Government intelligence has ‘unearthed’ campaign

The Sri Lankan government’s “Intelligence Units” have managed to uncover a campaign from “foreign soils” that they say has threatened to deface the country. What is this sinister threat? A petition. The Department of Government Information declared that the Free Media Movement, has been writing to the European Union attempting to terminate the GSP + concessions to Sri Lanka. They reported 700 petitions have been sent so far. To add to the conspiracy, an opposition UNP politician is also alleged to be involved in the plot. The GSP+ tariff had already been suspended in August 2010, after Sri...

Haitian sexual abuse troops remain unpunished

Sri Lankan troops who were expelled from Haiti, after allegations that they sexually abused Haitian minors in 2007, may still remain unpunished after the UN said the onus was on Sri Lanka to prosecute them. 111 soldiers and 3 officers were repatriated back to Sri Lanka after being part of UN mission in Haiti and were accused of a string of sexual assaults, including rape of children as young as 7 years old. Responding to questions from Inner City Press , UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky, could not say if any of the soldiers had been prosecuted stating , "As you also...

Army opens yet another holiday resort in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan Army once again stepped into the realm of civilian life, by opening up a new holiday resort in Chundilkulam, in the Jaffna peninsula. The new resort is located by Chundikulam Bird Sanctuary and was opened by Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, with its inauguration being announced on the Sri Lankan Army website . The Army currently runs another resort in the Jaffna peninsula, the “ Thalasevana Holiday Resort ” located inside the Valikamam North High Security Zone, the largest in Jaffna having been established in 1987. See our earlier post: Army...

‘Banning its roti and eating it too’

Sri Lanka’s war on "wheat terrorism” is part of a "bi-polar" strategy that is set out to appeal to the ruling SLFP's traditional electorate and neglect others, commented the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. Responding to Prime Minister Jayaratne’s comments last month where he called to “make bread unaffordable”, Fred Carver from the Sri Lanka Campaign spoke to Radio Netherlands Worldwide and said, “Sri Lanka is already engaging in these very protectionist attitudes. But it has a very Bi-polar investment strategy. They are attracting foreign investments and protecting internal markets...

Paramilitaries monopolise Jaffna cable TV through violent intimidation

Paramilitary groups are threatening private cable TV operators in Jaffna, into surrendering their businesses to a paramilitary monopoly - MBL Cable Network, reported Tamilnet. Citing "government permission" the paramilitary groups have told private cable TV operators that their businesses were now illegal and they must now buy channels from the paramilitary network. The network is backed by 'the Sri Lankan establishment through the forces aligned with Douglas Devananda and Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP', Tamilnet reports. Alexkumar Balasundaram, a cable provider from Kokkuvil, is alleged to...

'Will not allow any sharing' of fishing waters with India

Sri Lanka will refuse to share territorial waters with India, said the Fisheries Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, on Tuesday. India had proposed such an arrangement in an attempt to avoid disputes over fishing. Senaratne said, “On several occasions, Sri Lankan fishermen had been arrested by the Indian coast guards. We will oppose the idea of the sharing the territorial waters by Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen. We cannot allow any sharing because in such a case, Sri Lanka will always be placed at a disadvantageous position ." See related articles: Sri Lankan Navy pelts Tamil fishermen with stones...

Reuters – Sri Lanka ‘completely reliant on Iranian oil’

As the European Union agreed to broaden sanctions imposed on Iran, latest figures have revealed Turkey, South Africa and Sri Lanka rely most heavily on Iranian oil as a percentage of their imports. Sri Lanka, which imported 39,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2011, is “completely reliant” on Iranian oil, reported Reuters . In response to the threat of an oil embargo , in which case Iran would lose big customers such as Italy, Greece and Spain, the International Director of the National Iranian Oil Co, M. Qamsari commented last week, "We could very easily replace these customers.” Iran...

TNA to meet with ANC over Tamil political solution

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is set to meet with South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to discuss the problems they face in Sri Lanka, as they attended the ANC’s centenary celebrations. Speaking to the BBC , the TNA’s Sumanthiran said, " We are trying for a political solution that recognises Tamils as a nation and South Africa's help will be vital for both the TNA and the government in achieving that." The TNA has sent a four member delegation to South Africa to attend the celebrations, joining other African and world leaders as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and African...

13th Amendment - yes, but no, but maybe

The Sri Lankan government's Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, stated the government plans to amend the 13th Amendment, "in view of the LLRC’s recommendations, on going discussions with the TNA and establishment of the Select Committee on the National Question". Speaking to The Island newspaper, in an interview published on Monday, his comments are the latest in a steady line of mixed messages from government spokespersons on the 13th Amendment, in the run up to the next round of talks between the government and the TNA. India's External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna, is due to arrive on a four-day visit just before the TNA-government talks, scheduled to take place from the 17th January to the 19th January. His remarks came just after the government proclaimed that they were willing to discuss land and police powers , which came just before one a government minister, speaking on behalf of the government, vehemently refused to even discuss the issue . See here for The Island interview in full. Extracts are reproduced below: Q:- The Tamil National Alliance wants land and police powers to be implemented in terms of the 13th Amendment. Is the government agreeable? A:- We have serious concerns about granting land and police powers in toto.

Sports Minister to discipline cricket team

Concluding that Sri Lanka's cricket team were in "crisis", the Sports Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage criticised the "politics" that he claimed had beset the team. He vowed to give the players a "stern lecture" on their return home, when speaking to reporters in Colombo, following the team's poor performance in South Africa. Aluthgamage said, "The Sri Lanka cricket team is in a crisis situation. It is very unfortunate," "The team is not clicking together off-field and it has shown in the results on the field." " Once the team returns, I plan to meet them ," "I feel there is a lot of...

Pages