As election day approaches, the road to power goes through Ontario

[ CBC ][ Oct 13 13:16 GMT ]

In this election, there are 338 ridings at stake, 121 of them in Ontario. Of those, 52 are in the Greater Toronto Area, with 25 in the city of Toronto proper. And perhaps most significantly, there are 15 new ridings in the province because of redistribution. Given the changes and the sheer number of seats up for grabs, it follows that winning in this province could make or break the parties' fortunes on the night of Oct. 19. And next Monday may ultimately settle very little. A minority government, which polls suggest would be a likely outcome, may only give voters enough time to take down their lawn signs and then put them back up. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka Red Cross probes claim of sex-for-aid demand in former war zone

Red Cross in Sri Lanka said on Monday it was investigating a claim th...


Sri Lanka Tamil prisoners on hunger strike demand release

Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka, some held without charge since the 1990s...


Crucial court verdict today on West Asian secret account of VVIP’s son

A landmark event in a West Asian capital will play out today and it wi...



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Wigneswaran calls for Sri Lanka’s Tamil political inmates’ release

[ PTI ][ Oct 13 10:35 GMT ]

“The problem is a human issue that should be dealt with both passion and empathy, given the number of years that these unfortunate human beings have been kept incarcerated without trial. I believe that if we could take steps to give those unfortunate persons the assurance that steps would be taken in respect of their cases within a specified period of time they would be satisfied,” The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said in his letter. The inmates, many of them without trial since 2009 when the civil war ended, said that they will not suspend their fast unto death till they get an acceptable solution. [ full story | comments ]

Billionaire's Exit Prompts Sri Lanka to Seek New Oil Explorer

[ Bloomberg ][ Oct 13 10:32 GMT ]

Sri Lanka will issue a fresh international tender for offshore oil and gas blocks after billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Cairn India Ltd. relinquished its exploration rights in the South Asian island. Cairn will be “departing in a couple of weeks” after coming to an agreement with the Sri Lankan government, petroleum minister Chandima Weerakkody said in an interview on Monday. The island nation will keep Cairn’s seismic study worth about $300 million and won’t charge any penalty for pulling out, he said. “We are at an advantage because we have all the data collected by them,” Weerakkody said. “Therefore we will go forward with the next step. We are going to expedite the international tender process.” [ full story | comments ]

Foreign participation in ‘domestic mechanism’ confirmed

[ Island ][ Oct 13 09:51 GMT ]

Attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna yesterday confirmed that there would be international participation in the proposed domestic court to inquire into accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Weliamuna, a former head of the Transparency International, Sri Lanka insisted that Sri Lanka needed foreign expertise to meet the challenging task of inquiring into accountability issues. Post-war Sri Lanka required international expertise though some extremists sought to cause chaos. Quoting from the recently released UN report that dealt with Sri Lanka, Weliamuna said that the local judiciary lacked the capacity to investigate system crimes. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Tamil prisoners on hunger strike demand release

[ BBC ][ Oct 13 03:43 GMT ]

Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka, some held without charge since the 1990s, have gone on hunger strike to press for their release. Some 223 inmates have joined the fast in jails in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy. Most have been imprisoned on suspicion of links with the defeated Tamil Tiger rebel group. Tamil politicians are calling on the authorities to either release them, grant them bail or put them on trial. They are being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows the security forces to detain people for up to 18 months without bringing them before a court. [ full story | comments ]

UN endorses Sri Lanka 'investigating' its own crimes

[ Gren Left ][ Oct 12 11:14 GMT ]

The United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously adopted a resolution called “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”. This resolution, of which the United States was the main sponsor, welcomed a proposal by the Sri Lankan government to establish a “judicial mechanism” to investigate “abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”. “A mechanism, which is by and large managed and controlled by the Sri Lankan state, will not in our opinion be deemed credible by the victims in Sri Lanka.” Other governments supporting the resolution included Britain, Australia, China, Russia and India, all of which helped the Sri Lankan government in its war against the Tamil people. A genuine and thorough investigation would be likely to find them complicit in the Sri Lankan government's atrocities. [ full story | comments ]

A story of fierce courage from Vishvamadhu

[ Sunday Times ][ Oct 12 11:08 GMT ]

Through a combination of fortuitous circumstances, the Vishvamadhu case pulled itself out of that dark abyss to deliver some sort of justice to the victims. However, this must not remain as an isolated case which does not have deterrent impact on abusive soldiers. In our legal history, extraordinary cases of this nature have had little impact on the general structure of law enforcement and the military. Instead they remain confined to the law in theory, most often than not reversed on appeal. There must be a complete reversal of old patterns of impunity. And State will to ensure this must surely be evidenced at least now. [ full story | comments ]

Delhi joins Sri Lanka probe into ‘sexual favours’ for houses

[ IE ][ Oct 12 11:03 GMT ]

The Indian High Commission in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) have launched a joint investigation into a complaint by a war-displaced widow against a Red Cross official for “soliciting sexual favours” in return for houses in the Indian government-funded housing project in the country’s northern province. As the news about the allegation reached New Delhi last week, an angry South Block took the matter “extremely seriously”, with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar immediately asking the Indian High Commission for a joint probe with the SLRCS, top sources told The Indian Express. [ full story | comments ]

Crucial court verdict today on West Asian secret account of VVIP’s son

[ Sunday Times ][ Oct 11 14:30 GMT ]

A landmark event in a West Asian capital will play out today and it will send shockwaves around Sri Lanka. This is when a court there hears a case where lawyers for Sri Lanka Government are seeking an order to freeze nearly a half a billion dollars in a bank account. It has been established that this account is in the name of a young politician, the son of a former VVIP. It has also been established that there was well over a billion US dollars when information was first received about this account. The politician in question had transferred a big part of the funds to a bank in an eastern European country. Reports that a close relative helped in the transfer of funds there are now being probed. [ full story | comments ]

In anniversary interview, Mulroney slams Harper, praises Trudeau and Mulcair

[ iPolitics ][ Oct 11 11:35 GMT ]

Brian Mulroney is pulling no punches on the 30th anniversary of his historic majority election win, chastising Stephen Harper on everything from foreign affairs to the prime minister’s spat with Canada’s top judge.“You don’t get into a slagging contest with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, even if you thought that he or she was wrong,” Mulroney said in the interview broadcast on Thursday. “You don’t do that.”“When Canada, for the first time in our history, loses a vote at the United Nations to become a member of the Security Council … to Portugal, which was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time, you should look in the mirror and say: ‘Houston, I think we have a problem.”’ [ full story | comments ]

The Geneva Resolution And Politics: A Note Of Caution

[ GroundViews ][ Oct 10 23:17 GMT ]

Right thinking Sri Lankans now have a historic opportunity to pursue redress for victims and roll back decades of impunity and establish the rule of law. To do this however, the political background must provide a conducive platform for implementation. That platform has yet to be created within both the Sinhala and Tamil communities. Unless we fix this problem, we risk failure, and we simply cannot afford failure.On the Tamil front, while remedying intentionally manufactured misconceptions is difficult, it is the responsibility of moderate politicians and responsible Tamil civil society actors to explain properly the workings of the Geneva process and the content and promise of the resolution to their communities. [ full story | comments ]

Getting Reconciliation Right in Sri Lanka After Rajapaksa

[ WPR ][ Oct 13 10:33 GMT ]

It has been a bad year for former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his nationalist support base, which comes predominantly from the country’s majority Sinhalese ethnic group. Rajapaksa’s rout in January’s presidential election, followed by his August defeat in parliamentary elections, can be seen as nothing short of a mandate from the Sri Lankan people to distance themselves from his authoritarian tendencies and divisive policies and move toward political reform and reconciliation. [ full story | comments ]

Tamil Prisoners in Sri Lanka Have Gone On Hunger Strike to Demand Their Freedom

[ Time ][ Oct 13 10:30 GMT ]

Many of them have been in jail without trial since 1997 Hundreds of Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka, many of whom have spent nearly two decades in jail without seeing the inside of a courtroom, have initiated a hunger strike to demand their immediate release.The laws allow Sri Lankan authorities to detain an individual on suspicion of being a terrorist for up to 18 months without trial, although many of the inmates were incarcerated as far back as 1997. A recent report by U.N. human-rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussain said only 54 of the 258 people held by the government under terrorism legislation had been convicted, while 144 cases remain pending. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Red Cross probes claim of sex-for-aid demand in former war zone

[ Reuters ][ Oct 13 03:44 GMT ]

Red Cross in Sri Lanka said on Monday it was investigating a claim that one of its staff demanded sexual favours from a woman in return for providing her with a grant as part of an Indian government-sponsored scheme for war-displaced people. Mahieash Johnney, senior manager for communications of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Sri Lanka, said the accused staff member had taken voluntary leave pending the outcome of the probe. "We received a written complaint from a woman in Kilinochchi district in early October who claimed a Red Cross technical officer had asked for sexual favours in return for providing a cash grant to build a new house," said Johnney. [ full story | comments ]

Missing Persons Commission To Be Abolished

[ Sunday Leader ][ Oct 12 11:19 GMT ]

The government is to abolish the Missing Persons Commission and replace it with a new commission or system to continue procedures of the former. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said ‘the international community have no confidence in the Missing Persons Commission, so it will be abolished. “Even locally, most of the people are not happy with the Commission and they have no faith in its process. However, we will not abandon its procedure. We will go ahead with a commission which will be more effective,” he added. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka improves fiscal transparency

[ EN ][ Oct 12 11:12 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's 'Yahapalanaya' administration which promised 'good governance' has started to re-publish monthly fiscal data, ending practice of data suppression that began in the last stages of the ousted Rajapaksa regime. Disseminating monthly fiscal data, a practice dating back almost two decades was ended during the last stages of the ousted Rajapaksa administration. The practice of publishing monthly budget data was started by then Central Bank Governor A S Jayewardne (who was also a Treasury Secretary) who build a working monetary transmission mechanism with monthly policy rate announcements. [ full story | comments ]

‘Hybrid court ‘order’ in an international relations theory framework

[ Island ][ Oct 12 11:06 GMT ]

The reasons for the order given by the Prince such as: "the unfortunate reality is that Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system is not yet ready"; "the absence of any reliable system for victim and witness protection; the inadequacy of Sri Lanka’s domestic legal framework to deal with international crimes of this magnitude; and the high levels of mistrust in State authorities and institutions by broad segments of Sri Lankan society" are all puerile and contrived to make Sri Lanka swallow a pill it does not require. The Prince was also showing the tip of a ‘stick’ to Sri Lanka by recommending to the United Nations system and all member states should initiate investigations and prosecutions against Sri Lankans under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. [ full story | comments ]

MP Joseph Pararajasingham killing: Pillaiyan arrested

[ Island ][ Oct 12 11:00 GMT ]

Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan was taken into custody by the CID yesterday in connection with the killing of Batticaloa District parliamentarian Joseph Pararaajasingham in December 2005. Earlier the Criminal Investigation Department took into custody two former LTTE members who had close links with Pillaiyan in connection with the same killing. [ full story | comments ]

Alleged war crimes: Govt. to defend troops

[ Sunday Times ][ Oct 11 11:43 GMT ]

The Government will hire counsel and pay legal costs to military personnel who may face charges of war crimes. The assurance has been given to military officers by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. He has been tasked by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to speak to officers and men of the armed forces on the findings in the OISL report. However, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said ideas on how to frame the investigative mechanism, even with foreign participation, would emerge only after the consultation process with all stakeholders. The Government wants to end these consultations by January next year. He insisted that this was not a “hybrid” mechanism. “To make it credible we need the help of foreign experts,” he said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka at a Crossroads

[ Huffington Post ][ Oct 10 23:22 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government has devised a plan that's just a skeleton at present -without putting flesh on it. It's possible engagement from the international community and Tamil diaspora will force open the process, pushing it into something more credible. It's also possible it will just rubber stamp yet another pointless domestic process that does everything but get to the truth. There are opponents of the process on all sides who will do their best to discredit and derail the process. The fact the Sri Lankan security services this week went to question the only Tamil activist who spoke in public in Geneva appears to be an attempt to embarrass the government. [ full story | comments ]

Manorama, who matched protagonists of her day, passes away

[ Hindu ][ Oct 10 23:13 GMT ]

Actor, comedian and singer Manorama, affectionately referred to as ‘Aachi’, whose performance matched and sometimes bettered the lead actors of her movies, died of multiple organ failure here on Saturday. She was 78 and is survived by her son and singer-actor Boopathy. She had acted with MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, NTR, Jayalalithaa, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Nagesh, ‘Cho’ Ramaswamy, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan and the present-day actors. Manorama’s life in a way resembled the unforgettable Karuppayee-turned Jil Jil Ramamani turned Rojarani of Thillana Mohanambal. [ full story | comments ]

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Featured News

[Reuters - Oct 13, 2015 3:44:59 GMT]

Sri Lanka Red Cross probes claim of sex-for-aid demand in former war zone

[BBC - Oct 13, 2015 3:43:31 GMT]

Sri Lanka Tamil prisoners on hunger strike demand release

[Sunday Times - Oct 11, 2015 14:30:01 GMT]

Crucial court verdict today on West Asian secret account of VVIP’s son

[Huffington Post - Oct 10, 2015 23:22:46 GMT]

Sri Lanka at a Crossroads

[GroundViews - Oct 10, 2015 23:17:52 GMT]

The Geneva Resolution And Politics: A Note Of Caution

[Sri Lanka: talking about a resolution - Oct 10, 2015 22:24:28 GMT]

Sri Lanka: talking about a resolution

[CTV News - Oct 10, 2015 14:02:55 GMT]

Nanos poll: Liberals gain advantage as election enters holiday weekend

[ABC - Oct 10, 2015 10:46:57 GMT]

Five years after the end of Sri Lanka's civil war, Tamils in Jaffna still struggling to rebuild their lives

[Globe and Mail - Oct 10, 2015 5:29:36 GMT]

Mulcair seems to extend an olive branch to Trudeau

[The Diplomat - Oct 09, 2015 12:48:12 GMT]

What’s the Deal with Sri Lanka’s Corruption Investigations?

[BBC - Oct 09, 2015 11:55:45 GMT]

A Liberal tipping point in Canada?

[Globe and Mail - Oct 09, 2015 11:48:02 GMT]

Tories apply specific criteria for refugees

[Buzzfeed - Oct 09, 2015 11:10:16 GMT]

Lycamobile Reported To Cops For “Money Laundering”

[BBC - Oct 08, 2015 8:58:52 GMT]

Four Sri Lankan soldiers convicted of raping Tamil woman

[Wall Street Journal - Oct 08, 2015 8:57:36 GMT]

Pressuring Sri Lanka for Peace