President appoints brother to oversee marred Kolonnawa elections

The Sri Lanka President younger brother, Basil Rajapaksa, has been appointed electoral organiser of Kolonnawa on Tuesday . Basil Rajapaksa also a senior adviser of the President and Minister of Economic Development. The role will involve being responsible for all political and development activities of the Kolonnawa elections. The Kolonnawa electorate saw severe violence inflicted on rival political factions where Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was killed alongside three of his supporters. See '4 killed, 10 wounded in ruling party gun battle'

FT on what Liam Fox’s Sri Lanka Development Trust has achieved ...

A trust set up by Liam Fox supposedly to help Sri Lanka’s development appears to have achieved nothing other than to pay for his trips to the country , one of his allies has told the Financial Times. See the report here . The Sri Lanka Development Trust consists of two funds, the “Sri Lanka Infrastructure Development Fund” and the “Sri Lanka Charitable Fund”. Yet neither fund is up and running, according to Lord Bell, whose lobbying firm Bell Pottinger represented the Sri Lankan government until last December. The Sri Lanka Development Trust is not registered as a charity or a company in the...

Werritty Oddity

Award-winning journalist Allison Pearson writes in her column for The Daily Telegraph on the Fox-Werritty saga: “It seems that our Defence Secretary hardly dared leave the country without his former flatmate coming along to hold his hand. Mr Werritty, who went on a dizzying 18 foreign trips, enjoyed access to the married minister that neglected Westminster widows can only dream of. “‘I should not have allowed the impression of wrongdoing to arise,’ weaselled Dr Fox. No, the impression of wrongdoing arose, minister, because you did wrong and went on doing it, which either makes you reckless,...

The Times slams Liam Fox’s 'rotten' ties to Sri Lanka

These are extracts of The Times’ editorial on Wednesday Oct 12: “Liam Fox has many questions to answer about the role of a personal friend at the Ministry of Defence. But one aspect of this imbroglio is already clear: in his dealings in a particular part of the world, Dr Fox exceeded the bounds of his ministerial remit. “The issue is Sri Lanka, on which Dr Fox appears to have been conducting his own independent foreign policy . That policy is wrong in itself and Dr Fox had no legitimate business pursuing it . But beyond that issue, he needs urgently to explain why Adam Werritty attended...

Mysterious trust funded Fox’s trips to Sri Lanka

The Times newspaper reports Wednesday that Liam Fox is to face new questions over his links to Sri Lanka after it emerged that three of his trips there were funded by a mysterious trust that is not registered as a charity or a company . Three visits to Sri Lanka, which cost about £7,500 and took place when Dr Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary, were funded by the Sri Lanka Development Trust . It has an address in Edinburgh but is unknown to the Charity Commission and Companies House. Tuesday night Labour put down parliamentary questions demanding to know how many times Dr. Fox had visited Sri...

Tired of the waiting game?

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said that he had been “waiting and waiting” for Sri Lanka to respond to the UN report released in April of this year and had now passed the report onto the Human Rights Council to review. In a press meeting with Norwegian media, he said, “On Sri Lankan issues as you remember, I have established a Panel of Experts and they have reviewed all these situations and made many recommendations.

 These recommendations are something which needs to be implemented by the Sri Lankan people. I have been waiting and waiting until the Sri Lankan government would respond...

Sri Lanka's ambassador to EU cries wolf

Sri Lanka's ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha, called the screening of 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' today an "indecent hurry" that is part of a wider "obsessive attack". In a statement released by the embassy, Aryasinha states, “it would appear that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group who sponsored the screening, are intent on pre-judging and discrediting the LLRC repor t even before it is released”. “ This indecent hurry to host such events and to call for international inquiries, is probably due to their fear that once...

Amnesty urges Rudd to act on Sri Lanka

The head of Amnesty International has urged the Australian Foreign Minister to take action on Sri Lanka, in a meeting with him on Tuesday. Amnesty Secretary-General Salil Shetty met with Kevin Rudd and pressed him to back calls for an independent international investigation into war crimes. Previously Rudd had stated that Australia would await the outcome of Sri Lanka’s LLRC report before acting, but Shetty told reporters, "We know what it's going to say because we know that the process was deeply flawed. We've waited long enough. The time is right to call for an independent investigation. "...

Sri Lanka asked Werrity to lobby British Government on arms deals – Channel 4

Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s friend Adam Werrity has been accused of discussing arms deals with the Sri Lankan Government, Channel 4 reported tonight. Three ‘highly placed sources’ in Sri Lanka have independently told Channel 4 news team that Mr Werrity discussed ‘arms deals’ with a senior figure in Mahinda Rajapakse’s regime. He was reportedly asked by the Sri Lankan official to lobby the British Government over the supply of ‘arms, security equipment and aviation parts’. Emma Reynolds MP, shadow Foreign Office minister told Channel 4’s Jonathan Miller: "It’s clearly not appropriate for the...

TULF, PLOTE and EPRLF condemn 'Sinhalisation' of North-East

Speaking to the Indian foreign secretary, Ranjan Mathai, during his 3 day visit of Sri Lanka and the North-East, Anandasangaree of the TULF, Sitharthan of the PLOTE and Sritharan of the EPRLF, condemned the Sri Lankan government's attempt to " change the demographic pattern of the North-East ". They added that Tamils were 'highly perturbed' by the ever increasing militarisation of the North-East. " The government has no plans for demilitarization , contrary to which the forces are involving more and more in civil administration . "The people cannot (hold) any function without the...

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