JHU ready to discuss draft constitution with UNP

The JHU will be looking to discuss the draft constitution with the UNP, said General Secretary and Sri Lankan Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka. “Under Ranil Wickremesinghe in 1994, the UNP proposed to do away with the unitary state. It is good that it is talking about creating a unitary state once again. If the UNP is willing to do so, we are ready to discuss its new constitutional reforms though we are not clear about some of the proposals like the three options proposed in place of the executive presidency,” “We are fully opposed to the 13th Amendment. But we have been flexible to discuss...

Reflections on Sivakumaran's sacrifice

Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran is remembered as the first in a relentless stream of politically active Tamil youth who gave their lives to the struggle, exasperated at the ineffectual politics taking place at the time. The deaths of Tamils at the World Tamil Research conference, and the Sri Lankan state’s brutality at the event, only exacerbated the prevailing dissatisfaction amongst Tamil youth, that saw political negotiations with a state intent on ruthlessly destroying the Tamil identity as pointless. As the state's violence against Tamils escalated over the subsequent years, the overwhelming growth of Tamil armed resistance was all but inevitable.

Woman's corpse in Maankulam identified as SL Defence Force recruit

The body of a young woman, found in Maankulam on May 19th, has been identified as that of a Tamil woman recently recruited into Sri Lanka's Civil Defence Force, reports Uthayan . The corpse of 24-year-old Saroja Thuraisaamy, which was transferred to Kilinochchi Hospital, was identified by her mother yesterday. The family, originally from Kilinochchi, have raised concerns that she was sexually assaulted before being murdered. Saroja disappeared after leaving home on May 16th to commence her duties at the Civil Defence Force - which falls under the direct control of Sri Lanka's Ministry of...

Sri Lanka’s media and its impact on foreign relations…

A draft of the Code of Media Ethics, proposed by Sri Lanka, stipulates that nothing should be published which “contains criticism affecting foreign relations”. The clause is the second on the draft, obtained by the DailyMirror, which contains 65 further clauses, including that no information “which could mislead the public” should be published. See here for more details on the DailyMirror.

Heritage Ministry to take legal action against Japanese beer company

Sri Lanka's National Heritage Ministry said on Tuesday that it would be taking legal action against a Japanese beverage company using the Sigiriya site in a beer commercial and thereby 'disgracing' the heritage side. The Minister Jagath Balasuriya accused the company of misleading officials, stating : “The Sri Lankan company had created the beer commercial for a Japanese beverage company by convincing the archeological department that the commercial was for an energy drink.” Sigiriya ('lion rock' in Sinhalese), is a huge rock in Matale District, considered by Sinhala people to be the site of...

Buddhists oppose Indian plans for Sita temple in Sri Lanka

The Buddhist organisation Ravana Balaya has said it would not allow a Hindu temple to Sita to be built on the island, unless a statue for Ravana, a king in the legen Ramayana, was built first. Speaking to the DailyMirror, leader of the group Itthakande Saddhathissa said they would oppose the temple, which was supposed to be built with Indian funds. “No one can neglect the glory of Ravana. We don’t oppose any move to build a shrine in memory of Sita but that should only be done after erecting a statue of Ravana. If that does not happen we will not the building of any other shrine,” the monk...

Cementing friendships

Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, welcomed and hosted a lunch for Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, who visited Sri Lanka en route to East Asia. At today’s meeting, the two heads of state spoke about maintaining the strong ties the two nations over the past few years, which has flourished since Museveni’s first visit to Sri Lanka last year.

Buddhists never extremist – Mahinda

Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa has claimed that Buddhists and the Buddhist clergy have never been involved in extremism. Speaking at an event commemorating the deaths of monks in Aranthawale 26 years ago, the president said that the Maha Sangha and Buddhists are always explorers of the truth and that the Maha Sangha has been committed to safeguard the motherland and the principals of Buddhism throughout history. ‘One more step by Sri Lanka’s chauvinist Sinhala-Buddhists’ (28 May 2013) Dalai Lama urges Buddhist monks to stop violence in Myanmar and Sri Lanka (08 May 2013) Only in #lka...

SL rewards 'heroes'

Sri Lankan President, Mahida Rajapaksa, handed over 100 houses that were built under the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ housing program for the Sri Lankan nations ‘war heroes’. The keys to the high quality accommodation, built under the 12 th phase of the program, were symbolically handed over to military personnel by Rajapaksa.

'Tremendous' progress in Sri Lanka - Nonis

See here for Sri Lanka's high commissioner to the UK, Chris Nonis on Monday telling the BBC his version of demographics on the island and speaking about the 'wonderful' and 'comprehensive reconciliation' in the Northeast.