A Brief Colonial History Of Ceylon(SriLanka)
Jack Layton’s open letter
Systematic Genocide of Tamils
Friday, March 16, 2018
Former Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara who is currently in custody, had been involved in concealing evidence and displacement of the diary of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge and for the removal of pages of the police report, the CID told court yesterday.
This was revealed when the case relating to Lasantha Wickramatunge’s killing was taken up at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The CID also asked the magistrate to issue an order permitting the Police forensics lab to examine the phone details of the Ex- DIG. The judge granted approval for it and issued an order.
The involvement of the Senior DIG in concealing evidence and hampering the investigation on Lasantha’s killing, was established by information revealed to the CID by the former OIC (Crimes) of the Mount Lavinia Police Tissasiri Sugathapala, earlier.
The Mount Lavinia Magistrate further ordered the two suspects currently in remand custody, Former Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara and former OIC (Crimes) of the Mount Lavinia Police Tissasiri Sugathapala to be further remanded until March 29.
OIC, Gang Robbery, IP Nishantha Silva and ASP Tissera represented the CID.
“The former DIG had instructed the officer to refrain from continuing with the investigations. Further, certain pages of Lasantha’s notebook had been removed and replaced. This information was found only after the CID took over the investigations two years ago. The investigations into the killing had commenced 9 years ago but no progress was made as these high ranking police officers were trying to conceal the evidence and preventing the investigations from moving forward. All these parties had banned themselves together to sweep the investigations under the carpet. This former DIG had acted upon the instructions of the former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne,” the CID source said.
On January 8, 2009, Lasantha Wickramatunge was killed by two assailants who had followed him on a motorcycle at Attidiya. Yet, although investigations were initiated into this crime, the case remained stagnant with no noteworthy progress.
However, the present government recommenced the investigations, since assuming power, and evidence pertaining to this crime have been surfacing gradually.
Information had also been revealed that Lasantha Wickramatunge’s diary which had been found in his car at the time of his assassination, containing all his details, his mobile phone, and, several other items had been given by SI Sugathapala to an SP who had then given it to the DIG and then to the IG, and eventually, to a high ranking government official. This information had also come to light during the interrogation of SI Sugathapala.
The CID told the Daily News that the two motorcycles believed to have been used by Lasantha’s assailants had been found to belong to a person from Ja-Ela, and the other belonged to a person in Nugegoda. However, in 2008, the owner of the bike from Ja-Ela had met with an accident and the motorcycle had been in police custody. The other motorcycle from Nugegoda had also been put up for sale by the owner. It is being investigated as to how these motorcycles had been used for the crime, but investigations being revealed also points to police involvement.
Meanwhile, the CID had also sought a court order to provide special security to the two suspects currently in remand. Previously Jesudasan, the primary suspect in the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunge, died while in remand prison. Similarly, the two youths who were named as Lasantha’s killers, from Vavuniya, were found to have been killed previously and their bodies had been burnt a few days prior to Lasantha’s assassination on January 1, 2009 by an unknown party and their charred bodies were found in the Anuradhapura area. Therefore, the CID had raised concerns about the safety of the two main suspects currently in remand.
Courtesy Daily News. /Image from LeN.
Sirisenas – Maharaja lured by filthy lucre eye Russian warship deal while Australia gifts 4 more vessels and two engines free !iii
(Lanka-e-News - 16.March.2018, 6.30PM) It is while Sirisenas , wheeler dealer Maharaja and their group are leaving no stone unturned to grab a huge illicit commission through the purchase of a Russian warship, the Australian government gifted free two engines of modern Bay class vessels to Sri Lanka (SL). The Australian High Commissioner to SL Brice Hutcheeson gifted these engines officially to Navy commander Rear admiral Piyal De Silva on the 14 th.
These engines were gifted to be fitted to the Bay class vessel ‘Mirikatha’ that was gifted to SL by Australian government in 2014 for coastal security operations.
Another three coastal security vessels are to be gifted to SL towards the end of the year , Hutcheeson said when speaking at the function.
Australia jointly with the SL Navy is engaged in training , exchange of information , and gifting of equipment, and the operations conducted during the last four years to stop human smuggling to Australia had been successful , Hutheeson further pointed out.
SL is now having a huge fleet of coastal security vessels .Following the free gifts made by India (two vessels) , America (two vessels) ,Australia (four vessels) and Japan (three vessels), SL now has 11 vessels for coastal security operations. It is now crystal clear therefore , while there are so many security operation vessels for coastal protection , why Sirisena family and mahajara Maharaja are still trying to purchase the Russian warship - obviously lure of filthy lucre.
Meanwhile , the Sirisena -Maharaja group is going to purchase from Russia 10 helicopters (MI 171 SH) , two cargo planes (76 MD) , 6 attacker planes (SU 30) , according to media reports.
These were to be purchased from Rosoboronexport Co. However because this Co was blacklisted by European countries and America , the purchase is to be made now by mahajara Sirisena –Maharaja team from another Russian Co, ‘Rostec ‘ dealing in nuclear energy, which details were reported by Lanka e news earlier on.
The UNP of the consensual government remaining silent in this connection is a matter for rude shock and surprise.
by (2018-03-16 13:02:34)
by (2018-03-16 13:02:34)
Former member of parliament and retired Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera has sought an explanation from UNSG Sri Lanka panel member, South African human rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka as regards sharp discrepancy in the much-touted UN Vanni death toll and the British wartime dispatches from its diplomatic mission in Colombo.
Weerasekera has challenged the International Truth and Justice Project’s (ITJP) executive director Sooka at a side event at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday (March 15). Sooka has asserted that numbers didn’t matter and refrained from responding to the specific query raised by Weerasekera, who made an intervention at a discussion titled ‘Combating Impunity in Sri Lanka’ meant to highlight war crimes allegations directed at wartime Vanni Security Forces Commander the then Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasooriya.
The UNSG panel comprised one-time Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, US lawyer Steven R. Ratner and Sooka.
Weerasekera has stepped in after Sooka alleged that the Sri Lankan military massacred over 150,000 though the UN panel estimated the number of civilian deaths at 40,000.
Side events take place on the sidelines of Geneva sessions scheduled to continue till March 26.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009.
The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has fielded a team in Geneva to counter anti-Sri Lanka propaganda in the absence of government initiative.
Zooka’s team at Geneva meet included Carlos Castresana Fernández, public prosecutor, Spanish Supreme Court and former British diplomat Ann Hannah, Acting Director of Policy and Advocacy, Freedom from Torture. The panel called for universal jurisdiction in Jayasuriya’s case.
Weerasekera has asked how the UN continued to justify over 40,000 deaths regardless of Lord Naseby’s disclosure in UK parliament last Oct based on unquestionable British military dispatches from Colombo. The naval veteran pointed out that British reports tallied with a comprehensive UN report that dealt with Vanni death toll from Aug 2008 to May 2009.
The then British defence attache here Lt. Colonel Anthony Gash estimated the number of dead at 8,000 with one fourth of them being LTTE personnel. The UN report placed the number of dead, both combatants and civilians at 7,721 by May 13, 2009.
The audience was reminded by Weerasekera how international military experts had challenged the UNSG report. Weerasekera has asked whether Sooka was making an effort to justify the flawed UNSG panel report by moving court in Brazil in respect of war crimes allegations against Jayasuriya in 2017. Jayasuriya, returned to Colombo on completion of his term as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Brazil in the wake Sooka moving court against one-time Army Chief.
Weerasekera yesterday told The Island that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government owed an explanation to the country as to why absolutely no effort was made to disprove lies propagated in support of the Geneva project. An irate Weerasekera said that Sooka’s sidekick Carlos remained mum when he was reminded that he accused Sri Lankan military of war crimes even without setting foot in the country. Weerasekera has challenged the Spanish national to justify his declaration that Sri Lanka deserved to be charged for war crimes due to what he called overwhelming evidence of deliberate civilian killings. Weerasekera has pointed out that international experts, including Maj. Gen. John Homes (British Army) cleared Sri Lanka of war crimes after having visited Sri Lanka. Weerasekera alleged that the government lacked a cohesive plan to defend the country.
The previous government allowed battlefield commanders to be interviewed by foreign experts.
A Canadian Tamil participant has accused Weerasekera of being in charge of the Navy at a time sailors bombed Point Pedro. The Canadian claimed that at the time of that incident he was small but remembered the navy carrying out the attack. Weerasekera has asked Carlos whether such blatant lies were considered as overwhelming evidence against the Sri Lankan military.
Weerasekera has told the gathering that those who lived in luxury in the Western world pursued anti-Sri Lanka campaign and the Canadian Tamil was one such person.
On the previous day, March 14, Weerasekera requested the Geneva body to suspend implementation of Resolution 30/1 pending reappraisal of the circumstances leading to Sri Lanka co-sponsoring the controversial proposal.
The following is the text of Weerasekera’s statement received by The Island courtesy GSLF: "Today we speak about the human right situations that require council’s attention.
The High Commissioner in his report A/HRC/37/23 on Sri Lanka updates the Council on Sri Lanka’s implementation of resolution 30/1. My remarks pertain to the High Commissioner’s report.
In March 2017, I filed two reports which conclusively rebutted the OISL report of the High Commissioner which alleged that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes. The OISL report is the basis for resolution 30/1.
The foreign Minister of the SL government co-sponsored the resolution without the approval of the President and the Parliament of Sri lanka.
Continuing to implement a resolution based on a flawed report is a breach of the principles of the UN Charter, and therefore a grave violation of the human rights of all Sri Lankans. It is the People of Sri Lanka who have to ultimately suffer the consequences of ill-advised UNHRC resolutions.
The Human Rights Council is not above the law.
Having exhausted all my options in bringing this situation to the attention of the Council, I have filed a Complaint Procedures petition. Normally, the Complaint Procedures mechanism is used against States, but I have adduced cogent reasons why the mechanism must cover complaints against the UNHRC or the OHCHR.
I request the Council to impose a moratorium on all actions related to resolution 30/1 pending a decision on my Complaint."
Romesh de Silva
by Chitra Weerarathne-March 17, 2018, 12:04 pm
President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva in objecting to the Bill to Amend the Judicature Act, yesterday told the Supreme Court that the Bill did not refer to the establishment of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.
The Bill assumed that such a Permanent High Court Trial at Bar is in existence but it was not so. Hence the Bill could not be proceeded with De Silva P.C. said.
He said the Minister might establish a Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar whenever he so wished.
The Minister could specify location by publishing a gazette notification. The Attorney General or Director General of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption, might initiate proceedings in the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.
The set-up will interfere with judicial independence. It violated Article 154(B), 100 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.Article 154 (B) is very specific.
Accordingly, every High Court is empowered to hear the criminal offences within the Province.
After this proposed Bill is enacted an offence might be committed in Hambantota and the Minister would decide on the province where the High Court inquiry was to be held, the counsel argued.
Some people might be tried under the new Act while another could be charged under the old one for the same kind of offence. This is unequal treatment in violation of Article 12(1) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, said de Silva.
The Attorney General and the Director General of Bribery would be empowered to determine which offences should be tried in the new High Courts. That was violative of Article 12(1) on equality, 12(2) on freedom from discrimination and Article 10 on the Right to think. That could target persons politically. If the Chief Justice appointed the three Judges to the new High Court, then the Minister could not decide the location. The Attorney General or the Director General the bribery commission, could not decide on the persons to be prosecuted - that will interfere with the independence of the judiciary.
This violated Article 4(C) of the Constitution and also Article 12(1) on equality and 12(2) on freedom from discrimination. There could be undue targeting, De Silva, PC explained.
The Judge couldn’t be compelled by the impending law on the postponement of cases. The right to a fair trial was denied. It violated judicial power enshrined in Article 4(1). The right of a lawyer to practise his profession, free of external forces was also denied in violation of Article 14(1) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
Romesh de Silva supported a petition, against the Bill.
He appeared for the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, U. R. de Silva P.C.
President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana supported a petition by Professor G. L. Peiris, objecting to the Bill.
He appeared with Kaushalya Molligoda and Navin Marapana.
Gamini Marapana endorsed the position taken up by Romesh de Silva PC that the Bill did not refer to the establishment of the Permanent High Court. It had put the cart before the horse; without reference to the establishment of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar, it referred to the procedure to follow.
The right to postpone cases denied the right to fair trial. If the family member of a counsel died how could he appear in the court? He needed a postponement.
This Bill sought to give the power to the Executive Officer of the State, to take away a case from the Magistrate’s Court and place it somewhere else in violation of the independence of the judiciary, Counsel Marapana maintained. The Attorney General and the Director General of the bribery commission would be interfering with the independence of the judiciary.
The Bill carte blanche to the Attorney General and the Director General Bribery, to send any case before the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.
A day-to-day trial prevented an accused from retaining a counsel of his choice, Gamini Marapana said.
The Bill did not refer to serious crimes such as rape, child abuse, murder. It was politically motivated.
The fundamental right to a fair trial would be denied if the Attorney General and the Director General Bribery decided in which Permanent High Court a case should be heard. Let the Chief Justice decide such issues without completely eroding the judicial powers.
The Counsel requested the Supreme Court to declare that the Bill violated the judicial power of the courts, and was, therefore, unconstitutional.
President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardene endorsed the submissions previously made by de Silva and Marapana. He objected to the Bill, stating that the Bill did not refer to the establishment of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.
It was a case of putting the cart before the horse. He appeared for Prof. Channa Jayasumana.
The Bill eroded the powers of the Chief Justice, he said. Waging of war, terrorism, murder, rape kidnapping were not given prominence in the Bill at issue.
Serious criminal offences had not been highlighted, he said.
It seemed to be politically motivated. Victims of rape, murder of family members, drugs had been ignored
Manohara de Silva P.C., supported a petition, which objected to the Bill. He said the Bill of that nature needed to be approved by a two-third in Parliament and by people at a referendum.
He appeared for Dinesh Gunewardene.
The bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasarth Dep, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare and Justice Nalin Perera.
(Lanka-e-News - 16.March.2018, 4.30PM) ‘Not only you plunged your own country into dire peril but even India’ Indian prime minister Narendra Modi roundly blamed president Maithripala Sirisena. According to diplomatic sources , Modi had bitterly berated Sirisena the currently 4 % popularity president of Sri Lanka (SL) when the latter attended the solar power conference in India recently .
By SL opening too many doors much more than are necessary for China , it has driven the entire Indian zone into dire peril , Modi had pinpointed. Sirisena in his defense had said, there are stipulations in the contract entered into regarding the Hambantota Port and Colombo port city with China , that those cannot be used as war zones.
Modi disdainfully rejecting Sirisena’s explanation had asked to his face ,who is the fool who fights a war according to requirements on paper?
Modi disdainfully rejecting Sirisena’s explanation had asked to his face ,who is the fool who fights a war according to requirements on paper?
When Sirisena was trying to blame it on the P.M. Ranil Wickremesinghe by saying those were done by him , to exculpate himself , Modi had replied , ‘ We have a better understanding of your P.M. We know him,’ while saying ‘ ‘I know who chased India from Sampur .’ When listening to that , Sirisena was dumbfounded. (Sirisena was behind that).
It is the view of Diplomatic divisions, no matter what , Modi’s attitude can be considered as a refusal to the face of president Sirisena, and that India does not accept him. This portends ill to the future of SL , the same sources added.
by (2018-03-16 11:12:05)
by (2018-03-16 11:12:05)
DR. VINOTH RAMACHANDRA-
Organized mob violence against minorities has been a feature of the political landscape in Sri Lanka for several decades. In fact, one could say that it has become part of our political culture.
Thus blaming Facebook and other social media is a way of avoiding facing up to some hard but simple facts.
In all such mob attacks, the idleness or complicity of the Police have been amply documented. Clearly this cannot be due to fear or incompetence alone. The inactivity of the Police is always a consequence of the activity of senior government politicians. This was the case in July 1983, a state-orchestrated pogrom against Tamils in the south of the country. It has been the same ever since in every instance of so-called “religious violence”.
So, how do we prevent future acts of violence against vulnerable minorities?
(1) Interdict senior police officers in those areas where the violence occurred. Their dereliction of duty is a criminal offence. They should not be transferred to other areas where they can continue repeat such betrayals of public trust, but arraigned before courts of law. In such courts, they should reveal whoever in government ordered them to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed by mobs.
(2) Compensation for affected minorities is insufficient. The President and Prime Minister must take responsibility and apologise publicly to those who have lost limbs, family members, or property. They must personally see that whoever instigated such violence, even if it be senior members of their own political parties, be brought to justice. What we need in Sri Lanka is not more legislation but law enforcement.
(3) The Press Complaints Commission has to be woken up and given some teeth. Who has allowed this body to become moribund? It is not only social media, but mainstream media that have been swamped by “fake news” and fake reporting. In the run-up to the local government elections, the Bond Commission Report’s “findings” were being splashed across front pages of newspapers by journalists who had never read the report themselves. What is called “News’ in Sri Lanka has simply become reporting what some government or opposition politician says, without any attempt to critically question and investigate for oneself. We need not only a free media but a competent and responsible one. (Editor’s Note: Read an account from 2007highlighting shortfalls both in the media and the efficacy of the Press Complaints Commission for context. The most recent statistics from the Press Complaints Commission are for 2015, and show just 7 complaints, 2 of which were resolved, while 3 were considered outside the Commission’s mandate).
(4) The Sinhala-Buddhist community must realise that the biggest threat to Buddhism in this country lies within themselves. It is the Buddhist monks and Buddhist politicians who embrace violence and corruption who damage the credibility of Buddhism, not non-Buddhists or any “external forces”. The latter have often been a convenient scapegoat for the nation’s ills. As long as Buddhist monks and ruling politicians are treated as being above the law, the cycles of violence will continue. In the interest of protecting Buddhism, Sinhala-Buddhism needs to be demythologised as a nationalist ideology by Buddhists themselves.
(5) Far-reaching educational reforms are needed. Sri Lankan history textbooks used in schools should carry different perspectives on the past and not only that of the majority community. Muslim-only and Buddhist-only schools should be persuaded by the authorities to become more pluralistic. Inter-ethnic and inter-religious associations among teachers and schoolchildren should be formed in every district with a view to dispelling caricatures and stereotypes of other communities.
If the present political culture does not change, Sri Lanka will remain mired in a chronic state of social backwardness, always “developing” but never developed, with more tall buildings but dysfunctional institutions and morally stunted leaders.
Editor’s Note: Also read “The Beast Rides Again” and “STF brutality against Muslims in Digana: March 5“.