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SI files rights violation case against DIG

Apr 27 (Island) A sub-inspector of police, R.W.P. Niranjan Sampayo, had complained to the Supreme Court that Deputy IGP Lalith Jayasinghe had restrained him from assuming duties at the Narahenpita Police Hospital police post despite an order from the National Police Commission, entitling the petitioner to be reinstated at the aforesaid post. The petition said that the petitioner had been interdicted for failing to investigate a complaint made by a Member of Parliament. more..

UN human rights chief urges war crimes investigations in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (OHCHR) The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday welcomed the public release of the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on accountability issues related to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, and supported the report’s call for further international investigation. “The way this conflict was conducted, under the guise of fighting terrorism, challenged the very foundations of the rules of war and more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka - No-inquiry zone

Apr 27 (guardian) When Richard Goldstone, the judge who headed a UN fact-finding mission to Gaza, partially recanted last month – an act that was disowned by fellow members of the mission – the saga was used as Exhibit A in the case against the UN. The organisation, it was claimed, was so inherently biased against Israel that it lacked the moral authority to investigate it. Where was the Goldstone report about Sri Lanka, some asked? A UN panel has just produced such a report about more..

Longer Hours: Two more schools agree

Apr 27 (DM) The staff of two more schools had agreed to conduct sessions from 7.30 am until 3.00 pm from January next year, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday. They are Kebetigollewa Central College and another school in Habarana. He said these two schools were upgraded as modern secondary schools on April 25 under the project for the development of 1,000 such schools throughout the country. “I had talks with the principals and the teachers of these schools. more..

India ready to engage Lanka on UN report

Apr 27 (TOI) Reacting to the report by a UNSG-appointed panel of experts, which has accused Colombo of committing war crimes, India said it was willing to engage Sri Lanka on the contents of the report. India is having to walk a tightrope over the issue because of its concerns over the still incomplete rehabilitation of Tamils in the island nation, as also because of strategic compulsions arising out of China's unflinching support to Colombo. more..

At UN, asked of withholding casualty figures, Ban Ki-moon says Sri Lanka made threats

Apr 27 (ICP) After the Sri Lanka war crimes report by the UN Panel of Experts was quietly presented to the UN Security Council by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, ICP asked Ban two questions about the report. Among his answers on Sri Lanka, Ban implicitly acknowledged the report's charge that the UN withheld casualty figures during the conflict. Asked to "respond to the criticisms in the report that the UN failed in those last months to do what it could to help protect civilians, more..

'Blame Russia and China for Sri Lanka failure, not UN's Ban

Apr 27 (C4) Ban Ki-Moon has come under attack for failing to push for a war crimes probe in Sri Lanka. But a former UN Deputy Secretary-General said Ban is powerless to defy Russia and China. A former senior UN official has defended Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon after critics accused the UN chief of failing to take on China and Russia in pushing for a war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka. Ban said he lacks the authority to personally order an inquiry into more..

'UN feared for staff amid Sri Lanka conflict'

Apr 27 (AFP) The United Nations feared for its staff in Sri Lanka as government troops crushed a Tamil separatist uprising in 2009, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said defending the actions of UN agencies. As pressure grew for an international investigation into the killing of "tens of thousands" in the conflict's brutal finale, Ban was asked why the United Nations had played down casualty figures at the time. The UN secretary general indicated that more..

Chief Ministers to condemn UNSG panel report

Apr 27 (Island) Chief Ministers are scheduled to give priority to a resolution condemning the UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon’s Report, that was partisan to the LTTE, at the 28th Chief Ministers’ annual conference to be held at the Kukuleganga Resort Hotel in Agalawatte on April 28 and 29, Wayamba Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe said yesterday. The eight Chief Ministers are scheduled to deliberate on ways and means of promoting uniformity and having a common programme to more..

Three Lankan boats, 15 fishermen apprehended

Apr 27 (DC) The Coast Guard team captured three Sri Lankan boats with 15 fishermen for engaging in illegal fishing in Indian waters on Tuesday. The Indian Coast Guard ship, Sarang, an advanced off shore patrol vessel, detected Sri Lankan boats treading close to the Indian coast. Two tonnes of fish were found on the boats. The boats namely Sandilma, Nadika and Indunil-5 had sailed from Dondra in Sri Lanka and were apprehended 125 miles North-Northeast of Chennai. more..

Consumers point out lie in Ranawaka’s CFL bulbs claim

Apr 27 (Island) Power consumers say that a recent claim made by Minister Patali Ranawaka, regarding CFL bulbs, is false. Although Ranawaka says his Ministry doesn’t have the power to conduct raids or punish those who promote and sell low quality bulbs, consumers point out that the Sustainable Energy Authority, coming under him is on record as saying that dealers would be punished if they were found guilty of selling more..

UN panel faults Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tigers

Apr 27 (National) A UN investigation into the end of Sri Lanka's civil war has found "credible allegations" that government forces committed war crimes during a final assault on Tamil separatists that left as many as 40,000 civilians dead. The UN probe details atrocities by Sri Lankan forces and LTTE that "would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity" in early 2009, when a government offensive ended a civil war that had fractured the island more..

Vietnamese Embassy reopens after 30 years

Apr 27 (DM) The Ambassador designate from Vietnam Ton Sinh Thanh handed over his credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last morning. The Embassy has been reopened in Sri Lanka after a lapse of almost 30 years. “We had an embassy in Sri Lanka in the 70’s, but had to close it down due to the terrorist situation. But we have reopened the Embassy since both Sri Lanka and Vietnam are in a new era—where the war is over in Sri Lanka and more..

May Day in grand scale

Apr 27 (NS) Colombo is expected to turn gay and colourful as usual with typical revelry by exuberant crowds on this year’s May Day as well, given the elaborate arrangements being made by a number of trade unions and the main political parties to celebrate the event. The ruling UPFA will hold their rally at the Colombo Town Hall grounds and the JVP at the BRC grounds. Meanwhile, the UNP which has taken a decision to have their May Day celebrations out of Colombo more..

Govt. vows Pensions Bill only after consultations

Apr 27 (Island) The government has slowed down in its tracks on the controversial Pensions Bill and has decided to implement it after following a consultative process. The tripartite National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), comprising representatives from the government, employers and trade unions, met senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, including Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, more..

Hostile reaction to UN Sri Lanka report

Apr 27 (SG) The Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated militarily two years ago but for the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the fight is far from over. Instead, the battle lines just keep shifting. On Monday - despite Sri Lanka’s intractable position that the UN Secretary-General must not release a controversial report by a panel of experts he constituted to examine the last stages of Sri Lanka’s war with the LTTE – Ban Ki-moon went public. more..

Now, TNA alleges war crimes against India

Apr 27 (Island) In the wake of a three-member panel, appointed by UNSG Ban Ki-moon, alleging war crimes during eelam war IV, the TNA says India, too, is responsible for atrocities committed by Sri Lanka. TNA MP N. Sri Kantha says the government of India, which threw its weight behind the Sri Lankan military offensive, should be held responsible for war crimes. The MP lashed out at the international community for failing to more..

Bradman to study ‘Moon report’

Apr 27 (Island) Close on the heels of UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe lashing out at the UNSG Ban ki-Moon over his controversial report targeting Sri Lanka over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, the UNP announced the appointment of Bradman Weerakoon to study the ‘Moon report.’ A committee led by Weerakoon would undertake a comprehensive study before the party announced its position. more..

Sri Lanka says UN report has pro-Tamil bias

Apr 27 (ABC) A United Nations report has painted a brutal picture of the final months of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009. The report accuses Tamil Tiger rebels of using people as human shields, and government forces of killing tens of thousands of civilians through indiscriminate shelling. Sri Lanka's government has rejected the report as biased and fraudulent. Its External Affairs minister says the UN panel assumed for itself, a quasi-judicial role and its findings "bore the ingredients of the Tamil diaspora." more..

UN awaits Sri Lanka response to 'war crimes' report

Apr 27 (AFP) The United Nations on Tuesday awaited an official Sri Lankan response to accusations of war crimes during a final offensive against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009, as pressure grew for an international inquiry. Having refused to let the panel visit Sri Lanka and angrily condemned its work before the release of their study on Monday, no government minister commented publicly on accusations that tens of thousands of civilians were killed, more..

Chancery flouts building plan

Apr 28 (EB) A proposed building to house the office of the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in south India was constructed in deviation of the approved plan, according to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority. CMDA sources told Express on Tuesday that the applicant had earlier obtained planning permission from the CMDA and constructed the building in deviation of the approved plan. “Now they have applied to the CMDA for revised approval. It is not within the rules,” more..

Those responsible for Lanka war crimes must face action: DMK

Apr 28 (EB) The DMK, a key ally of Congress-led UPA at the Centre, on Wednesday appealed to the Union government to make all efforts to ensure that those responsible for alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka faced action. Referring to a UN report on 'tens of thousands' civilian casualties in the final stages of war between Lankan armed forces and LTTE, the party's high-level committee said it will consult its coalition partners - Congress, PMK and Viduthalai more..

Diesel emissions hurt Lanka

Apr 28 (NN) Studies in Sri Lanka have attributed Rs 22-17 billion to health damage costs owing to auto diesel emissions in Colombo. Diesel vehicles are responsible for 96-89 per cent of SO2 and PM10 from the transportation sector, the study made public today revealed. The study by the Centre for Science and Environment, one of India’s leading environmental think-tanks, also found that Sri Lanka incurs a massive financial and human-hour loss due to traffic congestion. more..

'Govt. won’t take over hospitals under PCs'

Apr 28 (Island) The Health Ministry says it will not take over hospitals coming under the purview of Provincial Councils. A senior spokesperson for the Ministry says it will not intervene, though several major hospitals were brought under government control over the past two years.Responding to a query by The Island, the official said that hospitals run by Provincial Councils had been taken over by the government in all districts except Matale. more..

Ministry to get down sufficient stocks of kidney drugs

Apr 28 (DM) The Health Ministry has taken action to supply Ciclosporin, which was in short supply at state hospitals during the past few months, a spokesman said yesterday. The Health Ministry said it was an essential drug given to patients suffering from acute renal failure. Last Monday the Daily Mirror published a news item about the acute shortage of this vital and expensive drug that was essential to kidney patients. The report headlined -- Shortage threatens patients more..

Beware of a phone scam

Apr 28 (DM) The National Centre for Cyber Security, Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) urged the public to be on the alert of a phone scam which has been spreading throughout several Asian countries. SLCERT Senior Information Security Engineer Rohana Palliyaguru said that the scammers, in the guise of agents representing well-known brand names or a third party contracted by such companies have called up consumers and more..

President’s Invitations came too late, say unions

Apr 28 (DM) Several trade unionists said yesterday that though they had been invited for the meeting held between trade unions and the president at Temple Trees on Monday, they had received their invitations after the meeting had begun and therefore had been unable to participate in the meeting. The meeting that was held on Monday (April 25) between trade unionists and the president was to discuss the controversial Employee Pension Benefit Fund (EPBF) Bill. more..

Sri Lanka says U.N. war crimes report threatens peace efforts

Apr 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Wednesday said the publication of U.N.-appointed panel's report blaming it for thousands of civilian deaths at the end of its civil war threatens peace-building efforts and is motivated by the political agenda of "interested parties." The United Nations on Monday published the findings of a three-member panel Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed to advise him on "issues of accountability" from the 2009 end of Sri Lanka's 25-year war with more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.04.2011

The day I felt acute distaste for Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Apr 29 (LG) The unease I have long felt about Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka crystallized into distaste on Sunday 13 June 2010 when I came across his interview in that day’s Lakbima. It provided a startling glimpse into the dimension of reality Dr. DJ either inhabits for real or wants to sell to the unwashed masses. The way he tells it, there are lessons to be learnt from the whole Dutugemunu episode (api dutugemunu rajathumagen padam igenagatha yuthuy) because more..

Sri Lanka must be concerned how Russia and China let down Sudan at the UN

Apr 29 (TC) UN Organization sources say that there are a number of similarities between the report of the panel appointed by Ban Ki-moon to investigate war crime charges in Sudan where there was a conflict, and that of the panel of experts on war crimes pertaining to Sri Lanka (SL) . The UN report on the war crime charges against Sudan was released in November 2009. Sudans Ambassador to the UN Abdel Mahmoud reacted angrily to the panel’s report saying, more..

Ban ki- Moon and Sri Lanka’s relationship with UN

Apr 29 (LG) Having carefully considered the seriousness of the present situation in the country and without rushing to the press with a hastily prepared statement, I decided to write to you, breaking my long silence that I had been maintaining since the defeat of the LTTE on 19th may 2009. It is not my intention, to enter into the controversy and aggravate the situation further but only to see whether I can help to defuse the situation. more..

The LLRC and the prerogatives of gaining the moral high ground

Apr 28 (DM) Much has been written about the panel, its appointment in the context of resounding defeats at the UN of attempts to censure Sri Lanka and an approval vote of effectively defeating terrorism, the mal-intent of the UN Secretary General, the lack of adequate substantiation of allegation and the politically motivated nature and therefore unreliability of sources. Need one talk about double standards? Nalin De Silva is in a sense correct when he says that more..

Private sector pension scheme; who's the real beneficiary?

Apr 28 (DM) Benefit or rip off? The much talked about and controversial Employees' Pension Benefit Fund (EPBF) Bill for the private sector employees and employees who were denied the right for a pension in 1996, has the trade unionists and employers vehemently opposing it. It looks to establish a fund for the private sector employees for pension benefits that the employees as well as the employers have been clamouring for years. more..

A lasting political solution through power sharing

Apr 28 (TC) I consider it a great honour to have been asked to deliver the Thanthai Chelva memorial oration this year. Last year too I had the honour of delivering the key-note address at the annual commemoration ceremony held in Jaffna on the 26th of April. Today, I am doubly delighted since Thanthai Chelva’s true disciple Mr Sampanthan presides over this event. I am truly humbled by this singular honour bestowed on me. more..

Credibility of Moon’s advisory panel

Apr 28 (DM) There is reportedly an interesting remark in the report prepared by Ban-ki Moon’s advisory panel on Sri Lanka. They have criticized LLRC on the basis that two of its members were government officers during the war against the LTTE. The Chairman of the LLRC, R De Silva was our Attorney General during the war. Similarly, H M G S Palihakkara was our Foreign Secretary. In this backdrop, the Panel had suggested in the report that these two officers were bias towards more..

Editorial: Sri Lankan war crimes

Apr 28 (TP) Wars are about death and destruction. So long after they end, its ripples haunt its perpetrators as justice has a way of catching up with those who have trampled on it. A United Nations report published this week has put the spotlight back on the conflict in Sri Lanka where government troops crushed a Tamil separatist uprising in 2009. The report has said both the Lankan army and LTTE guerillas may have committed war crimes during the conflict. more..

End of war paving the way to relaxing Emergency regulations

Apr 28 (DM) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said the govt would scale down the emergency regulations next month with due consultation with the judiciary. The state of emergency was re-imposed in Parliament in August 2005 following the assassination of then Foreign Affairs Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Since then, it has been extended every month through a majority vote in the House. After the end of the war in May, 2009, there were requests from more..

Editorial: Beautification of police stations

Apr 28 (Island) No govt has shown their gratitude in a tangible manner to the police who do all sorts of dirty work for them. They remain underpaid, overworked and frustrated. We hasten to add that it is only the rank and file who have not benefited from their servility; their superiors are usually well taken care of. Most police stations are veritable byres. They are housed in tumbledown buildings sans any facilities and it is only natural that they are resentful and demoralised. more..

Editorial: Wake up to the real agenda behind the UN threat

Apr 28 (DM) Our Opinion page carries some interesting facts on the three members of the controversial expert panel appointed to advice the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban ki-moon on how our war was won. The legitimacy of the very appointment of the panel aside, the biases by the Indonesian member of the panel Marzuki Darusman, NGO activist Yasmin Sooka, Steven Ratner who long before his appointment had recommended action against Sri Lanka in a book he has authored, stand exposed. more..