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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sri Lankan Army deserter gives ‘rare’ insider account of government forces torturing civilians at refugee hearing

[MK Sivajilingam M.P]

Sri Lankan Army deserter gives ‘rare’ insider account of government forces torturing civilians at refugee hearing

Stewart Bell-Nov 29, 2012
Passport photo of Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, who was a captain in the Sri Lanka Army until he fled to Canada and deserted. He has told immigration officials the army ordered him to place a bomb in the home of a Tamil Member of parliament in Sri Lanka. / Federal Court of Canada
Passport photo of Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, who was a captain in the Sri Lanka Army until he fled to Canada and deserted. He has told immigration officials the army ordered him to place a bomb in the home of a Tamil Member of parliament in Sri Lanka. / Federal Court of

An officer in the Sri Lanka Army, who fled to Canada and claimed he was ordered to plant explosives at the home of an outspoken opposition politician, is raising new questions about military abuses committed during the island nation’s long civil war.
Captain Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, 38, deserted after flying to Toronto in October 2009.
He has since told Canadian immigration officials he was aware of torture and other crimes carried out by government forces against minority Tamils.
Testifying at his refugee hearing, he said a colonel ordered him to place bomb materials in the home of a member of parliament named “Silva Jilingam,” an apparent reference to M.K. Sivajilingam, a controversial Sri Lankan MP then aligned with the Tamil National Alliance party.
But the captain said he refused and was transferred to Colombo, where he helped with search and cordon operations that rounded up ethnic Tamils. He said he knew the army was torturing, beating and raping civilians.
“I admit that it is a harassment of these people,” he said. “I admit that.”
While there has been mounting evidence both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict committed atrocities, the testimony is noteworthy because it comes from a veteran former commissioned officer.

Passport photo of Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, who was a captain in the Sri Lanka Army until he fled to Canada and deserted. He has told immigration officials the army ordered him to place a bomb in the home of a Tamil Member of parliament in Sri Lanka. / Federal Court of Canada
Frances Harrison, a British journalist and author of Still Counting the Dead, a new book that tells the stories of survivors of the brutal end of the civil war, agreed it was unusual to hear such allegations from an ex-soldier and member of the country’s ethnic Sinhalese majority.
“A few Sinhalese have helped bring out war crimes evidence from Sri Lanka but, assuming this testimony is truthful, it’s unheard of for a Sinhalese soldier to speak out openly about human rights violations. It would be a huge blow to the Sri Lankan government,” the former BBC correspondent said.
The captain’s allegations come amid growing international pressure for an independent investigation into the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war. Two weeks ago, a UN review concluded the international body had failed to protect civilians despite verified evidence of atrocities.
A kung fu champion who joined the army in 1993, Mr. Watudura Bandanage told the Immigration & Refugee Board he had been trained in counterinsurgency.
I know my life is at risk if I go back to Sri Lanka
While he denied taking part in combat, the IRB did not believe him.
He recounted how, in 2008, a colonel had asked him “to do something which was not right…. He said there is an order in regards to this MP, there’s an order from the Defence Ministry…. I was asked to go to this MP’s residence and place some explosive material and detonator, and maybe they had planned to blame him for something and make him leave that area and to do something in that area that way or maybe they wanted to get rid of him.”
The Sri Lankan forces routinely framed government opponents during the war to discredit them and justify their arrests, said Gary Anandasangaree, a Toronto lawyer who has been making presentations about human rights violations in Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. But he said it was “rare” to hear such an account from a former soldier.
In his refugee claim, Mr. Watudura Bandanage said he spent 16 years in the army, but feared for his life because he had complained to police about a prominent politician and his connection to drugs and prostitution.
He said he had also leaked sensitive information to a Sri Lankan newspaper.
“I know my life is at risk if I go back to Sri Lanka,” he said.

A tank drives its to Puthukudiyiruppu during 2009 fighting between the Sri Lanka army the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Nir Elias / Reuters / Files
But the board ruled in February he was not eligible for refugee protection because he was complicit in crimes against humanity. It said the fact he was asked to place a bomb at an elected official’s home showed he was a trusted officer and aware of the “relentless brutality” of the Sri Lanka Army toward Tamil civilians.
“I find that during the last few years of the civil war in Sri Lanka, which includes the entire period that the claimant was a captain in the Sri Lankan army, military forces conducted ongoing widespread and systematic attacks on the civilian population in Sri Lanka. I find that the military forces of Sri Lanka committed countless crimes against humanity,” IRB member Michal Mivasair wrote.
Mr. Watudura Bandanage’s appeal to the Federal Court of Canada was dismissed last week.
“I think it’s very significant,” John Argue, Amnesty International Canada’s co-ordinator for Sri Lanka, said of the ex-soldier’s allegations.
“I hope it gets discussed publicly because then we get closer to what really happened in the last stages of the armed conflict and could have a serious discussion about accountability.”

Sri Lankan President Immunity Argued Today in New York

War Crimes
Accused of alleged War Crimes

Sri Lankan President Immunity Argued Today in New York

Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran (Left
Sri Lankan President Immunity Argued Today in New York

Ein News/ August 23, 2012: NEW YORK CITY --

It is reported today, August 23rd, that the issue of Head of State Immunity for Sri Lankan President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaska, in the case of Vathsala Devi v. Mahinda Rajapaksa (Docket# 11-CIV-6634) was argued in the US District Court, Southern District of New York.

The Tamil widow of Thurairajasingham (Colonel Ramesh) brought an action against Mahinda Rajapaksa, the sitting President of Sri Lanka and the agents under his control. She is asking for compensatory and punitive damages for torture, inhumane treatment and war crimes inflicted by the defendant in violation of the laws of the United States and International Law.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald Presided over the case argued by Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Esq who appeared for the plaintiff. The State Department was represented by Amy A. Barcelo Assistant US Attorney. Ali Abed Beydoun argued on behalf of Speak Human Rights and Environmental Initiative, which filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Plaintiff's position.

The issue in the case is whether it should be dismissed pursuant to the Suggestion of Immunity submitted by the US State Department.

Pursuant to the request by the Sri Lankan President the US Department of State filed the Suggestion of Immunity stating, "the Department of State recognizes and allows the immunity of President Rajapaksa as a sitting head of state from the jurisdiction of the United States District Court."

The Plaintiff argued that the Department of State lacks a legal basis, namely the law making authority, to file the Suggestion of Immunity and under emerging customary international law violations of jus cogens norms, namely torture, genocide, crimes against humanity & war crimes, pierced the veil of immunity.

The Department of State argues that for the last 160 years courts have accepted the State Department's determination of Head of State Immunity. The amici argued the State Department's determination violates the separation of powers.

The judge made an observation that the fact Congress has not amended the law to eliminate the State Department's role suggests that it acquiesces the State Department's position.

The Judge reserved the decision.

U.S. court grants appeal against Vatsala Devi - Rajapaksa case
[ Friday, 30 November 2012, 01:01.26 PM GMT +05:30 ]

‘GSL And The Military Apparatus Continue To Disallow and Prevent Peaceful Assembly’ TIC Writes To UN Special Rapporteur

Colombo TelegraphBy Colombo Telegraph -November 30, 2012 
“The government of Sri Lanka and the military apparatus continue to disallow and prevent peaceful assembly; using force and intimidation to bring an end to assemblies where they occur. This is occurring despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s public declaration in May 2009 that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been destroyed and normalcy restored throughout the island. The removal of the Emergency in August 2011 confirms the government assessment that the security threat no longer exists. Restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly ought to have ended with the removal of the national state of emergency. The Tamil population in the Northern Province suffers disproportionately under the restrictions in place but it is a national problem which affects the entire citizenry.” the Tamil Information Centre wrote to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Maina Kiai.
Maina Kiai © UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
The Tamil Information Centre appeals to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association to conduct a country visit to Sri Lanka and investigate; the restrictions on assembly and association outlined within this submission, the conditions of state terror, including harassment, intimidation, disappearances and killings which give rise to the paralysis of assembly and association,allegations of disproportionate force against protesters and the appropriateness of the methods of surveillance used by the government.
We below publish the full text of the letter;
Mr. Maina Kiai
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Email :

Appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on the
Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association
Date: 30 November 2012
Subject: The Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association in Sri Lanka
Appeal made by: Tamil Information Centre
Address: Thulasi, Bridge End Close, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 6PZ, UK
Telephone: +44 20 8546 1560
Facsimile: +44 20 8546 5701
The Tamil Information Centre (TIC), established in 1981, is a non-profit community organisation based in London, UK. The TIC works to address the challenges that face the Tamil speaking community in Sri Lanka to ensure that their rights are protected and promoted and their freedoms are recognised and respected. TIC’s mission is to empower people, particularly those suffering persecution and subjected to human rights abuses, by valuing the distinct identities and differences among them and improving the quality of life through access to knowledge.
The TIC assists victims, mobilizes public opinion, supports initiatives to assist the victims, brings pressure on perpetrators to stop violations and seeks improved standards and obligations to provide care and protection to the people. It also promotes people’s institution-building and management and helps to strengthen advocacy and lobbying.
                                        Read More
No freedom to express opinion in north. Sri Lanka Teachers Federation condemns the attack against students and journalist.

The attacks against the university students, assault against "Udayan" editor and attacks against the reporters visited the location to collect news proves that there is no freedom to express opinion in the north.
The Sri Lanka Teachers Federation strongly condemned this unscrupulous activity by the military.
Regarding this, General Secretary Joseph Stanlin in his statement said, Sri Lanka government is establishing the outside world that the normal life is prevailing in the Jaffna peninsula now. But the ongoing incidents clearly affirm that there is no freedom to express opinions in Jaffna including north.
Military illegally intruded the Jaffna university students’ hostels.  Mainly the military entered illegally to the female students’ hostel.
A new law which is not in any other country is imposed in the Jaffna University.  Military entering an Education organization has only happened in Sri Lanka.
 "Udayan" newspaper Reporters who went to the locality to collect news about the incidents two days back was assaulted. Police and military indiscriminately attacked the university students yesterday.
Journalist who went to the vicinity to collect news, and media students were attacked.  If such activities happen, how could you state in which category human rights and media freedom is prevailing in the north?
In the past period such incidents occurred, but government did not conduct any investigations or take legal action against this.  Our Federation is prepared to voice and we will always support against such autocracy.
Thursday , 29 November 2012

Remembering The Martyrs And Traitors

By Mahendran Thiruvarangan -November 30, 2012
Mahendran Thiruvarangan
Colombo TelegraphRemembering the past, its struggles and the actors and agents who advanced those struggles as a community is a key political act inextricably linked to our political journeys in the present. The past and the memories associated with it speak about our historical progress into the present, and therefore we tend to preserve the past in the form in which the past and its agents presented the past to us in the past. On other occasions, the voids of disillusionment and defeat into which the past leaves us often invoke romantic and illusory pictures of the past. As a result, we often desire to see the present to mirror the past without change or contamination. Our unceasing idealization of the past is not going to be a productive political practice in the long run. By keeping us within a circumscribed narrative of glorification, the past that we want to preserve and eulogize slowly weakens our critical eye. The present, as a consequence, finds itself crippled by obsolete forces. And the future appears as a blurred space in our visionless eyes. Whether we like it or not, there is a point where we need to break this self-destructive continuity that binds the past and the present in our thoughts, and rescue the present with a view to initiating political processes that would lead to transformation instead of stagnation.
My thoughts on the LTTE Martyrs’ Day event observed by the students at the University of Jaffna, despite the threats and gruesome violence they faced from the Sri Lankan Army and the Police, stem from this understanding of the interplay between the past and the present. The purpose of this opinion-piece is not to pass judgment on the rightness of commemorating the LTTE Martyr’s Day event at the University of Jaffna. I share in the students’ admiration of the idealism that characterized the lives of the LTTE cardres. I remember the LTTE cardres’ moral courage to sacrifice their education and the prime of their youth and to keep aside their responsibilities towards their families for a greater cause that had the larger community at its heart. I also condemn the brutal violence used by the Sri Lankan state against these unarmed students and the state’s unrelenting opposition to commemorating the slain LTTE cardres. But, I want to distance myself from patriotic narratives that use these martyrs to demonize those who democratically questioned the LTTE’s ideology and politics, and therefore want to think about what else a critical reflection of the past requires us to do when we remember the LTTE Martyrs in the post-militancy period.                    Read More
Maaveerar Naal a 'piercing emotional experience for me' - Australian senator

Speech: November 27 - Maaveerar NaalParliament House

28 Nov 2012 | Lee Rhiannon
Human Rights
Adjournment speech, Tuesday 27 November 2012
For Tamils all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, 27 November marks a very important and hauntingly sad day. In Tamil the day is known as Maaveerar Naal.
Veerar means 'warrior' or 'hero'; Maa means 'great'; and Naal means 'day'.
It is a day on which millions of Tamils will remember the hundreds and thousands of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children and the elderly who sacrificed their life in the 26-year-long struggle for their freedom.
Last year on this day I joined around 2,000 Tamils in Sydney's west to pay respect to the courage, strength and sacrifice of the Tamil people. The overwhelming distress and pain of the Tamil community as they stood in line to lay down a flower in respect for the fallen was a piercing emotional experience for me. I am in parliament today so I will not be able to join the community, but I still stand beside them as their friend on this significant day.
I have come to know the Tamil community in Sydney intimately and I know that their grief and feeling of betrayal by the international community, world leaders, and the United Nations is still very raw. These emotions are perpetuated by the discrimination and brutality the Tamils continue to face at the hands of the Sri Lankan government, including the sexual abuse and exploitation of women, imprisonment, land grabs, torture, assassinations and kidnappings.
Australia's continuing 'friendly' relations with Sri Lanka in order to stop Tamils from fleeing their country is a matter of despair. The Australian government and opposition's discriminatory views and actions towards Tamil asylum seekers who do manage to make the dangerous journey here is shameful.
The recent assassination in France of a French Tamil community leader is an example of the ongoing challenges that the diaspora Tamils face. Over the weekend, thousands of Tamils across France and Europe gathered in Paris to pay their respects to Mr Nadarajah, also known as Parithi, who was murdered on 8 November. It is alleged that his killing was orchestrated by Sri Lankan government officials. When investigating these crimes I trust that the French authorities will be thorough and transparent with any information that may indicate it was a political assassination.
At the service, there were community representatives from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. French politicians were reportedly present. The mass attendance and the state-like ceremony that was performed reflects the commitment and resolve of the Tamils. Amidst their show of communal grief, they have once again sent a powerful message to the international community that they will not be silenced in their work to achieve a war crimes investigation and justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
A few weeks ago the UN made international headlines when a leaked internal UN report prepared by Charles Petrie concluded that various UN agencies had failed to meet their responsibilities in the last months of the civil war in Sri Lanka. The report concluded that 'events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN'. Writing for Canada's The Globe and Mail on 19 November, Frances Harrison, a former BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka and author of Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka's Hidden War, stated:
... the latest UN report documents how UN staff members were in possession of reliable information that showed that the Sri Lankan government was responsible for the majority of deaths. And that two-thirds of the killings were inside safe zones unilaterally declared by the Sri Lankan government purportedly to protect civilians. This was information senior UN managers decided not to share with diplomats when they briefed them.
The BBC reported that the Petrie report points out that in Colombo 'many senior UN staff did not perceive the prevention of killing of civilians as their responsibility, and agency and department heads at UNHQ were not instructing them otherwise' and that there was 'a continued reluctance' among UN personnel in Sri Lanka 'to stand up for the rights of people they were mandated to assist'. The report also talks about the UN's reluctance to publish casualty figures. During the war, the UN maintained a figure of about 8,000 Tamil deaths. After the war, a former UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss, put this figure as high as 40,000. The Petrie report says that 'credible information' indicates 'that over 70,000 people are unaccounted for'. Dr Sam Pari, spokesperson for the Australian Tamil Congress, says Tamil church leaders and civil society, using census statistics, have calculated the death toll to be 146,679.
Against this figure of 146,679 Tamil deaths, the UN estimation of 8,000 is an insult. Even a possible 70,000 figure is hard to trust. So, three years on, we still have no agreed figure of how many men, women, children and elderly were killed in the first five months of 2009.
What this internal review has revealed is nothing new. All throughout the final months of the war, Tamils all over the world pleaded with international leaders to take notice of the massacre taking place in Sri Lanka. Thousands of Tamils continuously took to the streets in India, Australia, Canada, US, Malaysia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany and France. In Britain an unprecedented 300,000 Tamils closed off Parliament Square crying out for a ceasefire. Numerous young Tamils were on hunger strike, and in India young men burnt themselves alive, unable to bear the news of what was happening to their brothers and sisters. In a blog post on 15 November, former UN spokesperson, Gordon Weiss, said:
… Sri Lanka pulled off one of the nastiest episodes of mass killing since the Rwandan genocide - and got away with it.
He went on to say:
Despite a clear advantage over the near-vanquished rebels, the army bombed packed hospitals, used starvation tactics, executed civilian captives, raped and killed female guerrillas and corralled women and children into "safe zones" before shelling them. When that was done, it interrogated and then killed the Tamil Tiger political and military leadership, along with their families.
I find it hard to believe that Western governments did not know what was going on. It has been confirmed that the UN certainly did know. While there were diplomatic efforts by some European leaders, the overall efforts were minimal.
I congratulate the aid workers, Tamil doctors, priests, Tamil net journalists and diaspora Tamils who stayed in the conflict zone and did everything they could to make the world listen. Many died. Today, I will remember them on Maaveerar Naal.
In responding to the leaked UN internal review, UN chief, Ban Ki-Moon, said in a statement:
… I am determined that the United Nations draws the appropriate lessons and does its utmost to earn the confidence of the world’s people, especially those caught in conflict who look to the Organization for help.
I welcome Mr Moon's statement. It is important to hear that the UN is determined to draw the appropriate lessons. Mr Moon has said he will organise a senior-level team to provide him with careful consideration of the recommendations and advise on a step forward. It is a step in the right direction, but we have to acknowledge that it is a very small step. Many feel it is too late.
My concern with Mr Moon's statement is what he omitted: will anyone in the UN be held responsible? In his blog, Gordon Weiss speaks of an incident during the war when Australian UN humanitarian worker, James Elder, warned that children were being killed and a Sri Lankan government official accused him of supporting terrorists. The government expelled Elder.
That government official, Palitha Kohona, is now Sri Lanka's representative at the UN. His deputy is a former general accused of mass killing during the war. Is Palitha Kohona going to be held accountable? And what about Vijay Nambiar, who was Mr Moon's then chef de cabinet?
Writing for The Huffington Post on 16 November, Frances Harrison says Mr Nambiar implored the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to dilute her statement when she wanted to speak about potential war crimes by the Sri Lankan government. Will Mr Moon do anything about him? And what about a war crimes investigation? Will Mr Moon take the necessary steps to appoint an independent war crimes investigation to set the record straight? And will member states give him the backing that he needs?
The Australian government has maintained a complicit silence regarding the Rajapaksa regime and the allegations of war crimes against it, and it continues to give a former navy official during the war—Thisara Samarasinghe—diplomatic immunity in Canberra. I note here a sentence from page 28 of the Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka:
From as early as 6 February 2009, the SLA —the Sri Lankan Army — continuously shelled within the area that became the second NFZ — no fire zone — from all directions, including land, air and sea.
The failure of the Australian government and other Western governments to take decisive actions, such as adding their support to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's call to boycott CHOGM if it is held in Sri Lanka in 2013, adds to the pain and anguish that so many Tamils and their supporters feel, particularly on a day as important as today.
I congratulate all those who are working to ensure that there will be a war crimes investigation. As 27 November dawns around the world, I acknowledge the grief and courage of Tamils who gather together to remember and reflect on the enormity of the lives lost.
I repeat the call that crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sri Lanka must be independently investigated.

Speech: November 27 - Maaveerar Naal-LeeRhiannon-See here for full address

Parliament House

Human Rights
28 Nov 2012
Adjournment speech, Tuesday 27 November 2012

November 28 Jaffna: Appalling Attack And Unjustifiable Reactions

Colombo TelegraphBy Nirmanusan Balasundaram -November 30, 2012
Nirmanusan Balasundaram
On the evening of the November 27 at 06:07 PM (local time), flames were lit in commemoration of Maaveerar Naal 2012 (Martyrs’ Day 2012). It was initiated by the Tamil students from the Jaffna University.
Pre-deployed Sri Lankan troops forcibly entered into the Ladies’ Hostel and attacked the students and damaged properties, soon after they realized that the flames were lit inside the Ladies’ Hostel of the Jaffna University. The victims called the University administration to escape from the attack and seek safety. However, following the attack tensions prevailed.
More troops and policemen were deployed to the university vicinity by the Sri Lankan Defense establishment in Jaffna. The next day (November 28), the students called for a nonviolent protest in opposition to the military attack against the students. The sit-in protest which took place within the university premises revisited memories of the Satyagraha campaign led by the late S.J.V.Chelvanayagam.
Vicious Cycle
Just as successive Sri Lankan governments and their hooligan mobs attacked the Gandhian way of the Satyagraha campaigns of 1956 and 1961, on the 28th the Sri Lankan army and policemen unleashed their terror campaign against the university students, who were marching peacefully within university surroundings holding placards, with a considerable number of  students symbolically covering their mouths with black cloths.
The attackers injured about 20 students, damaged the vehicle of a TNA parliamentarian, and harassed and threatened a Tamil journalist trying to cover the incident.
The history of the island indicates that it was the oppression of Tamils’ democratic struggle that led the Tamil youth to take up arms to safeguard their nation’s rights, especially that of freedom.  The outcome of which was known not just to the people of the island, but also the world.  Despite this, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces’ atrocities against the Tamil people continues today, mirroring past acts of violence.
This act of abuse and oppression reveals the importance of demilitarization, as situation of an open prison is prolonged in the NorthEast, particularly in the North.
Failure of the Media                                            Read More
Sri Lanka Tamil party calls for the release of political prisoners in the country

Lankapage LogoNov 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says that steps should be taken to immediately release the political prisoners in the country.
The TNA says that there are 810 political prisoners in the country and calls for their early release.
The TNA has raised the issue in parliament by saying that over three years after the end of the war, there are still 810 political prisoners in several jails around the country.
"There have been promises that the cases against them would be expedited, but this has not happened," the TNA has said.
"We have a minister here who was a member of the LTTE, a Chief Minister who was also an active LTTE member and now KP is living freely in Kilinochchi. So, why can't these people, who were arrested for minor offences like giving water or food to the LTTE cadres, be released?" the TNA has questioned.
Meanwhile, Prisons and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera in response has said there are only 318 hardcore members of the terrorist group LTTE are remaining in the jails while around 1,600 have been sent for rehabilitation.

Respect The Authority Of The Supreme Court – LfD

Colombo TelegraphBy Colombo Telegraph -November 30, 2012 
“‘Lawyers for Democracy’ earnestly appeals to Members of Parliament to respect the authority of the Supreme Court as laid down in the Constitution and to see that Rule of Law and Independence of the Judiciary is upheld.” says LfD.
Lal Wijenayaka
“Article 125 of the Constitution lay down that the Supreme Court has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution.  The applications by petitioners before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court relates to the interpretation of the validity of standing order 75A under the Constitution.  All organs of State and authorities are bound by the interpretation of any provision of the Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court.” issuing a statement LfD convener Lal Wijenayakefurther says.
We below publish the full text of the statement;
‘Lawyers for Democracy’ views with deep concern the ruling given by the Speaker of Parliament on the notices served from Courts on the Speaker and members of the select committee appointed to inquire into the charges contained in the impeachment motion on the Chief Justice.
Article 125 of the Constitution lay down that the Supreme Court has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution.  The applications by petitioners before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court relates to the interpretation of the validity of standing order 75A under the Constitution.  All organs of State and authorities are bound by the interpretation of any provision of the Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court.
Therefore it is untenable for any authority to proclaim that they will not be bound by the interpretation of a provision of the Constitution determine by the Supreme Court.
Any attempt to disregard the interpretation of any provision of the Constitution and / or any law will lead to anarchy and to the complete breakdown of the Rule of Law and the Independence of the Judiciary.
It is only proper for the persons noticed to appear before the Supreme Court to appear and place before the Supreme Court their view on the interpretation of the relevant provisions.  All Members of Parliament are bound by their oath to uphold the Constitution.  Any Confrontation between the legislature and the judiciary and disregard of the duty and responsibility to respect and uphold the Constitution will shake the foundation of democracy itself.
It has also to be stated that under the Constitution it is only the President who has the immunity from not appearing before any Court.  No Member of Parliament or any other authority has the right to disregard an order of the Supreme Court or any other court to appear before Court.
‘Lawyers for Democracy’ earnestly appeals to Members of Parliament to respect the authority of the Supreme Court as laid down in the Constitution and to see that Rule of Law and Independence of the Judiciary is upheld.
Chauvinist missile crushes the rights of Jaffna university students. University female students including many injured.

Police and forces were engaged in dispersing the university students by assaulting ruthlessly yesterday morning at the Jaffna university compound.
Due to the brutalities the female university students including many were injured. Out of them 10 persons are seeking treatments at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
Reporters who were engaged in collecting news at the locality were under attacks by the forces.
Four Students from the Jaffna University media faculty were arrested by the police with the assistance of intelligence unit personnel and later released.
Jaffna District parliament member E.Saravanabawan’s vehicle was smashed when he visited the locality where the incident took place.
Students were engaged in a protest yesterday at the Jaffna university premises against the attempts of forces to disturb the heroes memorial events organized two days back at the Jaffna University students hostels.
Students by closing the university main gates were holding placards and chanting slogans were on a protest yesterday.
Military is it correct to intrude inside the female hostels?
Military what is the work you have inside the university?
University administration!  Who is responsible for the university students?
Military, who permitted you to enter the university hostels?
We condemn the administration which permitted the military atrocity?
Even though we are suppressed on the point of weapons, our spirits cannot be suppressed?
Harmony is to squeeze our feelings?
Do we do not have rights to express our rights in this democratic country?
University students by tying their mouths with black cloth were carrying these placards and were engaged in the protest inside the university compound.  
Vice Chancellor why are you here? Forces are threatening the students? If it so, why this administration? Is there none to clarify this injustice in Jaffna was the questions raised by the students engaged in the protest.
Following this,  the students walked through the main entrance without creating traffic congestion, by  another entry were proceeding on a procession. During this time, the Jaffna police prevented the students and asked them to go back. When students came forward to ask reasons, the police who were in vehicles began to disperse them
Police the forces joined together and started to attack the students inhumanly. Students by leaving their text books and footwear escaped from the police attacks. Some students were put down dragged by the police and were beaten. Military assaulted the students by their rifles. Five students were beaten and were arrested by police.
Journalists who were engaged in collecting news were assaulted by the military.
Students ran inside the university compound and began to pelt stones at the police and forces. This created much tension in the area.
Later university lecturers rushed to the locality where the incident occurred and had discussion with the police. However forces were stationed in large quantity around the university premises, and students were not permitted to go out of the compound.  Hence students were transported by the bus belonging to the university were dropped at the bus halts.
This incident had been informed by the students to the Jaffna District Parliament Member E.Saravanabawan and he rushed to the locality. But his vehicle in the presence of police and forces was smashed by the civil cloths men who were present in the area.
Regarding the attack against the students and the arrest of four persons an argument was between parliament member Saravanabawan and the police which took a long time.
After a long argument the four persons arrested from the media faculty were released by the police and one student was detained even though parliament member Saravanabawan made it clear that he is a student from the media faculty, but he was not released.
 Police after contacting the University high levels checked the records and released the remaining student who was in their custody.