22 March 2019
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UK Stands By Its Position On Sri Lanka – British High Commissioner

John-RankinThe British Government has taken a very active role on the Sri Lankan issue, especially at the UN Human Rights Council. In a wide ranging interview with The Sunday Leader the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin, spoke about the UK position on Sri Lanka, talks Britain has with the diaspora and the potential Sri Lanka has for investments. Read more...

UNHRC Is Simply Evaluating Sri Lanka’s Compliance To A Covenant – Yolanda Foster

yolanda fasterThe UN Human Rights Committee, which is currently meeting in Geneva, reviewed the situation in Sri Lanka last week. The Committee raised several concerns during the review, including issues related to impunity, torture and freedom of expression for which the Government delegation gave its responses. Amnesty International was among the human rights groups and organisations which made submissions to the Committee. Sri Lanka researcher at Amnesty International, Yolanda Foster told The Sunday Leader the review had raised some pertinent questions on Sri Lanka. Read more...

I Had Faith In Indian Judicial System – Dr Subramanian Swamy

swamyJayalalithaa Jeyaram, Tamil Nadu chief minister, was sentenced to four years in jail on the 27th of September in a verdict in the disproportionate assets case. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dr Subramanian Swamy said that justice was delivered because Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not influence the case and had allowed it to proceed independently.

Swamy had been skeptical that the case would proceed independently considering the fact that he was fighting against the leader of one of the biggest political parties in Tamil Nadu. But when he had approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding his concerns, it was reported that Modi had assured him that he would not interfere in the case. However he said that there was a lot of pressure and it was an uphill battle to keep the case going. But he was thankful that the case did not reach the point of withdrawal and determined to see that justice was served. Dr Swamy added that he had faith in the Indian judicial system and was certain Jayalalitha would be given the right judgement and appropriate sentence, although it took a long time. Read more...

India should assert role as regional leader: Global Tamil Forum


suren 1Global Tamil Forum spokesperson and its director of strategic initiatives, Suren Surendiran, presently in Chennai on a private visit, speaks about the Sri Lankan Tamils gaining new hope from change of regime in Delhi.


We Will Be A Formidable Opposition – Harin Fernando

harin fernandoUNP’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Uva Province, Harin Fernando, said he had met the challenge of mustering support for his party successfully, by obtaining 173,993 preferential votes in the Badulla District translating to 88%, which was the highest number of votes polled, overall in the province. He said the time is opportune for everyone to put aside petty differences and join hands to work as one unit in the Uva Provincial Council to serve the people. Read more...

‘ Why am I against Sajith’s appointment? ’ – Karu Jayasuriya

karu jaya 22Chairman of the Leadership Commission of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya expresses his concerns towards the recent developments within the Party, despite maintaining that there are ‘no problems in the Party.’

Q: It is said that they are cleaning up the Sirikotha again, actually, what’s happening in the party?

A: There is no a problem like they say in our party. As a party that honors democracy, we have many members with different ideas. Actually, this situation is good for the party. It is normal. It is important to have varied ideas to help party to go forward. Even though there are different ideas, as a party we all believe in one thing. We all believe that we have to defeat this government.

Q: You gave very simple answer to my question. But, can there be a smoke without a fire?

A: That idiom may have had a meaning in the past. However, the way present government and some of the private media are working according to the government agenda, now there will be smoke even without fire. Unfortunately, today’s media do not provide the information and knowledge that is needed by the people. It is not a people friendly media. It is clear now that they attack their opponents unconditionally and function according to government’s agenda. The people are aware of that fact. They now feel that it is normal. Now look, how much lies are being told, and mud slinging to disrepute our Chief Minister candidate for the Uva Province. However, by now everyone knows that Uva people have disregarded all those allegations.

Q: It is said that Sajith Premadasa is going to be appointed the Deputy Leader of the UNP. It is also said that you are against the appointment. Are these allegations true?

A: Entirely false allegation. Why am I against Sajith’s appointment? He is the son of the Late Ranasinghe Premadasa with whom I had had very close friendship. It was Sajith who said that Karu Jayasuirya should be given the Deputy Leadership and that Karu is the only one who can bring together the party. I will be the person who will be the happiest one if Sajith comes forward and take hand in hand to bring forward the UNP party. Therefore, I do not have any grudge or objection against Sajith being given the Deputy Leadership. It should not be a problem to anyone. However, there is an acceptable way that a party works. It is the system that the party works to appoint Sajith the Deputy Leader that there are different views in the party. That is what some people view as a big conflict in the party.

Q: Tell me straight whether you do not prefer Sajith moving up the ladder?

A: As I mentioned earlier, I have clear idea about it. My condition in this matter is absolutely clear. Sajith has been given the due place in the party. Not only to Sajith but everyone in the party should be given their due places. Especially, all the members who actively participate in the struggle to chase away this government should be given their due place. It is highly important to give the due place not only to Sajith Premadasa and Ravi Karunanayake, but also those young members like Harin Fernando who sacrificed many things bravely. We are ready for it. In such a situation, some people try to sow lies. Today the Government has understood that their defeat is definite. In their own house, problem are increasing, instead of solving those problems, they are trying to split up other parties. That is why they are trying to show that UNP has a big internal problem. We do not get caught up into the government agenda. As the Chairman of the Leadership Commission of the Party, I never allow that to happen.

Q: Even though you talk of him fairly it seems that the MP has no regard for you?

A: (Laughing) It is not that much important to me. I am not interested in the views of the other politicians in the country. People bear different views of me. As a good, respectable politician I respect all these different views. On the other hand, I am not ready to be happy or unhappy about the views that others express of me. That time has passed now. I am more a matured politician now. If I am get upset about what you are telling, it is disrespect for my age.

 Q: The Presidential election is also a main topic in the country. In which way you join this discussion?

A: Normally, there is another two years’ time to the next presidential election. But considering the speed that the government is declining now, Presidential Election can be held before that timeframe. The timeframe of the Presidential Election has not been published yet. We challenge the Government to make known the timeframe if they are ready for the Presidential Election. Thereafter, we will decide. In time we will say, who is the horse, and the agenda. However, at present we began discussion with other political parties the common agenda for abolishing the Presidency.

Q: How is the feedback for this dialogue?

A: Very positive. We receive positive feedback from intelligentsia, working people, artistes, as well as from common people in the country. Everyone in the country unconditionally accept that the reason for the collapse of the country is the Presidential System. Even ministers in the government accept this fact. It is very important transition.

Q: Do have any idea to contest for the Presidency?

A: I have a definite idea about the Executive Presidency in our country. The country does not need it any more. It is not important whether someone else or I who is going to abolish this Executive Presidency. There is no rule that one should forward himself to do something. According to the convention, UNP presents its leadership to contest for the Presidency. Last time, according to the then circumstances of the country, we, as a strategy, decided to support Sarath Fonseka. Our leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated that he will contest for the Presidency at the next election. If the Working Committee of the party decided that everyone should support the person decided by the party, they should support him. I am ready to extend that support.

Q: There is a rumour that you rally round parties secretly such as Sobihitha Thero and Rathana Thero in the guise of supporting Ranil Wickrmesinghe. Are you playing a double game?

A: Absolutely not. We do not have such a secrete agenda. I have determined to abolish the Presidential System which is cancerous to the country. Before I bid farewell to politics, I have a dream of abolishing the system.  I am gathering each and every party for making it a reality. However, I do all these things only with the blessing of the UNP leadership.

By Chamara Lakshan Kumara
Courtesy - http://www.thesundayleader.lk

Marga CHA to Sandra Beidas: ‘Remove war crime charges, revisit IHL’ - Godfrey Gunatilleke

Godfrey-GunatillekeAn NGO submission to the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) presented in Geneva on Monday has demanded that war crimes charges relating to indiscriminate artillery fire, driving civilians into No Fire Zones and causing a large number of casualties tantamount to genocide be removed from the slate of allegations against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). Read more...

Our Efforts Are In The Name Of Sincere Citizens – Fr S. J. Emmanuel

emanul-1The head of the Global Tamil Forum, Fr S.J, Emmanuel feels the diaspora are doing good for the country by raising the human rights issue with the international community. Read more...

‘We will not allow an external probe’ - President Mahinda Rajapaksa

mr-1Interview with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa faces the twin challenges of external pressure for an international probe into allegations of war crimes and internal pressure over the dialogue process with the Tamil National Alliance. In his first interview since meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May, he spoke to Suhasini Haidar about the UNHRC resolution and the possibility of restarting dialogue. Read more...

‘No One Can Stop Our Victorious Journey’ – Samantha Widyaratne

samantha vidyaratanaJVP chief ministerial candidate Samantha Widyaratne in an interview with The Sunday Leader said that while the government held power all this time, they have done nothing to uplift the people. “It is up to the people now to take this opportunity to change the situation. The JVP under the new leadership has taken a whole new approach and the people are aware of it,” he added. – Following are excerpts of the interview: Read more...

Indian Govt Shouldn’t Have Dealt Directly With TNA – Udaya Gammanpila

udaya gammanpilaThe Sri Lankan government was expecting the new BJP government to respond positively towards Sri Lanka government’s policies, especially towards Tamil national issue of the country. However, the recent statement of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka has clouded those hopes of the Sri Lankan government to some extent. Read more...

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