TNA considers responding to Supreme Court judgement on land powers

Commenting on the recent judgment that outlined that land powers would remain with the central government the leader of the TNA reiterated that land powers, which were meant to be with the provinces under the 13 amendment, had been a key cause for ethnic conflict. However, before deciding on the party’s response to the centralisation of land powers by the Supreme Court, Sampanthan said the TNA would have to carefully study the Court’s judgement.

'I can't understand' allegations says Rajapaksa to Al Jazeera

Interview with Al Jazeera - "this is all propaganda" Asked about Navi Pillay's criticisms of Sri Lanka following her visit, Rajapaksa said: " This is what I can't understand. For last five years we've had about 19 elections. Provincial council election, then the parliamentary election. Every four years - my term is 6 years - but last year I went for election at 4 years. And it is up to the people to decide on governments." Apparently perplexed by Navi Pillay's assertion that critical voices are often attacked or permanantly silenced, Rajapaksa said: " No I reject all that. I mean this is what I can't understand when a person come here. We have an opposition. You must remember in a democratic country - it's not like, a dictatorial country, where a dictator is there - so there are other views. So the opposition is always trying to defeat the government, whether it is with the international community, or inside the country." Asked about the harassment and intimidation of people who spoke to Navi Pillay during her visit, Rajapaksa said: "No. I asked, she never told us this. Otherwise I would have enquired into it. She never mentioned that to me, 'til she came out in public . When she met me she could have told me. If that happened, I don't know why she said this, because we will never do that. We would have stopped her coming, but we allowed her to go anywhere, allowed her to meet anybody she wants." Commenting on the TNA's victory at the Northern Provincial Council election, he said: " We knew, it will happen, I knew, I told this... I told even the TNA leader that we are going to give you the election. You will win. We know our results, but we want to have it. we want you to take on the responsibility. Anybody can criticise, let them deliver now."

Election monitors note a rise in post-election violence

Election monitors in Sri Lanka say that incidents of violence following the end of the provincial council elections have risen. The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) outlined in their statement that the “ frequency and gravity” of post-election violence had increased in the last few days.

Sri Lanka not discussed at CMAG meeting

Sri Lanka was not discussed as a topic at the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on Friday, reports Colombo Gazette . Despite calls from human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to use the CMAG meeting in New York to discuss and take a stand on human rights violations in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka was not placed on the agenda. The meeting instead focused on Fiji and the group also released a joint statement on the Maldives.

Vote for liberation

The landslide victory of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election was an act of sheer defiance by the Tamil people. Their emphatic endorsement of the TNA at the ballot box - whose campaign highlighted the core Tamil political demands and the Tamil armed resistance for independence - was a resolute affirmation (through the only means available to them) that the political aspirations outlined in the Thimphu declaration of 1985, continue to be the basis of the Tamil struggle. This was not a vote for the TNA. It was a vote for resistance. It was a refusal to accept the government's mantra of 'development, rehabilitation and reconciliation' and an unequivocal assertion to the international community of the absolute minimum political demands of the Tamil people. Ironically, through the process of voting in the election, the Tamil people categorically rejected the NPC as any basis to a political solution. Four years after the government celebrated the military defeat of the LTTE, as the quashing of the Tamil nation's call for freedom, this could not be further from the truth. The people have spoken and their message is clear – they have not surrendered. The Tamil people demand the right to self-determination.

Amnesty urges CMAG to break silence on Sri Lanka

Amnesty International, called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), to break their silence on Sri Lanka’s human rights record today. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, made up of foreign ministers and headed by Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, is gathered to address violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values, including human rights, in New York today. Slamming the Commonwealth’s endorsement of Sri Lanka and holding of the Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International’s deputy Asia-Pacific Director, Polly Truscott, said, “Today’s...

'Difficult to participate fully' in CHOGM says Canadian FM

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada, John Baird, said that "given the current circumstances in Sri Lanka and the lack of substantial progress to date, it would be difficult for the Government of Canada to fully participate" in CHOGM on Thursday, during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. Baird said : “Again today, I spoke out loudly and clearly on the issue of human rights in Sri Lanka, including on our concerns on the lack of accountability for the serious allegations of war crimes, the lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community and with the events that have taken place since the end of the civil war. “ As the Prime Minister has stated very clearly, we expect our concerns to be addressed seriously by the Government of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, given the current circumstances in Sri Lanka and the lack of substantial progress to date, it would be difficult for the Government of Canada to fully participate.

Emergency injunction halts deportation of Tamil family from UK

After an intense battle with the High Court, a last minute injunction was placed on the deportation of a Tamil family to Sri Lanka . Following distressing scenes earlier in the day, where the UK Border Authority restrain the screaming children and take them to the airport, the emergency injunction was able to halt the flight and allow the traumatised family to be removed from the plane

Pasumai Thaayagam speaks on genocide, land grab and militarisation at UNHRC

Speaking on behalf of the non-governmental organisation Pasumai Thaayagam at the United Naitons Human Rights Council General Debate, Anbumani Ramadoss, outlined the continuing genocide of the Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Also speaking at the General debate of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a representative of Pasumai Thaayagam, Tasha Manoranjan outlined the on-going land grab and militarisation in the North-East of Sri Lanka. The full statement can be found below.

SL reiterates that land powers remain with the central government

The Sri Lankan Supreme Court, announced in a ruling today, that land powers in Sri Lanka were vested with the Central Government and not with the Provincial Councils. Responding to an appeal made by the Minister of Plantation Industries, the three member Supreme Court bench agreed that the land powers according to the 13 th Amendment were vested with the central government.