Govt MP warns against elections in North

The Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities and leader of the JNP (breakaway group of the JVP), Wimal Weerawansa, warned against elections in the North, as it would give the Tamil National Alliance the 'upper hand'. Speaking at a media briefing, Weerawansa reportedly said: 'the TNA may win the election and then look at dividing the country by demanding land and police powers to the province'.

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Consul General of Sri Lanka in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia - Bandula Jayasekara: @ channel4news @ millerc4 Ohh The Channel of the Terrorists Channel Tigers is at it again and the country which harbours terrorists groups — Bandula Jayasekara(@bundeljayse) April 26, 2013 Jayasekara was the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, Canada in 2009. See the following video for Jayasekara's remarks on the Washington Post and Amnesty International expressing grave concerns about the detainment of Tamils in 'IDP camps', and here for remarks on the Channel 4 documentary 'Sri Lanka's...

Commonwealth Sec Gen defends 'progress’ in SL amidst staunch questioning at CMAG press brief

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its 39 th meeting today. The meeting was Chaired Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, Dr Dipu Moni, and reviewed developments of the only nation on the CMAG agedna, Fiji. The official Concluding Statement welcomed the recent reaffirmation of the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, good governance, tolerance, respect and understanding and the role of civil society, and outlined CMAG’s intention of helping Fiji’s reinstatement at the commonwealth. A press brief by the...

Canada slams ‘accommodating evil’ of Sri Lanka in Commonwealth

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has stated it was “not a good day for the Commonwealth” after a searing condemnation of the Commonwealth remained steadfast in its decision to host its Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka later this year.

Tamil Refugee Council slams Australia’s ‘bankrupt’ asylum policy

The Tamil Refugee Council has called on the Australian government to immediately end its policy of deporting asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, after the case of another Tamil being tortured by Sri Lankan security forces was revealed earlier this week. A spokesperson for the organisaiton, Aran Mylvanagam, said, “Australia’s policy on Sri Lanka and on asylum seekers and refugees is in turmoil. It is morally, ethically and legally bankrupt”. The statement comes after the case of “Kumar” was reported by Australia’s ABC this week, who was tortured by Sri Lankan security forces upon his return to the...

Canadian PM - 'deeply troubled' by SL hosting CHOGM

Speaking at the Canadian parliament's question period on Wednesday, the MP for Toronto Centre, and former Leader of the Liberal Party, Bob Rae said that it was " preposterous " for the Rajapaksa regime to be chairing the Commonwealth for two years following CHOGM in Sri Lanka, and questioned " why would Canada not invite the Commonwealth countries to come to Canada, for Canada to host the conference ". Responding to the MP Rae's comments, the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he spoke for many in saying that he was " deeply troubled " by the prospect of CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka, and reiterated that " it would be very difficult for this government to fully participate. "

'Lay down clear benchmarks' say rights groups to CMAG

In a joint submission to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, rights groups called on the CMAG to 'lay down clear benchmarks' to Sri Lanka in order for it to be allowed to host CHOGM 2013. The groups included: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination (IMADR) and Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice. Adding to a list of benchmarks outlined last year , the groups called for the following: • Reinstate the Chief Justice; • Release or charge all political prisoners and provide full public access to a data-base of names/locations of those still held; and • Ensure an enabling environment for civil society with full protection of the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

Callum Macrae: SL in no position to defend Commonwealth values

Writing on the blog on the 'No Fire Zone' documentary, director Callum Macrae called on the Commonwealth to listen to growing calls worldwide and ensure that Sri Lanka not be allowed to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November. He writes: "The idea that CHOGM should be hosted by a regime accused of such serious war crimes is abhorrent to most people who believe and hope the Commonwealth should be a force for good - a community of nations working towards human rights and justice" "That the Sri Lankan government would then become the chair of the Commonwealth for the...

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa holds secret meeting on NPC elections

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa held a secret meeting on the Northern Provincial Council elections with 24 other individuals in Jaffna, according to reports . The meeting comes as government sources announce that Velayutham Dayanithy, or Daya master - a former LTTE media coordinator, will be standing for election at the NPC polls under the ruling UPFA banner. V. Dayanithy was taken into custody by Sri Lanka's security forces during the final stages of the armed conflict in April 2009. At the time, the government spokesperson, Keheliya Rambukwella reported that he had...

19 remaininng in UAE say "in our country, we will die every day.”

As eleven of the 45 Tamil refugees, who found themselves in the UAE after attempting to escape Sri Lanka via shipk, arrive in Los Angeles this week, 19 others await to find out their fate. The 19 remaining in Dubai are said to be well looked after, but fear deportation, stating that they will die if they are returned to Sri Lanka, reports The National . One man, with the pseudonym Akaliniyan said: " We don’t know when we can leave, we hope this ordeal will end soon ." “ If we go back to Sri Lanka, we will not remain alive. We don’t need any comforts or luxury. We are happy to live anywhere. But in our country, we will die every day .”