lanka with Diego Garcia? - by Shenali D Waduge - There are many wanting to know why a country enjoying 4 years of post-terrorist peace with people and even former cadres getting on with their lives should be hounded by the likes of Navi Pillay, the US, UK and even India bringing Resolution after Resolution with non-associated additions with each new Resolution while no such Resolutions have come before the UNHRC for the Christian West’s successive imperial military interventions and regime change programs – the reasons are complicated just as they are unjust raising the need to always juxtapose demands made by US directly or through Navi Pillay or Ban Ki Moon against Sri Lanka with West’s desire to secure its geopolitical positioning in Asia when lease of its key base Diego Garcia is set to expire in 2016. When US is likely to be without a base sooner than later it needs to set the ground and it is doing a perfect covert operation just as it created a base by separating Kosovo and is now doing the same in Ukraine. The Government that boldly snubbed the Pillay report must now use the podium to place the issue of regime change as a topic that US/UK and West can be held accountable for.  Diego Garcia was given to the US on a 50 year lease after Britain unceremoniously chased out all the natives in what can be termed nothing other than forced expulsion or depopulation on request of US and pocketed USD14million from America. The British even exterminated all the pets and animals raised by the natives. It functions as an extraordinary rendition point. The British Government even lied to the British Parliament and the British citizens about the base and its use as a place where kidnapped people from overseas were flown in ‘ghost flights’ for inhuman and internationally banned interrogation methods. David Miliband was one of those liars. The British sham went on to hold an inquiry appointing Sir Peter Gibson who was the former head of UK intelligence leaving little to the imagination as to where the inquiry would lead to. If that was no considered a conflict of interest it is no surprise that Navi Pillay has deferred from recusing herself from Sri Lanka given that she is genetically, emotionally and ethnically a Tamil.  That US/UK were violating international laws never became a concern for Navi Pillay to issue statements against extraordinary renditions areas which she had direct mandate over. The European Parliament identified 1254 CIA flights through European airspace since September 2001 (LankaWeb : 07 March 2014).

UNHRC has made separatist elements more intransigent - GL - External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris during his meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillay said that the highly prejudiced actions by sections of the international community and the Office of the High Commissioner to give disproportionate attention to Sri Lanka had only made the separatist diaspora Tamil elements and their proxies in the north more intransigent, making the intensely difficult task of achieving reconciliation in Sri Lanka even harder.  Prof. Peiris said the High Commissioner was well aware of the important political decisions the government of Sri Lanka had taken in the restoration of normalcy to those affected following the conflict, channeling the necessary resources to develop the previously conflict affected areas and in September 20, 2013, to enable the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections, which four previous Presidents over 26 years did not have the courage to do.  Minister Peiris made this observation when as the leader of the Sri Lanka delegation for the 25th HRC, as is customary, he met the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillay today (6th March 2014) at the Palaise de Nations in Geneva.  Minister Peiris drew to the High Commissioner’s attention the objections he made to the report submitted by her to the current Human Rights Council sessions where he detailed the lack of objectivity and patent bias evidenced in her report which also called for the setting up of an international inquiry mechanism on Sri Lanka. He said the report was both one sided and politicized. He said it was particularly unfortunate that the High Commissioner should have done so after having the benefit of an extended visit to Sri Lanka where she was given unimpeded access. Noting that the High Commissioner had undertaken her visit almost 2 ½ years after the original invitation was extended by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Minister said that he felt that some of the High Commissioner’s comments while in Sri Lanka and her final report represented a lost opportunity in contributing positively to Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process.  Minister Peiris said that the bias, unfairness with which Sri Lankan was being treated was also evident in recent acts such as the refusal of the OHCHR to, as done last year to place Sri Lankan’s comments on the High Commissioner’s report as an addendum, as done when she presented her report in the previous year. While appreciating that the OHCHR had incorporated some of the glaring errors that were contained in the draft report following Sri Lanka’s comments, he said, the GOSL was nevertheless concerned about the methodology and sources that continued to inform the High Commissioner’s reports and action on Sri Lanka (Island : 07 March 2014).

Don’t dilute US resolution, make it stronger – TNA to tell India - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) intends to request India not to dilute the proposed US-led resolution against Sri Lanka over accountability issues as well as post-war developments which it considered inimical to the interests of Tamils.  The TNA decided to make representations to India at a meeting held at the parliamentary complex on Wednesday evening.  Security and political sources told The Island that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)was exploring ways and means of strengthening the proposed US led resolution scheduled to come up for voting on March 26 at the ongoing 25th session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). A TNA delegation is likely to leave for New Delhi soon.  India represents Asia in the 47-member UNHRC categorised into five groups.  Sources said that the TNA expected India to ensure the formulation of the strongest possible resolution. The UK based British Tamil Forum (BTF) has already rejected the US draft proposal, demanding that the international community move a tough resolution. Although other major diaspora organisations including the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) hasn’t officially commented on the draft resolution, it was in the process of making representations to foreign governments.  The five-party TNA is of the opinion that the draft resolution jointly tabled by the US, the UK, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius has failed to address the concerns of the Tamil speaking people.  Well informed sources told The Island that the TNA parliamentary group had met in the wake of the US making the draft resolution available to 47 member states of the UNHRC as well as other countries expected to co-sponsor it. The entire group except MPs, M. A. Sumanthiran and S. Vino Noharathalingam met under the leadership of TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, MP, to discuss the situation. The meeting had been meant to reach consensus on their strategy to strengthen the resolution, sources said. In accordance with the TNA’s plan, senior representatives would meet Indian authorities as well as Colombo based Western diplomats and UNHRC officials to stress the need to formulate strongest possible resolution, sources said.  Sources quoted veteran politician Sampanthan as having told the gathering there was still time to make the required changes.  The TNA also decided to focus on post-war land issues as well as security forces deployment in the Northern Province. The TNA would pressure those moving the resolution to make specific references in the proposed resolution, to the land issue and the military deployment in the Northern Province, sources said (Island : 06 March 2014).

Silence on Lanka Resolution – March 5,2014 -by Ira de Silva London, Canada - The Editor, Letters The Telegraph Calcutta, India, Dear Sir: It is indicated that India and Sri Lanka were “non-committal” on the third resolution against Sri Lanka tabled at the UNHCR in Geneva. No one in Sri Lanka will find that surprising because they know that India will as usual vote against Sri Lanka although Mr. Singh claims to be “thinking about it” as he has done in the past and Sri Lanka is well aware of India’s constant harassment of Sri Lanka based on the claim that they want to help the Sri Lankan Tamils to which end they created a terrorist group and terrorized Sri Lanka just to win elections in Tamil Nadu. After the defeat of the leadership of the Tamil terrorists, India is now resorting to “diplomatic terrorism” against Sri Lanka because of the upcoming Indian election.  Mr. Rajapakse is well aware that India will again vote against Sri Lanka so he is “non-committal” in public but Sri Lankans hope that in private he has indicated to Mr. Singh that Sri Lanka is tired of India’s interference and aggresssion. They hope that he has indicated to Mr. Singh that Sri Lanka will not tolerate India’s interference because like him, Mr. Rajapakse will only win the next election if he can tell the Sri Lankan voter that he has taken a stand against India. He won the last time because he defeated the Tamil terrorists, next time he will only win if he stands firm against India and defeats Indian interference in the internal matters of Sri Lanka, stops the Indians from poaching in Sri Lankan waters and does not allow votes in Tamil Nadu to influence him to harass another sovereign country.   Any investigation should include the role that India has played in terrorism in Sri Lanka and particularly the massive human rights abuses of the Indian forces in Sri Lanka because these Indian forces killed thousands of Tamils (Tamil genocide) 4000 rapes documented, shelled the Jaffna hospital killing doctors, nurses and patients just to name a few FACTS documented by the Indians themselves. This is the India that created, funded and supported the Tamil terrorists and used them to terrorize Sri Lanka. Perhaps India should bring in a separate resolution as suggested by Mr. Karunanidhi and co-sponsored by the so called international community who were party to these Indian crimes in Sri Lanka. If the FACTS are documented correctly perhaps Sri Lanka will support it too – then it could be passed unanimously! (LankaWeb : 06 March 2014).

US resolution, Pillay’s report inflict harm on reconciliation – GoSL - Sri Lanka yesterday rejected a US-led resolution meant to pave the way for an international investigation into accountability issues in Sri Lanka.  The resolution jointly tabled by the UK, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius welcomed UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay’s recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results.  External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday told the 25th Session of the Geneva-based body that the government of Sri Lanka rejected the resolution as well as the UNHRC Chief’s report in its entirety as they were fundamentally flawed.  Minister Peiris said: "These initiatives disregard the substantial progress made by the Government during the five years which have elapsed since the end of the thirty year war against terrorism. They also pay scant regard to the complexities and local nuances of a sensitive reconciliation process, while eroding confidence of the people of Sri Lanka by the constant changing of unjustifiable demands. Moreover, they persist in an attitude which is clearly disproportionate to the circumstances and inconsistent with the treatment of comparable situations. It is much to be regretted that the High Commissioner’s Report and those who exalt its virtues only seek to inflict harm on the reconciliation process by bringing about a polarisation of the Sri Lankan society."Prof. Peiris reiterated Sri Lanka’s continued cooperation and engagement with the UNHRC.  The resolution, which is to be voted at the end of this month, will be the third in as many year since the conclusion of the conflict.  The resolution also recommends the establishment of a truth seeking mechanism, a national reparations policy, to hold individuals responsible accountable for violations of international human rights law, investigate all attacks against religious minorities, journalists, human rights defenders and civil society.  The resolution seeks meaningful devolution of powers in terms of the 13th amendment to the constitution and to empower the Tamil chief minister in the north with necessary resources and authority.  Minister Peiris told the UNHRC: "The High Commissioner’s Report has exceeded its mandate by making reference to and recommendations on numerous issues extraneous to the resolution. Additionally, the recommendations contained in the Report are arbitrary, intrusive and of a political nature, and are not placed within the ambit of the LLRC, as demonstrated by the call to establish an international inquiry mechanism. Further, this recommendation is in contravention of her mandate granted by GA Resolution 48/141, particularly Articles 3(a) and 4(g). In the Government’s detailed "Comments" on the Report, it has also regretted that the High Commissioner has raised concerns regarding a range of issues based on information of questionable veracity and conclusions arrived at in a selective and arbitrary manner. Sri Lanka’s Comments have attempted to address some of the errors and misperceptions contained in the Report."  In an obvious reference to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcoming of Pillay’s report, Prof. Peiris said: "The references made in the Council welcoming the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, even at the highest level of the UN are regrettable, particularly considering that it is based on questionable and baseless material including what has been processed outside the UN framework. The Council may recall in this regard that the Panel of Experts Report which was the culmination of a private consultation that the Secretary General sought for his own advice, and is not the product of any intergovernmental process, has been extensively resorted to by the High Commissioner in her Report to the Council, in a bid to legitimise it within the UN framework despite the lack of mandate in this regard." (Island : 05 March 2014).

Navi Pillay is disqualified to be Head of UNHRC

Navi Pillay is disqualified to be Head of UNHRC - by  Shenali D Waduge SRI LANKA - When public sentiments against international public officials are voiced internationally there is an urgent need to investigate why the world public should openly find an international public official unsuitable. Thus, the UN Secretary General is duty bound to listen and in the least hold an impartial inquiry to ascertain the grounds on which people in different parts of the world are vocalizing their dissatisfaction with Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Countries too need to pay heed to calls of the public and place an official No Confidence Motion against her. Navi Pillay’s bias against Libya, Rwanda, Syria and Sri Lanka are highlighted below (LankaWeb : 05 March 2014).

Kilinochchi-Pallai re-constructed railway track, signal system inaugurated - The Kilinochchi-Pallai re-constructed railway track and signal system built by IRCON International Ltd under the concessional Indian Line of Credit was inaugurated on Tuesday.  The ceremony was attended by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Minister Douglas Devananda, Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha, Consul General of India in Jaffna, Shri V. Mahalingam, Northern Province Governor Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayake, Murugesu Chandrakumar MP, senior officials from the Transport Ministry, Sri Lanka Railways and IRCON International Limited. They undertook a train journey from Kilinochchi to Pallai on the reconstructed track.  The 27.5 km long Kilinochchi-Pallai railway line was reconstructed under a concessionary credit line of about US$ 800 million provided by the Indian government for the Northern Railway Reconstruction Project. India’s commitment was recorded in the Indo-Lanka Joint Declaration of June 9, 2010 in New Delhi, during the visit of the Sri Lankan President. Under this project, the segments already completed include the Medawachchiya-Madhu Road, inaugurated on May 14, 2013 and the Omanthai- Kilinochchi segment, inaugurated by the Sri Lankan President on September 14, 2013, an Indian High Commission Spokesman said.  Speaking on the occasion, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama, thanked the Indian government for the assistance provided towards reconstruction activities in Sri Lanka, including the rehabilitation of the Northern Railway line. Emphasising on the close relationship between the two countries, he noted that India had provided concessionary credit on soft terms for the project which others had not given.  Expressing satisfaction with the work of IRCON International, the Minister said that Talaimannar and Kankesanthurai would also be connected to the reconstructed rail network very soon."In the South the railway network would reach Kataragama from Matara in a period of two years. I urge the Indian government to consider more concessionary credit towards development of Sri Lanka’s railway network."  The Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha said that the inauguration of the Kilinochchi-Pallai railway line was another milestone in the historic partnership between the two countries rooted in civilizational ties of history, language, culture, religion and in trade. He, pointed out that the reconstruction of the Northern line would assist in restoration of normal life, generate and support livelihood related activities, assist in restoring connectivity, not only within the Northern Province, but also with the rest of the country, thus promoting development, reconciliation and greater integration (Island : 05 March 2014).

Statement by Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris at the High Level Segment of the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council - Minister of External Affairs & Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation; Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. May I at the outset congratulate you Mr. President, as well as Members of the Bureau on your election as office bearers of this Council. I pledge my delegation’s support to you at all times in the discharge of your office. Sri Lanka also reiterates its continued support to the High Commissioner in the discharge of her mandate as contained in GA Resolution 48/141, to the OHCHR, and to the work of this Council. Mr. President, It is imperative that the Human Rights Council remains a credible and independent arbiter in dealing with global human rights situations. All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and must be treated in a fair and equitable manner, without the privileging of one set of rights over another. It is for these reasons, that economic, social and cultural rights which are at the core of sustainable development need to gain the same level of emphasis and legitimacy as civil and political rights. As we celebrate the 28th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration on the Right to Development, there needs to be a more robust approach to promote effective international cooperation with regard to the right to development and the elimination of obstacles to its enjoyment. Sri Lanka shares the concern of the High Commissioner as well as States on the challenges faced by her Office on account of resource constraints. At the same time, we remain deeply concerned that the lack of financial independence of the OHCHR leads to the erosion of independence in its overall functioning. For example, the disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council which selectively targets some countries, while situations, human rights violations and restrictive practices in other parts of the world that warrant more urgent and immediate attention and action remain conveniently ignored, is a matter of serious concern. The stark reality is that the continuation and proliferation of the practice of the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Council is a tool that exploits human rights for political purposes. Regrettably, a similar pattern is evident in the case of continued action on Sri Lanka in this Council. We reiterate that such politicized action is contrary to the high purposes and principles of the Council and must be arrested. We believe that additional budgetary allocations from regular funding would lessen the OHCHR’s dependence on voluntary contributions and earmarked funding and thus would allow it to function in an independent manner (island : 05 March 2014).

Mannar Bishop leads call for int’l war crimes probe - ‘Identify specific units, senior officers’ - by Shamindra Ferdinando - A group of Catholic priests and Rev. sisters from the Northern and eastern provinces has urged the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to adopt a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka.The appeal was made by 205 persons on the eve of the inauguration of the UNHRC’s 25th sessions.  The move is led by the Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, who has been in the forefront of local Tamils’ push for an international war crimes inquiry.  Well informed sources told The Island that the group had made its move in spite of last month’s controversy over the Mannar Bishop and Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Saundranayagam calling for an international war crimes investigation during a meeting with US Ambassador-at-large at the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice Stephen J. Rapp in the North and US Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison. Sources alleged that the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was behind the latest project undertaken by the priests.  Asked whether the GTF had played a role in this project, Rev. Father S.J. Emmanuel, the leader of the GTF told The Island that it was an initiative taken by the victims and witnesses on the ground.  External Affairs Ministry sources alleged that the petition was meant to justify the US-led effort to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing Geneva session. Sources said that the group of clergy was obviously working closely with the LTTE rump/Diaspora. In fact, the petition was most probably prepared in London or Washington and sent to Sri Lanka to collect signatures, sources said.  The priests, in their petition to the member states of the UNHRC alleged that the government had done nothing to address the grievances of those who suffered during the conflict. Alleging that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as well as other domestic mechanisms had failed to achieve desired results, they emphasized the importance of international intervention in Sri Lanka (Island : 04 March 2014).

Defence Ministry alleges Mannar Bishop pursing LTTE agenda - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Responding to Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph’s call for an international war crimes probe, the Defence Ministry yesterday accused the priest of working closely with the LTTE pushing for external intervention in Sri Lanka.  The ministry alleged that the clergyman was most probably working with the UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) headed by Rev. Father, S. J. Emmanuel.  Had the Mannar Bishop been genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of Tamil speaking people, he would have urged the one-time co-chairs of Sri Lanka’s peace process, namely the US, EU, Norway and Japan to turn the heat on the LTTE when the group quit the negotiating table in April 2003, during the tenure of the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a senior Defence Ministry spokesman told The Island. The official said that the Bishop of Mannar had remained silent as long as he felt the LTTE would overwhelm the army on the Vanni front. Responding to a query, the official said that the government was confident that the vast majority of Northerners as well as Easterners appreciated the eradication of terrorism in May 2009.  The Defence Ministry alleged that the Bishop of Mannar had turned a blind eye to LTTE atrocities, particularly the use of children as cannon fodder throughout the conflict and he had never opposed the LTTE’s decision to hold the civilian population as a shield until the very end.  Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the LTTE had been working overtime to undermine the post-war national reconciliation process, the spokesman said.  The ministry said that the international community would be briefed on the Bishop’s longstanding relationship with the LTTE. The latest petition submitted by a group of Catholic clergy was meant to convey to the world that the situation was worse now than during the war, the ministry said (Island : 04 March 2014).

CHIEF MINISTER VIGENESWERAN’S SUGGESTION TO GRANT DUAL CITIZENSHIP TO TAMIL DIASPORA HAS A SINISTER MOVE - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - There is some hidden agenda in Northern Province Chief Minister Vignesweran’s suggestion of granting of Dual Citizenship to the Tamil Diaspora to encourage them to invest in Sri Lanka. It sounds okay on the face of it but there is some sinister move under this suggestion. This is a very subtle ploy by the TNA and pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora (a) to get the LTTE activists among the Tamil Diaspora back in to Sri Lanka to start another separatist war (b) to allow free flow of illegal funds to fund another separatist war. The demand by TNA to close army camps in the North appears to be directly linked to this suggestion. Closing of army camps will be one of the proposals made by UNHRC in March Sessions. LTTE rumps flocking back to Sri Lanka thro dual citizenship claims, free flow of illegal funds to oil another terrorist war machine and removal of camps in the North will eventually make an easy path for them to restart another terrorist war (Sri Lanka News Online : 02 March 2014).

S. Africa urged to shun SL, back US resolution - by Shamindra Ferdinando - An influential South African organization working closely with pro-LTTE groups are stepping up pressure on the African National Congress (ANC) to abandon its role in the post-war national reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and vote for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka Solidarity Group (SGPJ) comprising the South African Tamil Federation, the Tamil Coordinating Committee, the World Saiva Council and several other stakeholders established in 2007 has urged South African government to quit the Sri Lankan reconciliation project. The grouping is widely believed to be close to the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF).  The SGPJ recently urged South Africa to join the US-UK led grouping spearheading the move against Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session scheduled to begin today (March 3). The US is scheduled to move its third resolution against Sri Lana since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.  South Africa is among the seven countries from the African continent on the 47-member UNHRC. The vote on the US resolution is scheduled to take place later this month.  An authoritative GoSL official told The Island that the Diaspora as well as the SGPJ probably feared that the appointment of Vice President of the ANC Cyril Ramphosa as South Africa’s Special Envoy to spearhead the Sri Lankan project could undermine UNHRC chief Navi Pillay’s efforts to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal.  The official said that the GTF had distanced itself from the South African initiative though it was originally involved in the effort. Well informed sources said that the GTF appeared to have second thoughts on the project especially after the Tamilnet at the behest of the LTTE rump attacked the South African initiative. The Tamilnet went to the extent of alleging that some corrupt sections of the ANC were involved in the operation.  The announcement of Ramphosa’s appointment was made by no less a person than South African President Jacob Zuma in his 6th State of the Nation address a few weeks ago. The announcement was made ahead of GoSL delegation headed by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva visiting South Africa for a series of meetings. The SGPJ has strongly urged South African government to shun the Sri Lankan delegation. The grouping reminded the pretoria government that it was set up by the late Minister Roy Padayachie to enhance the Diaspora support for the Tamils’ struggle in Sri Lanka.  A three-page statement issued by Solomon Pillay on behalf of SGPJ, the group reiterated the GTF claims that 23 countries, including India would vote for the US resolution in March.  Although international media said that US Assistant Secretary of State forSouth and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal would visit New Delhi early this week to discuss bilateral relations in the wake of Khobragade episode involving an Indian diplomat whose humiliating treatment at the hands of US authorities angered India, GoSL sources said that the US resolution, too, would definitely figure. Biswal is scheduled to visit Bangalore and New Delhi from March 4-6. In Bangalore, she will meet with government and business leaders to discuss joint efforts to foster innovation, increase high-tech and engineering engagement, and strengthen US-India economic ties. From Bangalore, she will travel to New Delhi, where she will meet with senior Indian officials to discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues, "including shared defense, security, and economic engagement across the Indo-Pacific corridor," according to a State Department announcement. On March 6, she will deliver remarks on the US-India economic relationship at the American Center in New Delhi. The State Department asserted that during her visit, Assistant Secretary Biswal "will seek to further broaden and deepen the US-India relationship, which President Obama has called one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century." (Island : 02 March 2014).

80% disappearance cases point finger at LTTE – Indian Express - Eighty per cent of the complaints of forced disappearance made to the Sri Lankan Presidential Commission of Disappearances, blame the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), The Indian Express reported yesterday quoting a well-placed source in the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka.  A news report published by the Indian Express said: "Quoting members of the commission, the official told Express that majority of the complaints from Tamils in the Northern Province pertained to children being abducted by the LTTE to fight its war against the Lankan forces.  However, Tamil media reporters who had covered the sittings of the disappearances panel in Kilinochchi and Jaffna, reported an overwhelming majority of the complaints were against the Sri Lankan army and their Tamil auxiliaries.  At a meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs and members of the Northern Provincial Council held in Jaffna on Friday, it has been announced that the Tamil National Alliance was not satisfied with the functioning of the panel.  A resolution passed by the meeting said, while the panel was sitting in Kilinochchi, a group of state agents were trying to persuade complainants to accept Death Certificates and close the case." (Island : 02 March 2014).

Indian Govt challenges commuting death sentences on Rajiv killers & others - Five-judge bench needed for constitutional adjudication - BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent - NEW DELHI, March 1: The Central Government of India on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its verdict holding that undue delay by the government in deciding mercy plea can be a ground to commute death sentence of a condemned prisoner.   The Centre submitted that the January 21 judgement, by which 15 condemned prisoners were granted life and paved the way for similar relief for Rajiv Gandhi’s killers, is "patently illegal, suffers from errors apparent".  It said such an important issue should have been heard by a Constitution bench and the judgement passed by a three-judge bench was without "jurisdiction".  "It is respectfully submitted that the impugned judgement is patently illegal, suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record and flies in the face of well-established principles of law laid down by this Court and contained in the Constitution and other statutes," the review petition said. "It is submitted that in the present case, the issue raised was that of the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay, which allegedly attracted Article 21 (right to life) in favour of the convicts. "Therefore, it involved a substantial issue of interpretation of the Constitution and ought to have been heard by a bench of five Judges, as mandated under Article 145 of the Constitution," it said.  Referring to an earlier apex court order in which it was said that the nature of crime has to be considered while commuting the death sentence of a convict, the government said the previous verdict "observed that there is a distinction between offences such as the Terrorist Prevention and Distruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and other offences".  The Sri Lankan Tamils and natives of Tamil Nadu implicated in Rajiv Gandhi’s sensational assassination on 21 May 1991 were tried under TADA.  "Thus, there is an error apparent on the face of the record, and the impugned judgement merits a review," it said (Island : 01 March 2014).

Reportedly, British all out to fix Lanka in Geneva

Lankan American writes to US lawmakers - An American of Sri Lankan origin has written a concise four paragraph letter to two Senators from Maryland and seven Congressmen from that state drawing their attention to issues related to the forthcoming US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva.  The letter was described as ``concise, benefits the recipient and focuses on only one issue.'' It noted that ``our people write lengthy letters with the history of Ceylon without realizing it is of no interest to the recipient".  The following is the text of the letter written by Mr. Kenneth Abeywickreme, who was a director in a multi national company in SL. As Chairman of the State Timber Corporation he made it from a near-bankrupt organizations to a profit making state venture in the late 1970s-early 1980s. He was a Commanding Officer of an Army Volunteer unit (Island : 01 March 2014).

President Rajapaksa denounces US plan for rights resolution - Sri Lanka’s president denounced Washington’s plan to move a UN human rights resolution against the island nation today, comparing the US move over alleged war crimes to a professional boxer taking on a schoolboy.  “There should not have been a resolution at all,” Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his first news conference with the foreign media in Colombo for more than three years. “If they have evidence they should have given (it) to us.”  Pressure has mounted on Rajapaksa’s government ahead of a UN Human Rights Council debate next month, where the United States plans to propose a resolution that may call for an international investigation in Sri Lanka. In a report released this week, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said many thousands of civilians were killed, injured or remain missing after the 26-year civil conflict between government forces and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north of the island that ended in May 2009 (Daily Mirror : 28 February 2014).

British all out to fix Lanka in Geneva - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London- British government indicated on Wednesday that it was fully geared to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Council meeting to be held in Geneva this month.  Speaking at the House of Lords debate about Sri Lanka, Baroness Warsi confirmed that British Minister of State for the Foreign Office, Hugo Swire would be lobbying a number of like-minded countries to move a resolution calling for an independent investigation, at the Human Rights Council high-level session on Monday. "We have been working with a number of countries that have indicated strong support for the resolution. We continue to work incredibly hard to make sure that we get the resolution."  She said that they were yet to see a meaningful, time-bound, independent, domestic-led political process with clear milestones in the matter. The Baroness, however, reiterated that should a genuine and credible truth and reconciliation commission get under way, the UK would be prepared to support it.In the same debate, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock said that the British government should consider withdrawing the invitation extended to President Rajapaksa to attend the Commemoration ceremony to mark the start of the First World War in Glasgow Cathedral at the end of the Commonwealth Games (Island : 28 February 2014).

Obama urged to SL policy reflecting security, economic interests etc. - US Senate resolution calls for S. African style mechanism - By Shamindra Ferdinando - In the wake of a group of US Senators calling for the establishment of an independent international accountability mechanism to investigate wartime atrocities as well as other human rights abuses, another group of Senators is proposing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), similar to the one set up by South Africa, to address grievances of those who had been effected by the Eelam conflict.  The first resolution dated February 6 was endorsed by five Senators (Richard Burr, Robert Casey, Patrick Leahy, Sherrod Brown, Barbara Boxer and John Cornyn, while the second resolution was moved by 11 Senators, namely James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), John Manchin (D-West Virginia), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).  The counter resolution was submitted on Thursday.  Both groups have urged the Obama administration to adopt, in dealing with Sri Lanka, a policy which reflected respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, as well as economic and security interests.  The counter resolution noted that Sri Lanka was of great strategic importance to the US as well as other ‘significant powers’ and a key US partner in fighting against terrorism and Indian Ocean piracy.An authoritative government official told The Island that Sri Lanka greatly appreciated international support for its ongoing reconciliation process. The official pointed out that a section of the US Senators had taken into consideration the ongoing Sri Lanka-South African efforts to move the domestic process forward.  The counter resolution urged the United States Government and the international community to assist the government of Sri Lanka with due regard to its sovereignty, stability, and security, in establishing domestic mechanisms to deal with any grievances arising from actions committed by both sides during the war.  It encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to put in place a truth and reconciliation commission similar to the one adopted by South Africa to help heal the wounds of war, taking into account the unique characteristics of the conflict and its aftermath. The resolution urged the government of Sri Lanka to improve religious and media freedoms and to bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists and newspaper offices as well as places of worship, regardless of religion.  Appreciating Sri Lanka’s efforts to create an environment conducive to conduct first Northern Provincial Council polls last September, the resolution noted the poll resulted in a clear victory for the provincial wing of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).  The resolution stressed the importance of giving the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) process to continue, while highlighting key recommendations made by the Commission (Island : 28 February 2014).

India’s failure to disarm Tamil armed groups led to disaster - Thambimuttu - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Faulting the government of India for providing military training to Tamil youth in the early 1980s, Arun Thambimuttu, SLFP Chief Organiser for Eastern Batticaloa District on Tuesday (Feb 25) said that many people believed the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) would disarm all terrorist groups in the wake of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord (ILPA). India deployed troops in the Northern and Eastern districts consequent to the ILPA signed on July 29, 1987.  Thambimuttu was addressing a gathering at the launch of the coffee table book ‘1975-2014’ Sri Lanka authored by Malinda Seneviratne, Editor, The Nation, at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS).  Having cheered and appreciated the Indian action, they expected the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to disarm armed groups, Thambimuttu said. Instead of withdrawing weapons, India ended up arming more youth, including children to fight the LTTE leading to massacre of children. The SLFP organiser said that he knew what was happening in Batticaloa as he lived there.  Thambimuttu was referring to bloody battles between the LTTE and the so-called Tamil National Army (TNA) created to prop up the Indian backed NE provincial administration of Varatharaja Perumal.  Referring to both domestic and international calls for external investigation into the final phase of the conflict, Thambimuttu asserted that a comprehensive war crimes investigation would plunge the country into an unprecedented crisis. Estimating the number of ex-militants belonging to the LTTE as well rival groups living in the Batticaloa District now, Thambimuttu said that the launch of an investigation would change the situation there overnight.  The SLFPer reminded the international community that some of those who had committed atrocities during the conflict now lived overseas. Thambimuttu said that he knew of one such person who had received German citizenship though many others lived in London, Toronto and Berlin.  Commenting on post-war national reconciliation efforts, Thambimuttu said that some believed addressing the grievances of those living in the Northern Province, comprising the administrative districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu would be the panacea for all problems faced by the community. Only 900,000 lived in the Northern Province but much more Tamils lived in other areas, he said, underscoring the need to reexamine the situation.  Thambimuttu reiterated his belief that Sri Lanka should have a domestic mechanism to address accountability issues and support national reconciliation efforts (Island : 26 February 2014).

Accountability issues - UNHRC members can’t make independent decisions – Prof. Peiris - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Alleging that the issue of accountability was being used as a political tool to undermine post-war Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris on Tuesday revealed how some member states of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) were being blackmailed into voting against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming session or face the consequences.  Prof. Peiris quoted senior representatives of member states as having told him that they didn’t have any appetite for the Geneva move.  The minister was addressing a distinguished gathering including the diplomatic corps at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) following the launch of the book ‘1975-2014’ Sri Lanka.  The 25th sessions of UNHRC begins next week.  The US recently announced that it would move its third resolution against Sri Lanka since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.  The US moved two successful resolutions in 2012 and 2013.  US Ambassador Michele J. Sisson, who left Colombo on some personal matter, is believed to have been campaigning against Sri Lanka in New York to secure support for the resolution.  Prof. Peiris acknowledged the difficulties experienced by the countries having defence agreements with the US as well as others dependent on its financial assistance. Without naming countries, Prof. Peiris said that he had been told by some member states of their predicament due to unwarranted pressure exerted by those moving the resolution.  The UNHRC consists of 47 countries divided into five separate groups.  Giving several examples of Western projects leading to regime changes in several countries, Prof. Peiris explained how countries suffered due to external interventions.  The minister recalled the circumstances under which the British had launched an offensive to bring the Kandyan Kingdom under their control. The minister highlighted the British defending their action in directives given by the then administration.  The minister emphasised that Sri Lanka wouldn’t accept anything inimical to the country’s interest in paving the way for an understanding with those moving the resolution.  Referring to the recent cancellation of Afghan President  Hamid Karzai scheduled two-day visit to Colombo, Prof. Peiris said that many countries still experienced the horrors of conflict though Sri Lanka restored peace in May 2009 (Island : 26 February 2014).

India’s failure to disarm Tamil armed groups led to disaster - Thambimuttu

TNA welcomes Pillay report to UNHRC - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday welcomed the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Nawanetham Pillay "on promoting reconciliation and accountability" in Sri Lanka to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council.  The TNA in issuing a statement said: "The High Commissioner’s report contains a comprehensive and accurate depiction of the serious human rights issues facing Sri Lanka. The Report has benefited from the High Commissioner’s visit to Sri Lanka, where she was able to observe first-hand the issues of concern to victims and survivors in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  "The High Commissioner has raised a number of serious concerns in her Report which also pertain to the entire country: the treatment of former combatants and detainees; attacks on religious minorities; the attack on dissent and the freedom of expression; the government’s dismal record in implementing LLRC recommendations; and the government’s disinterest in making progress on accountability. The TNA is particularly concerned over the impact of the high levels of militarization on the security of women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  There are mounting and credible reports of systematic patterns of sexual harassment and violence in highly militarized areas, and we ask that the Human Rights Council take cognizance of this reality in its deliberations on Sri Lanka.  "We also take serious note of the High Commissioner’s observations on the impermissibility of amnesty provisions in respect of international crimes and gross violations of human rights. We observe that the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka made similar observations, and that the Government of Sri Lanka’s own written submissions to the Panel of Experts viewed amnesty provisions as inappropriate for the reason that they "intrinsically encourage a culture of impunity". The TNA has and continues to articulate victims’ demands for truth, justice, just resolution of land issues reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence; the undesirability of blanket amnesty provisions; and the need to give effect to the duty to prosecute international crimes and gross human rights abuses (Island : 26 February 2014).

DPF demands release of LTTE suspects - By Lal Gunesekera - The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) led by Mano Ganeshan and Deputy Leader Dr. Kumar Guruparan said that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety of all prisoners and demanded an impartial inquiry and second opinion by a Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) into the death of Viswalingam Gopidas (43) found dead inside a toilet in Ward 22 of the Magazine Prison on Monday (24).  A protest was held opposite the Magazine Prison yesterday (26) by the DPF calling for the release of over 700 LTTE suspects and authorities should disclose the proper cause of death of Gopidas, Deputy Leader of the DPF Dr. Guruparan told The Island yesterday.  He said that Gopidas, a British citizen, had been held at Magazine Prison for seven years and on Sunday (23) had spoken to fellow detainees and had not shown any signs of illness. He is alleged to have had cardiac arrest, but Dr. Guruparan said that the cause could be due to other factors.  Gopidas’ daughter had attained age in London and his wife was keen to have hims released to attend the ceremony, Guruparan said.  The DPF also alleged that one Dharamadas Thawaselvam (39) from Trincomalee had been seriously injured in an assault allegedly by some detainees and prison officers and admitted to hospital two days back. The DPF demanded an impartial inquiry into that incident too (Island : 26 February 2014).

Lanka rejects Pillay’s call for setting up ‘international inquiry mechanism’ - The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navnanethem Pillay’s for establishing ‘an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and monitor any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka", saying "it gives scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka within the framework of the (National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC NPOA), and is politicized in premise".  The government said, the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation of the High Commissioner "reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka", since just a week following the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, on 26th May 2009 at the 11th Special Session of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka, and at subsequent sessions and reports.  It is noted that the reference in the current report that "the High Commissioner remains convinced" for an "independent, international inquiry" demonstrates her persistent efforts against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka said, "it is pertinent to question the factual basis for the High Commissioner’s initial formal call to the HRC for an independent, international investigation in May 2009 and its continuation, in order that the international community not be misled".  GOSL made these observations in "comments" submitted to the draft report of the High Commissioner on 12 February 2014, ahead of the High Commissioner’s (HC) final report on Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which was placed on the OHCHR website on Feb 24, 2014.  Although on the last occasion when the HC reported on Sri Lanka to the 22nd Session of the HRC in March 2013, GOSL’s "comments" were placed as an addendum to the report, ensuring the integrity of the HC’s report and the GOSL comments, and also that they were equally visible, the GOSL’s request this year that its comments be published as an addendum to the HC’s Report has been refused, and have instead been placed at a separate link under "Communications from Governments" which contains an assortment of correspondence from governments on a broad range of matters of specific concern to respective governments.  In its "comments" GOSL noting its "non-recognition and categorically rejected of resolution 22/1 that mandated the HC’s report", observes that "it has nevertheless continued to make significant progress in its own reconciliation process, and has continued to regularly update the Council on such progress. In this context, GOSL rejects, without prejudice to its position of non-recognition of resolution 22/1, the High Commissioner’s claim that most of the recommendations made in her previous report to the Human Rights Council remain unimplemented". GOSL has also "reiterated its categorical rejection of the conclusions and recommendations contained in the HC’s Report, which reflects bias and is tantamount to an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State". In its detailed point by point "comments" on the HC’s report, GOSL has regretted that "the HC had raised concerns regarding a range of issues based on information of questionable veracity and arrived at conclusions in a selective and arbitrary manner". It added that this included many she had raised during her August 2013 week long visit to Sri Lanka, "where the GOSL had requested the High Commissioner to provide factual evidence to substantiate allegations" and "to refrain from making general comments without a degree of specificity which would allow the GOSL to investigate and respond in a comprehensive manner", which however had not been forthcoming (Island ; 25 February 2014).

The TNA, An Apparent Tamil Tiger Proxy Needs To be Dealt With Before Responding To Their Apathetic Clarion Calls! - LankaWeb Weekly Editorial, February 24th 2014 - TheTamil National Alliance (TNA) clarion calls demanding that” war criminals must be punished for there to be real reconciliation in Sri Lanka following the end of the war.” seems apathetic as well as never ending laced in bias as well as an emboldened audacity given the role they played towards supporting the Tamil Tigers.  To the discerning, it was their accountability towards supporting the most dangerous terror group in the world through their fronts and proxies that was blatantly obvious not only in Sri Lanka but in many other parts of the world where their accountability in all probabilities by far exceed those of the Government whose right it was to fight and overcome the terrorists with no thanks to the TNA and Tamil Nadu who now pretend they were not linked to the terrorists.  They could in fact be war criminals themselves if their role in supporting the LTTE could be proved tangibly where there is much evidence to support this where Sri Lanka in defending Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity did nothing provably wrong and protected all citizens including the Tamils who were used as human shields towards the latter part of the insurgency which is often misnomered as a “war” to justify the mindset of terorist supporters where the Armed Forces played an admirable role as much as they could given the circumstances and the villany of the LTTE but an internal armed insurrection with help from outside it certainly was undeniably (LankaWeb : 25 February 2014).

Accountability issues: The UK factor - By Shamindra Ferdinando - British High Commissioner, John Rankin, recently dismissed allegations that Western powers were seeking a regime change in Sri Lanka. The British envoy was commenting on accountability issues ahead of the forthcoming 25th session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The declaration was made a few days before BHC Rankin, accompanied Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staffer, Julie Scott, on a two-day fact-finding mission. For some reason, a statement issued by the British High Commission, at the conclusion of their visit, chose not to reveal the identity of the FCO official visiting Jaffna. The BHC also refrained from releasing a picture of the FCO official, though several photographs of HC Rankin, taken during the visit, were released.  The visit was meant to increase pressure on the government of Sri Lanka in the run-up to the vote on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.  It would be pertinent to examine the circumstances under which successive British governments cooperated/facilitated the Eelam project, though the LTTE was listed as a proscribed organization, under the Terrorism Act of 2000. Sri Lanka shouldn’t hesitate to remind the UNHRC of the UK’s culpability and that of Canada in the terrorism project in Sri Lanka. Had the UK and Canada deprived the LTTE of required funds, it would never have been able to acquire a conventional military capability by early 1990s. Although the LTTE had raised funds, in about 20 countries, the UK and Canada the two leading Commonwealth nations - are widely believed to be the largest contributors. Although the US has now taken up cudgels for the LTTE rump, it never supported LTTE terrorism. In fact, the US supported the war against terrorism by not disrupting the Israeli weapons supply line during the conflict. (Obama administration moved two resolutions targeting Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013. It will move another next month). However, successive British and Canadian governments played politics with the issue, enabling the LTTE to have a free hand.  Now that BHC Rankin has assured that the West wouldn’t seek a regime change here, let me recollect the position taken by the UK at the UNHRC session in March, 2012.  UK’s Foreign Office Minister, responsible for the human rights portfolio, Jeremy Browne, MP, emphasized the responsibility on the part of the global community to intervene in Sri Lanka unless the government addressed accountability issues. The Liberal Democrat member, Browne, called for UN intervention to support a change in Sri Lanka (Island : 25 February 2014).

Sri Lanka rejects Pillay’s call for setting up ‘international inquiry mechanism’

Senator Christine Milne -Your speech in the Senate on Feb 12, 2014 re HR in Sri Lanka - by Mahinda GunasekeraToronto, Canada - Senator Christine Milne Leader of the Green Party Canberra, Australia; Dear Senator Christine Milne, Your speech on accountability for violation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian law on February 12, 2014 in Sri Lanka; I am in receipt of the annexed letter sent by one James Stewart on your behalf in response to mine of February 21, 2014 which is given below. I regret to note that despite your being aware of atrocities committed by other parties in the 33 year conflict including the serious incidences of war crimes and violations of international human rights laws perpetrated by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces during their operations in Sri Lanka from 1987 to 1990 earlier mentioned by me, and the horrendous record of atrocities of the LTTE from 1975 to May 2009, you insist on focusing attention on the last few months of the military operation ended on May 19th, 2009. That process would be skewed and unfair by the vast number of people who were killed or maimed by the actions of the IPKF and their protege the Tamil Tigers whom they trained, armed and funded on Indian soil before directing them to engage in terrorist acts to destabilize Sri Lanka. Your logic of confining the investigations and inquiries to the last few months ended May 2009 ignoring the prior 32 plus years is difficult to comprehend especially when you claim to champion human rights of the people of Sri Lanka. Reference has been made in your letter to a report published on February 1, 2014 by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre titled “Island of Impunity” which I glanced through briefly and noted several incorrect statements, especially, that relating to alleged shelling of Food Convoy 11 around January 21-24,2009. The actual position relating to this incident which was subsequently inquired into by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Disaster Management but not given due coverage by the UN or the media, is as follows: (LankaWeb : 25 February 2014).

Memo to the US Congress and Senate regarding the UNHRC Resolution-Re: The Geneva UNHRC Resolution in March 2014 against Sri Lanka - Re: The Geneva UNHRC Resolution in March 2014 against Sri Lanka; As a voting US Citizen of Sri Lankan origin, I wish to address all of you with concern and utter disappointment regarding the appalling rationale used in the upcoming resolution at the UNHRC in March 2014 proposed jointly against Sri Lanka. This is a witch hunt against my people who have suffered enough with terrorism for nearly 29 years that we who live in the US do not understand. The threat of a third resolution against Sri Lanka due to impatience, with unreal expectations of what you believe should have been accomplished in a short period of 5 years, fails to credit the work completed and currently in progress. Demanding more that is humanly impossible in 4 years following a 29 year war of destruction is counterproductive to moving forward with the momentum gained so far (LankaWeb : 25 February 2014).

Amnesty International lacks Moral Authority to Question SL on Human Rights Issues - by Dr.Chula Rajapakse MNZM - Mr Grant Blaydon, Director Amnesty International New Zealand. Dear Mr.Blaydon,  Has AI asked for an “ independent investigation and accountability ” from the US for it’s alleged violations of human rights in the same manner as AI has been doing with Sl and relentlessly pursued it as AI has been doing with SL.  Further , as I have asked before , why is AI not questioning the role of leaders of the British Tamil Forum, Global Tamil Forum , Trans National Government of Tamil Elam, in funding three decades of threatening & violation of the most fundamental human right of all, the right to life for 20 million Sri Lankans , with Tiger Terrorism. Also, why is AI not questioning the role of Britain in permitting unfettered & unquestioned access of UK to them and access to their parliamentary premises once a year in March to celebrate their inauguration as they have done for three years so far.These groups , though operating under new names were open supporters and funders of Tiger terror in Sri Lanka for three decades as stated and have simply assumed new names to overcome proscription of Tigers in many countries. They are the ones now instigating and engineering the “alleged human right violation” vendetta against SL.  Also, why is AI not questioning Adel Balasingham’s unquestioned existence in UK given her well known role in adorning hundreds of child soldiers with a cyanide necklace and sending them to the front as cannon fodder.  Till AI has done these , with the US and the Tiger Diaspora as identified above, I don’t believe AI has any moral authority to question SL on human rights issues (LankaWeb : 25 February 2014).

Impose travel ban and freeze assets of Lankan politicians

UK-based pro-LTTE groups demand

Sri Lanka rejects High Commissioner Pillay’s call “to establish an international inquiry mechanism”- by Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva - The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navnanethem Pillay’s ”to establish an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of IHRL and IHL and monitor any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka”, saying “it gives scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka within the framework of the LLRC NPOA, and is politicized in premise”. The government said, the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation of the High Commissioner “reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka”, since just a week following the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, on 26th May 2009 at the 11th Special Session of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka, and at subsequent sessions and reports. It is noted that the reference in the current report that “the High Commissioner remains convinced” for an “independent, international inquiry” demonstrates her persistent efforts against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka said, “it is pertinent to question the factual basis for the High Commissioner’s initial formal call to the HRC for an independent, international investigation in May 2009 and its continuation, in order that the international community not be misled”.  GOSL made these observations in “comments” submitted to the draft report of the High Commissioner on 12 February 2014, ahead of the High Commissioner’s(HC) final report on Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which was placed on the OHCHR website today (24 February 2014).  Although on the last occasion when the HC reported on Sri Lanka to the 22nd Session of the HRC in March 2013, GOSL’s “comments” were placed as an addendum to the report, ensuring the integrity of the HC’s report and the GOSL comments, and also that they were equally visible, the GOSL’s request this year that its comments be published as an addendum to the HC’s Report has been refused, and have instead been placed at a separate link under “Communications from Governments” which contains an assortment of correspondence from governments on a broad range of matters of specific concern to respective governments (Lankaeb : 24 February 2014).

New ICRC paradigm on ‘the use of force in armed conflicts’ - By Neville Ladduwahetty - Confusion on how to categorize Sri Lanka’s conflict has a direct bearing on how the issue of accountability is handled. If categorized as an Armed Conflict the scope and nature of the accountability exercise would take a certain prescribed trajectory that is defined by internationally accepted provisions of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). On the other hand, if categorized as "eliminating terrorism" the accountability exercise would be defined by Domestic Law Enforcement where provisions of Human Rights Law apply. Thus, categorizing it as one or the other or a combination of both has a direct bearing on the nature and scope of investigations into issues of accountability.  In a new document titled "THE USE OF FORCE IN ARMED CONFLICTS: INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE CONDUCT OF HOSTILITIES AND LAW ENFORCEMENT" (ICRC, November 2013) the ICRC categorizes the use of force during conflicts as "Hostilities paradigm" or "Domestic Law Enforcement paradigm". This document states: "The paradigms of the conduct of hostilities and law enforcement find their international legal basis in the legal regimes of IHL and human rights law. The IHL basic rules governing the conduct of hostilities were crafted to reflect the reality of armed conflict. They are based on the assumption that the use of force is inherent to waging war because the ultimate aim of military operations is to prevail over the enemy." This is the Hostilities Paradigm (pp 6-7).  Continuing, the above cited document states:" Human Rights Law is based on different assumptions. It was initially conceived to protect individuals from abuse by their State. Its rules on the use of force in law enforcement essentially provide guidance on how force can be used by State agents when it is absolutely necessary in self-defence; to prevent crime, to effect or assist in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders; to prevent the escape of offenders or suspected offenders and in quelling a riot. In brief, human rights law regulates the resort to force by State authorities in order to maintain or restore public security, law and order. The essence of the principles governing the use of force under law enforcement in human rights is that lethal force may be used only as last resort in order to protect life, when other available means remain ineffective or without any promise of achieving the intended result"(ibid) (Island : 24 February 2014).

‘Defending non-implementation of LLRC recommendations’ – a reply - by Bodhi Dhanapala Canada, February 23, 2014, 9:12 pm - Mr. Harim Peiris, writing in The Island newspaper (22. Feb. ’14) and criticises the post-LTTE policies followed by the government. His rebuke begins as follows: “The argument used by the government … contrary to all the facts, is that it has in fact implemented much of the LLRC recommendations. This from a government which post war even stopped Tamil children from singing the national anthem in their own language, something which had been occurring even at the height of the war”.  Mr. Peiris forgets that at the “height of the war” Tamil children, their sisters etc., far from singing the National Anthem were singing songs of death and murder, undergoing war drill, and had been abducted from their parents and brain-washed to become little killers.  And how can a government stop children from singing whatever they want in any language?  The only cases where the government imposed a specific language were on official occasions. Has Mr. Peiris heard of the French Marseillaise being sung in Arabic by French Arabs whose demographic percentage is higher than all the Lankan Tamils put together? In the US there are some19% Hispanics. Has Mr. Peiris heard any official function of the US, or the US embassy, where the “Star-spangled banner” is sung in Spanish as well, even by Hispanic children?  So why should a province be given the opportunity to rouse emotions and create ethnic strife by making demands of parity of status on the national anthem, at a time where the wounds of a four-decade war are still raw?  Mr. Peiris unfolds his jaundiced, flawed views based on his belief that the Eealm wars began because of Sri Lanka’s injustices towards the Tamils. The oft quoted example is the Sinhala official languages act of 1956, even though Tamil separatism started long before.  Peiris now looks at land ownership! Does he not know that land tenure in the North has been extremely skewed, with most of the good land owned by rich land-owning Tamils who live in Colombo? Most of them are TNA-MPs now and ITAK or TC MPs in the 1950, or State councilors in an earlier era in the 1930s. There has been no change in the political masters of the North. So, what we need is land reform in the North, with private lands nationalized and re-allocated to poor Tamils of socially disadvantaged castes who actually live in the North, and not in Cinnamon Gardens. Instead, Mr. Peiris says , “Furthermore, there has been no progress in giving back the private lands in the now redundant artillery range perimeters of the former high security zones in the North, especially in the Waligamam North area, almost five years after the last threat of artillery to security forces was eliminated for good” (LankaWeb : 24 February 2014).

Impose travel ban and freeze assets of Lankan politicians - UK-based pro-LTTE groups demand - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - Pro-LTTE Tamils in the UK are pushing for a travel ban and the freezing of assets of Sri Lankan government politicians. If they succeed, Sri Lankan parliamentarians may not be able to travel to the UK and perhaps, even to Europe.  This development has emerged in the backdrop of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposed visit to Glasgow in Scotland in July to attend the 2014 Commonwealth Games. As the President is the current Chairperson of the Commonwealth, he will be the chief guest at the Commonwealth Games.  Pro-LTTE groups are already drawing plans for a big protest in the event President Rajapaksa arrives in Glasgow. British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, John Rankin, in a recent statement, said is the British Government will allow any peaceful demonstration. In December 2010, President Rajapaksa’s speech at the Oxford University had to be cancelled due to pro-LTTE protests.  These elements sympathetic towards the LTTE are also pushing the British government to call for an independent international investigation on Sri Lanka and bring war crime charges against the government. They are being helped by Conservative MP for Ilford North, Lee Scott and Labour MP for Mitcham & Morden, Siobhain McDonagh.  Meanwhile, Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka (CFSL) says that they have met with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials and were assured that no draft resolution has been agreed for the UNHRC meeting.  "FCO has confirmed that there is no British intention to impose any travel ban or asset seizure on Sri Lankan officials", CFSL said (Island : 22 February 2014).

ANANTHI SASITHARAN – how humanitarian is she? - By Shenali D Waduge - Ananthi Sasitharan has a job being cut out for her. She is the new face of charity and accountability and is taking pains to project life of Sri Lankan Tamils in post-conflict Sri Lanka. Her efforts is such that foreign embassy officials, foreign delegates and even the UNHRC head has personally had meetings with her to appraise them of the situation in Sri Lanka. So we ask who is this humanitarian and on what grounds is the West flocking towards her.The West was hunting for a man or woman to fill a void. Politically Wigneswaran has become their choice but he is still practicing his chords. The West is losing patience so now their focus has turned to choosing from the LTTE itself. Their objective is to stop Tamils from placing the zigsaw pieces to discover how LTTE have fooled them and the LTTE foreign wings continue to fool them.  The West’s choice has been Ananthi Sasitharan – a woman whose association with a terrorist organization is being questioned, married to a terrorist, her resume is just perfect. Who exactly is Ananthi Sasitharan the new-found darling of the West? She is wife of the LTTE Trincomalee District Political Wing leader – Elilan whom she married on 6 June 1998 in Mulliyaweli.  Ananthi’s fatal attraction to the LTTE is said to have begun while schooling at Chullipuram