Posts Categorized: Government

A List of Commissions and Committees Appointed by GoSL (2006- 2013)

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo 9 January 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has produced a table that contains basic information pertaining to Commissions of Inquiry (CoI) and committees appointed by the Government since coming into power in November 2005. Section I of the table examines the CoI and Section… Read more »

Tamil Council to Count Sri Lanka War Casualties

COLOMBO, December 26, 2013 (AFP) – The provincial government in Sri Lanka’s main Tamil region said Thursday it would compile its own death toll from the country’s ethnic war, saying an ongoing census would play down the number of casualties. Tamil officials said the census ordered by President Mahinda Rajapakse last month would give a… Read more »

Tamil Tragedy

by Bhekuzulu Khumalo, ‘Washington Times’ Communities blog, December 12, 2013 WASHINGTON, December 12, 2013 — Congress recently created the Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka. The Caucus was initiated by efforts of Congressmen Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Danny Davis (D-IL). The objective of the Caucus is to bring the attention of the… Read more »

Sampanthan Speech on Land Issues

I am happy to follow the Minister, the Hon. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, who, I think, in the course of his statement referred to the multifarious problems that exist in the North and the East pertaining to State land. I will be dealing with some of these issues in the course of my speech. Lands, Sir,… Read more »

British Commonwealth and the Sovereignty Claim of the Tamil Nation

In 1796, according to the Armenian Treaty, the British East India Company became the ruler of the Maritime Provinces of Ceylon which were ruled by the Dutch who ruled the Tamil and Sinhala territories separately. At the time of this change, there were two independent native kingdoms namely Vanni and Kandy which existed in the island of Ceylon. British administration considered that these native kingdoms, which were ruled, respectively by Panadra Vanniyan and Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe were obstacles for the expansion of their rule to the rest of the territory. These original kingdoms and their rulers were conquered in 1804 and 1815 respectively.

India Won’t Rest till Implementation of 13th Amendment P Chidambaram

“None can deny that there was genocide. We will continue to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government for an elaborate probe. I call upon the people of India, including Tamils here to support the government’s efforts to protect the 13th amendment, while Lankan government is trying to not implement it,” he said.

Money Where the (Sinhala) Mouth Is

Following the money trail often leads to interesting findings. Sri Lanka’s 2014 budget is no exception. It is as Sinhala Buddhist as its constitution is but this analysis only focuses on one aspect which is the militarization. Reference in the title to the Sinhala mouth is intentional.  It is to highlight how it is being… Read more »

Tamils: Need for Change

The prime consideration of the Tamils is security, which determines their very existence. Now that the conflict is ended by the war, there will be an extended period to recast relationships between the state and Tamils, the Sinhalese and Tamils, to overcome past iniquities and focus on the future.

The Tamils must have the assurance that their security won’t be compromised again on any account. While the international community is there to afford relief, it takes time to assemble and implement their directives. It needs an effective local mechanism to prevent such a development.

One clear and unambiguous way of ensuring this would be to embed a self-determination clause in the Sri Lanka constitution as a clear safeguard against any excesses or discriminatory action by the state. At the same time, there must also be safeguards to prevent it being invoked frivolously.

India for Lasting Political Solution in Tamil Areas: Khurshid

When the Indian Foreign Minister brought up the issue of meaningful political devolution in his meetings, the Sri Lankan side – both President Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, in response, seem to have pointed to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)…

Speaking to the Indian media in Jaffna before his meeting with Mr. Khurshid, Chief Minister Mr.Wigneswaran said it was important that the PSC lay down explicitly its parameters and matters related to its forward movement…

Having indicated to Sri Lanka that it was a “historic opportunity to start dialogue afresh”, he said India would be there to “help, assist and advise.”

Devolution of Powers under the 13th Amendment in Sri Lanka

by MCM Iqbal,  ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, July 19, 2009 (The writer was one of the secretaries of the first Provincial Council of the Western Province)   1. Introduction In the aftermath of the defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, many expected the government to put forward the promised political solution to the problems of the Tamils which… Read more »

Tamil Voters Hope Provincial Election is Step toward Autonomy

by Associated Press in ‘The Washington Post’ Asia/Pacific section, September 20, 2013 JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — The ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka tried to gain autonomy in their northern heartland first through three decades of protests and strikes, then through three decades of civil war. Northern cities were reduced to rubble and at least 80,000… Read more »

State Facilitated Colonization of Northern Sri Lanka

by Watchdog, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, September 19, 2013 On 25th September 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Government of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the… Read more »

Protracted Displacement, Urgent Solutions

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, September 10, 2013 Significant changes have taken place in post-war Sri Lanka that have assisted the improvement in the lives of those affected by displacement and over 480,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes and communities. However, four years after the war displacement… Read more »

Assessing Local Governance in the Northern Province

While there are a few bright spots, HHR’s survey results have proven that local governance problems in the Northern Province run deep and wide; it appears that most local government bodies are failing to perform their duties.[3]

Amidst scores of charts, graphs and numbers, what comes out most clearly from this survey is the profound lack of public participation.

The Northern Election And Historical Stumbling Blocks

“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”

Why is Land a Fundamental Issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say,… Read more »

Demographic Change in the Tamil Homeland

Sources for the situation, now and in the past — 1.) TamilNet Almost daily reports on enroachment, such as “Border Division of Mannar Sinhalicized” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=36552 and “Amparai GA, DS Officials Step Up Sinhalicization of Batticalow” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36567 2.) International Crisis Group “Sri Lanka’ North II: Rebuilding Under the Military,” 16 March, 2012 at http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/220-sri-lankas-north-ii-rebuilding-under-the-military.pdf 3.) TNA MP R…. Read more »

No Starting Point to Resolution

It is a wholly nonsensical debate: those who want to repeal the 13th amendment argue, quite misleadingly, that it significantly devolves land and police powers to the provinces. They also call for Parliament to be stripped of its powers to enable a merger of the North and Eastern provinces — when even the main opposition party (the United National Party) is against such a move. Just as misleading are attempts by those campaigning for the 13th amendment, including India and the TNA, to convey to the Tamil people that it is a good starting point to a political solution.