Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Sunday, July 31, 2011

TNA Slams Champika On Anti-Tamil Comment

Sunday, July 31, 2011By Easwaran Rutnam
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has demanded equal rights for Tamils and slammed a comment by a government minister who they say made derogatory comments against the Tamil population.
“We will not allow the government or anyone else to treat the Tamils as a minority anymore. If the Sri Lankan government thinks the Sinhalese are the majority and the Tamils are the minority, then they are mistaken,” TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader.
Government Minister Champika Ranawaka had on Tuesday July 26, said, “Just because they won a few councils they must not demand police and land powers. They need to take note of the fact that 56 per cent of the voters had voted to retain the unitary character of the country,” he said.
He accused the TNA of trying to use the USA to try and intervene in order to win Tamil demands. “We the Sinhalese will not kneel down before the US or any other power. As long as the power of the saffron robe of the Buddhist monks remained they will not be able to achieve what they aim for,” Ranawaka added.
Premachandran said that by making controversial remarks against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, the government was only creating another rift between the two communities in the country. “Government ministers should be mindful of the remarks they make against the Tamil community. The Tamils will not allow or accept any foolish remarks made by certain Sinhalese government ministers,” Premachandran said.
Sri Lanka is only just recovering from a brutal war which lasted nearly three decades in which the LTTE was demanding a separate state for the minority Tamil community. Following the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 the Tamil National Alliance, which had once accepted the policies of the rebels, began talks with the Sri Lankan government to find a solution to Tamil concerns. During recent local council elections the Tamil National Alliance won majority support in the Tamil dominated north of the country while the government won the polls in the Sinhalese dominated south.

Stop treating Tamils as minority: Premachandran MP

Suresh Premachandran MP, Tamil National AllianceTamilNetSuresh Premachandran, TNA MP
[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 July 2011, 20:37 GMT] 

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran on Sunday touched on an important conceptual issue related to the national question in the island that affects equality between Tamils and Sinhalese, when he criticized those who treat Tamils as a ‘minority’. “We will not allow the government or anyone else to treat the Tamils as a minority anymore. If the Sri Lankan government thinks the Sinhalese are the majority and the Tamils are the minority, then they are mistaken,” Mr. Premachandran told The Sunday Leader.

Premachandran had said this answering the SL minister Champika Ranawaka, reported The Sunday Leader feature by Easwaran Rutnam.
But political analysts in the island observed that the conceptual connotations of Premachandran’s statement are far-reaching and are addressed to a wide-range of players harping on solutions within a ‘united Sri Lanka’: ranging from those who are within the TNA seeking terms acceptable to the Sinhalese in finding models of solutions to those who are in the international arena seeking ‘innovative and creative ways’ of solutions.                            Full story >>   

Gota’s escape route -when hearing channel four ‘nonsense’ it should have been dismissed saying ‘no comments’ your facial expression you had betrayed everything to the whole world
(Lanka-e-News -31.July.2011, 4.00A.M.)When a most powerful world media - channel 4 confirmed with two living witnesses on 28th morning that Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse is a war crime perpetrator, the Rajapakse regime which drove itself mad when hearing this however decided not to make its madness public. According to internal sources within the defense Ministry , though this was what was decided and expected , Gotabaya however flew into a demonic rage.

The military attache Major Gen. Prasanna Silva of the SL High commission in Britain was among the first to come within the firing line of furious Defense Secretary who ran wild like a serpent on which kerosene oil is poured , after his listening to the channel 4 latest video telecast report . The military attaché in his report to the Defense Secretary earlier, regarding channel 4 had not mentioned anything about the latest video footage . Besides , he had told Gotabaya everything is happening in a manner which can be controlled by him. The defense Secretary who was obviously outraged had after questioning Prasanna Silva’s incapability roundly slated him for not performing the tasks entrusted to him.

Next , he had taken to task the UN permanent representative in America , Major Gen. Shavendra Silva, who he had woken up from his sleep , and berated him over the answer filed by him against the channel 4 . “Why the devil did you speak to them . What you ought to have done was to say ‘ no comments’ and gone away when you heard the channel 4 nonsense . By your facial expression you had betrayed everything to the whole world ,” Gota had vented his thundering fury on Shavendra.

An owner of a private channel who is extremely close to Gota during this period had taken a call to the latter . Gota who has had a discussion with this private channel owner had asked , what do you think should be done? He had advised him to just reject it and ignore the whole matter. Gota had told him with anxiety and apprehension , there are chances of he being taking into custody. Following the website reporting a news item on Gotabaya’s answer . the President had telephoned his brother Gotabaya and severely warned him not to open his mouth on this subject , and pointed out that he is still burdened with answering to issues resulting from Gotabaya’s past glib and unbridled utterances .’Please do not open the mouth about channel 4’ the President had warned him sternly. In consequence of this, the members of the Rajapakse regime have to make a pretense of sanity and conceal insanity even if their madness has hit lunatic asylum pitch.
e that as it may , the whole of the defense Ministry these days is putting its heart and soul and all its effort more than it did in the search for Prabhakaran, collecting data and information about the two witnesses in the video footage who are supposed to have served in the SL Army. The Army intelligence division is searching for information from the soldiers who were in the 58 th regiment under the command of Shavendra De Silva. Currently a search is being conducted for the four soldiers who disappeared . The Rajapakses suspect that the two witnesses who gave evidence to the Video four are among them.

Shavendra Silva says life in danger due to Channel 4

Sunday 31 July 2011
By Ramesh Warallegama

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva said that the Channel 4 broadcaster in London has been gathering information on him, which can endanger his life. He added that the LTTE’s international leader, Visvanathan Rudrakumar lives less than a kilometre away from his office.
“The Channel 4 team has been gathering information about my daily routine in the recent past, and if something happens to my life, Channel 4 should be held responsible,” Silva told LAKBIMAnEWS. Silva claimed that the latest Channel 4 video was created to slander him because of his exposure of the first video. The latest video quotes an alleged officer of Silva’s 58th Division stating Shavendra Silva gathered his troops in the last days of the battle, claming that the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered him to ‘kill selected  LTTE leaders.’ Another alleged Sri Lankan soldier in the same division alleges that mass decapitation, rape, torture and mutilation took place in the final days of the war.
“The latest video mainly targets me and I believe that this is due to the fact that I took on the director of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,’ Callum Macrae, and the team of the first video and exposed their fabrications, inconsistencies and bias in the video. Despite my open challenge for a debate, Macrae has avoided me since. Instead of facing me and proving  me wrong he has stooped  to creating another biased, haphazardly created video,” Silva said, speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS.

A hiss and not a kiss as answer to Gota from British High Comm. Offic 31 of July 2011(Lanka-e-News -31.July.2011, 4.00A.M.) Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse had made a request to the British High Commission in Colombo to take action against channel 4 on the ground that the video report is detrimental to Sri Lanka and himself .The request made by Gotabaya on the belief that like in SL ,the media there is under the control of the Govt. was met by an answer which carried with it a hiss and not a kiss for Gota.

Dominic Williams had this to say in answer for Gota :
“ Channel 4 is an independent free media channel. The Commonwealth believes that a free independent media is an essential ingredient of a viable and vibrant Democracy. Besides there is a clear mechanism established by the Commonwealth to probe the ethical and legal conduct of the media . Hence , the British Govt. has no way to interfere with the media programs and exposures.. In the existing mechanism there is a free independent representative Board and an independent Board for Press complaints. Hence , complaints against the media have to be channeled through them.”

Autonomy pitch for Lankan Tamils

Express News Service
Last Updated : 31 Jul 2011 10:28:22 AM IST

CHENNAI: Showing the CPM’s strongest ever support for the Lankan Tamils, the party’s general secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday said that adequate autonomy to the northern and eastern regions of Lanka would only give a long lasting peace in the war-torn Island nation.Addressing a special conference on ‘Equal rights for Sri Lankan Tamils in their country,’ Karat said, “The most urgent priority is that in Sri Lanka, there has to be a political solution to the Tamil question. For that, there has to be adequate autonomy given to the northern and eastern regions.”
“There has to be devolution of powers that are meaningful, which can enable the Tamil people to manage their affairs in these areas,” Karat said about SL Tamils who were denied equal rights in their country for the past 60 years. Coming down heavily on the Lankan government for using delaying tactics, Karat said, “We (CPM) would like to tell the SL government not to continue to adopt tactics to delay and think that by avoiding these issues, you will solve the problems.”

Jayalalithaa reiterates demand for Lanka economic embargo, July 31 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the Central Government to impose an economic embargo on Sri Lanka for alleged ''war crimes'' and atrocities committed on the ethnic Tamil community by the Mahinda Rajapakse-led Government.
A recent UN report accused Colombo of targeting Tamil civilians during the army onslaught on the militant outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in 2008-2009.
The report specifically accused the Rajapaksa Government of widespread shelling, including targeting field hospitals, denial of humanitarian aid, and rights violations against people inside and outside the conflict zone on the northeastern coast of the island nation.
Demanding justice for the Sri Lankan Tamils in a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly, Jayalalithaa had called for an economic blockade against neighbouring Sri Lanka in June.
Addressing a news conference in Chennai, she asserted that AIADMK lawmakers would be raising the issue before other parties during the Parliament''s Monsoon Session beginning on August 1.
"Yes, our Members of Parliament will definitely be raising the issue on the floors of both houses of Parliament, with regard to the atrocities committed against Sri Lankan Tamils and the resolutions passed in the Tamil Nadu assembly to declare those guilty of war crimes as war criminals and to see that they are made to appear before the International Criminal Court for inquiry," said Jayalalithaa.
"We have also been insisting that an economic embargo should be imposed against Sri Lanka. Our Members of Parliament will raise these issues in both the houses," she added. (ANI)

ACF Massacres: Justice in Limbo Sunday, July 31, 2011 By Abdul H. Azeez
On August 4, 2006 17 members of Action Contre La Faim (ACF or Action Against Hunger) were brutally shot and killed in Muttur in the midst of the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE.
Their young, promising lives were lost in an instant as each of them were executed at point blank range with their faces turned to the ground.
Four of the victims were 24 years old and the oldest was 54. They were four women and thirteen men, and eleven were under the age of thirty. The killings of the 17 workers are said to be the most serious crime perpetrated against a non-governmental organisation. Four years after the massacre the perpetrators have yet to be brought to justice.                            Read More »    

Army thwarts Pillayan’s bid to free bank robbery suspect

SA senior army officer yesterday accused Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan of trying to secure the release of one of the main suspects in the Puttur bank robbery.
Security Forces Eastern Commander Boniface Perera told the Sunday Times, “On hearing of what was taking place, I rushed a special motorcycle squad to the area and detained the suspect who was later taken to the police under heavy armed guard.”
The suspect along with four others had allegedly robbed some Rs. 3.5 million in cash and 27 kilos of gold with an estimated value of Rs. 150 million from the People’s Bank in Puttur in Batticaloa town.Police say the suspect identified as Pradeepan was a former frontline LTTE activist who later joined the ranks of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) led by Mr. Chandrakanthan who is better known as Pillayan.
The other four suspects involved in the robbery are also supporters of the TMVP and they were rounded up on the instructions of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksha, Maj: General Perera said.
Investigators are now trying to ascertain whether the same gang was responsible for similar crimes committed in the east and elsewhere. (See related story on Page 12)

And now a Road Through the Sinharaja Forest

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

latest illegal construction to take place in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve has been initiated by UPFA parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, according to propaganda posters put up in the Ratnapura District on a road construction project.
AbeywickremaThe poster displayed in many parts of Ratnapura states that a 5 km road from Imbulkanda to Sooriyakanda on the border of the Sinharaja forest in the Ratnapura District would commence construction from July 27th on a directive issued by the young Rajapaksa.
The road is estimated to cost Rs. 6.5 million and the Highways Ministry has passed the finances.
The Highways Ministry is interestingly under the purview of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
A picture of the propaganda poster put up in Ratnapura on the road project is shown in the newspaper.
Read More »

US delivers demarche: Refer LLRC report to UNHRC

By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
The United States has delivered a demarche to Sri Lanka that it wants the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) discussed at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in March next year.
A demarche is a formal diplomatic stand of one government's official position, views and wishes on a particular subject. It was delivered by the US Embassy in Colombo to the External Affairs Ministry last month, but, Sri Lanka has not yet responded officially to the request.
An External Affairs Ministry source who spoke on grounds of anonymity said the government was most likely to reject the US request. “This is because we will be under the constant watch of the HRC if we agree to this move,” the source said, sounding a warning that a rejection may also force US to resort to other “measures against Sri Lanka”.
A resolution to cut aid to Sri Lanka, moved by members of the House Foreign Relations Committee, now awaits further discussion before becoming law. The final report of the LLRC is expected to be released in November this year.
After the Sri Lanka issue arising out of the UN Advisory Panel’s report on alleged war crimes was not raised at the 17th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June, there was speculation that it would be taken up in September this year.
Although it is not altogether ruled out, both Britain and the United States have said that they would give time for Sri Lanka till the end of this year to respond. In a similar move, the US is learnt to have succeeded in getting Yemen to discuss the recent violent incidents in that country leading to human rights abuses before the UNHRC sessions in September. This came after the government in Sanaa had agreed to the US request.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

BBC iPlayer - From Our Own Correspondent: Sri Lanka and Greece
Alan Johnston with insight and wit from BBC correspondents Charles Haviland and Mark Lowen

Colombo targeting Tamil civil service is more than revenge[TamilNet, Friday, 29 July 2011, 18:02 GMT]
Orders have been issued by Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa and by his sibling Basil Rajapaksa to colonial governor Maj. Gen. Chandrasri for immediate and full-swing replacement of Tamil civil service in the north. The act may superficially look as a revenge for the defeat in the civic elections, but it is actually aimed to make any political solution that will be ‘accounted’ to the outside world completely meaningless to Eezham Tamils, and is a part of a long-contemplated agenda of structural genocide, political observers said. Meanwhile, knowing what is happening and what will happen in demography, political representation, civil administration, militarisation and in all other respects, why should the TNA commit to seek solutions under a ‘united Sri Lanka’ just because the powers that abetted the genocide want it, ask non TNA Tamil nationalists.
                                                                                                   Full story >>

‘Udayan’ editor attack:

‘Udayan’ editor attack: Rise up forthwith on behalf of media freedom & democracy! -JVP  Saturday 30 of July 2011

(Lanka-e-News -30.July.2011, 3.30P.M.)The Editor of ‘Udayan’ newspaper Mr. Gnalingam Kuganathan was attacked by thugs yesterday (29th) evening. The attack has been carried out near the newspaper office. Mr. Kuganathan, seriously injured in the attack carried out by two masked persons in a motorbike, has been admitted to intensive care unit of the Jaffna Hospital.

While resolutely condemning the savage attack we demand the government to bring those responsible for the grave crime before the law immediately.                
The government has not been able to arrest anyone responsible for the incident yet. Being able to flee after attacking a journalist in Jaffna where security is at a maximum level does mean the invisible hand of the government has been active. Hence, the government will not be able to evade allegations aimed at it for the attack. The people in the country as well as masses in the world would have their eyes open to see whether the government would be silent as in other instances when journalists were targeted for attacks or whether legal action would be taken against the wrongdoers of this attack.        Full story >>

Police protection for area surrounding 'Uthayan'

Police protection has been provided to the area surrounding the office of Jaffna-based Uthayan news paper who’s Chief news editor was brutally attacked by an unidentified gang yesterday evening 
News Editor, Gnanasundaram Kuganathan was attacked while he was traveling along the Navalar Road in Jaffna, after which he was admitted to the Jaffna Hospital in critical condition.
The police and army are also carrying out frequent security patrols in the area. (Kavisuki)

UN calls for speedy probe on Razeek July, 2011
UN calls for speedy probe on Razeek
Pattani Razeek's body was exhumed on Thursday after a tip-off
Mr Razeek was detained by the Defence Secretary, AI said quoting a government official
The United Nations has called for speedy investigation over the mysterious death of a prominent human rights activist in Sri Lanka.
A spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Sri Lanka to prosecute all those involved in the murder of Pattani Rafeek, managing trustee of Community Trust Fund (CTF).
His body was exhumed by police on Thursday after a tip off from suspects arrested in connection with his disappearance in February, last year.
Rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) earlier said although the police have identified the man they consider the prime suspect in the disappearance, failed to question him.
The suspect is a close associate of Sri Lanka’s former Minister for Industry and Commerce, according to the the London based rights watchdog.                              Full Stort>>>

Sri Lanka: Former Tamil Tigers complain of harassment

Many former rebels find it difficult to let go of the past
Former Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels in Sri Lanka say they cannot find jobs or reintegrate into society, a year after they were freed from government "rehabilitation" and detention camps.
In a series of exclusive interviews with the BBC, some also said they were being harassed by the security forces, though others were being left alone.
After the LTTE were defeated in 2009, more than 11,000 former militants or alleged militants were taken to the special camps after being screened off from civilian war refugees. A few thousand remain inside but more than half have been released, in phases, and gone home.
In Jaffna I called on Kumarasamy Muralitharan, nine months after I met him on his release.
He is an ex-LTTE doctor who was trained in the militants' medical colleges and served for 20 years in their medical wing. When I met him in October he wondered nervously whether his qualifications would get him a job as a doctor in post-war Sri Lanka, and whether he would be accepted by society.


Sri Lanka's ethnic polarisation persists strongly despite peace

29 Jul 2011 15:01
* Tamils say uncomfortable with post-war reconciliation
* Poll results show old ethnic divisions still strong
* Rajapaksa drags political solution
By Shihar Aneez
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, July 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's old war zone has been at peace for two years but the minority Tamils who populate it say they are hungry for jobs, despite the economic revival the government has offered instead of the political powers for which Tamils first took up arms.

In Sri Lanka's north and east, people last week voted for the first time in at least 12 years and as many as 29 to elect local councils, two years after the military wiped out the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to end a 25-year war           Full Story>>>

Sri Lanka: Tamil hopes and national unity

Friday, July 29, 2011

TNA’s electoral victory indicates Tamils’ resolve for self-determination

By Ramu Manivannan
30 Jul 2011
Ramu ManivannanPosted 29-Jul-2011
Vol 2 Issue 30
The remarkable success of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the umbrella organization of Tamil Political parties in the recently held local body elections in the North and East of Sri Lanka is yet another reaffirmation of the Tamils’ belief in their right to self determination.

The TNA won 18 of the 26 local bodies in the region in an election they fought amidst hostile conditions.
The Sri Lankan government and the ruling elite cannot dismiss this mandate as votes gathered under the dictum of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Brave voters: Tamils in North Sri Lanka braved threats from pro-Rajapaksa parties to cast their votes in favour of TNA. (Photo above was taken in a Tamil area last week)
The political will of the Eelam Tamils has been continually expressed under the shadow of different organizations and various circumstances, but never been under doubt since the historical Vattukotai resolution in 1976.
The President of Jathika Hela Urumaya, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, has said the results do not reflect a desire for a federal system, since the ruling party has secured 56 percent of the total vote share in the polls, including the North.            Read More        

Missing HR activist’s body exhumed
By Susitha R. Fernando

The body of human rights activist Pattinin Razeek who disappeared more than one and half years ago was exhumed before Valachchenai Magistrate on a lead given by a suspect today.

The body was buried within a half built private house in a remote village in Uddamaveli, Valachchenai. The Valachchenai Magistrate ordered to send the body to the Government Analyst Department for the scientific identification.

The position of the body was uncovered following a lead given by suspect Ismail Mohamed Musteen who was arrested by police. Earlier the police had identified Shahabdeen Nowshaadh as the chief suspect in Mr. Razeek’s disappearance.

Razeek, head of the Community Trust Fund (CTF), a Sri Lankan NGO based in the town of Puttalam had been missing since February 11, 2010, after disappearing in the town of Polonnaruwa.

The body of the disappeared human rights activist Pattini Razeek exhumed

TNA Opposes Elections Department Statement

Friday, July 29, 2011
The TNA has said the decision of the Elections Department to reduce the number of parliamentary seats allocated to the Jaffna District was unfair.
TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran has told the media that the decision to reduce the parliamentary seats from 10 to six was not a fair decision.
The Elections Department announced earlier in the day that the number of seats allocated to the Jaffna District may be reduced due to the decline in the number of voters by 320,000 since 2009.
The media reported that the four remaining seats would be allocated to the Ratnapura, Matara, Kurunegala and Badulla Districts.
However, Premachandran has explained that many civilians who have fled fromJaffnaduring the war were still in the process of returning to the country.
The parliamentarian has added that the party would discuss the matter with the Elections Department.

Jaffna to Lose 3 Parliamentary Seats

Jul 29, 2011
Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated Jaffna district will have its parliamentary seats slashed from nine to six as the Election Commission said the region had witnessed number of voters dropping to half the previous figure of 700,000.

The officials said the fall in number of parliamentarians was due to the country's complicated proportional representation system of elections.

Vowing to oppose the move, the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which recently swept the local election in the province, alleged that the fall in voters had been due to people being forced to leave their homes due to a three-decade long ethnic violence.

"People are still returning from India after the end of the war. The diaspora still feel unsafe to return to Jaffna but when they decide to return you will find that they will not be able to exercise their franchise," Suresh Premachandran, the senior TNA MP said.

Elections commissioner's department officials said that the Jaffna district will have just six MPs representing the voters as opposed to the current number of nine MPs.

The decision has been made in view of the decreased number of voters in Jaffna. The current voter figure dropped to just over 300,000 from the previous 700,000.

During the height of the military conflict in the north and east when the LTTE waged a war to create a separate homeland for the Sri Lanka Tamils, a large number of Jaffna residents fled the area, either migrated mostly to West or located themselves elsewhere in the country, mostly in the capital Colombo.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

DPF: Tamil People Need Political Power

Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) says that the results of the recently concluded local government elections in the North indicated that the Tamil people needed political power to make their own decisions to develop their regions.
DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan said in a statement that the Tamil people have rejected the development decisions made inColombo.
He said that the government played the development slogan explicitly in its campaign in the North and Minister Wimal Weerawansa openly said they wanted the Tamils on their side in the East, in order to face the international community.
Ganeshan observes the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had repeatedly said it was prepared to share power within a united Sri Lanka and that the Tamil people in the North and East have agreed with the TNA position by rejecting government overtures and positions at last Saturday’s local government elections.
The DPF supported the election campaign of the TNA at the recently concluded local government elections.

30 fishermen injured in attack by Lankan Navy

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Thirty fishermen were injured when they were assaulted allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel in the high seas off the coast here on Thursday, police said.
The fishermen alleged that the Lankan Naval men, who came in seven boats, whipped them with a rope, and took away their catch and GPS equipment, among others, early Thursday morning.
Two of the boats were fitted with machine guns, while the Naval personnel in five other boats were heavily armed, they told officials.
Tension prevailed in this island town as the fishermen gathered at the fisheries office to complain about the assault.
A case has been registered in this regard, police said.
Recurring attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen, allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, had been an issue for a long time. Sri Lanka accused the fishermen of crossing the IMBL and fishing in the island waters, offering rich fish wealth.

Sri Lanka rejects new war crimes charge
Photo of Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. - AP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military Thursday rejected new allegations that its political bosses ordered the execution of surrendering Tamil rebels during the final days of the island’s separatist war.
Reacting to a new broadcast from Britain’s Channel 4 that accused defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse of ordering executions, military spokesman Ubaya Medawela dismissed the allegations as “completely false”.
Channel 4 said two Sri Lankan soldiers who declined to be named had told them that orders to execute surrendering rebels came directly from the defence secretary, who is the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse.                                   Full Story

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on the LG elections, Parliamentary Select Committee and Political Solution groundviews journalism For citizens

Groundviews caught up with TNA Member of Parliament Suresh Premachandran, who spoke to us about the nature of election violations that occurred in the Northern Province prior to the 23rd of July and on Election Day, which included intimidation, assault, bribery, voter transportation, continuous campaigning and reports of the systematic and forced appropriation of ballot and identity cards by ‘armed actors’. Premachandran asserted that the result of the election delivered two messages to the Government; firstly, the Tamil people require development, but also ‘a political settlement’ and secondly, that there is a consensus on the need for an ‘investigation’ and ‘some sort of accountability’. Premachandran also spoke about the Government’s insistence on a Parliamentary Select Committee for drawing up a political solution, which he simply dismissed as a ‘delay tactic’.
On the issue of negotiations with the Government for a political solution, Premachandran stated that there was ‘no progress on devolution matters’. Furthermore, in what appeared to be a fit of idiosyncrasy Premachandran stated that the TNA did not provide ‘any comprehensive proposals as such’, but instead submitted ‘notes for discussions’. What ‘comprehensive proposals/report’ were Mathiaparanan Sumanthiran and Mavai Senadhirajah talking about a few months ago? It is hard to believe that when dealing with an intransigent and duplicitous government, Premachandran could deny the existence of ‘comprehensive proposals’ submitted by at least the TNA, particularly when the Long-term Reconciliation Committee – the unfortunate title given to the collective from the Government negotiating with the TNA – appears to have absolutely no concrete mandate or framework that delineates the basis for negotiations.
It is also interesting to note that Premachandran felt that the TNA might have to expand its mandate in order to address issues such as militarisation in the south and thereby fill the void created by the lack of effective opposition politics given the imbroglio of the UNP. While this does seem ambitious and perhaps even unrealistic, it does reinforce certain opinions expressed about the TNA being the only opposition alliance with the political backbone to challenge this government on critical post-war issues.
There is also growing concern about whether adequate funds will be provided to local government bodies in the Northern Province and with racist apparatchiks of the Government challenging the TNA to ‘develop the north’, it does seem as though the TNA will find it increasingly difficult to exercise effective administration, particularly if the Government adopts a retributive agenda in light of its significant defeat in the region. Premachandran ends ominously by stating that ‘if they [the Government] are not going to have a proper settlement through discussion[s] with TNA, then of course we have to take the struggle diplomatically…we will have to mobilise our people, we will have to start non-violent agitation…so that will continue’.
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with TNA MP Suresh Premachandran by Sanjana Hattotuwa

'Withdrawal of funds' from north July, 2011
MA Sumanthiran, MP
TNA says that the government is trying to negate TNA's victory
The major Tamil political party in Sri Lanka warns that the government is planning to withdraw funds to a majority of local governing bodies in the north.
Tamil Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran told BBC Sandeshaya that the challenge by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to develop the north on its own is clear evidence of that plan.
Power and Energies Minister Ranawaka commenting on the TNA landslide victory in the north told journalists on Tuesday that it is the responsibility of the winners themselves to rebuild the area.
"It was not the Sinhalese who destroyed the tanks, electricity and railway lines," he charged.
'Undemocratic means'
TNA MP Sumanthiran in response said, "the government is trying to negate the Tamil people's democratic will by economic force".
Champika Ranawaka (L) taking oaths before President Rajapaksa
The minister says that it was the LTTE that destroyed the north
He alleged that the ruling coalition failing to win the north by force during the local government elections is now resorting to undemocratic means.
Earlier, the the secretary general of the ruling party said that it has received more votes than in the last elections.
"We will start by building upon our 57 members who have been elected," said United Peoples Front Alliance (UPFA) Seceretary General Minister Susil Premjayanth.
Minister Ranawaka has also said that the TNA with the new found support should not demand police and land powers or federal status.
"This threat to democratically elected bodies sends a wrong signal that the Tamil people cannot achieve their democratic aspirations through the ballot," said Mr Sumanthiran.