Category: Articles

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Atul Keshap: New US Envoy to Sri Lanka for ‘Federal Structure’

Soon to arrive in Colombo the United States ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, has already gone on record that the United States supports a federal structure as a catalyst for national reconciliation among the Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority.

Mr. Keshap who is expected to present his credentials to President Maitripala Sirisena soon as America’s diplomatic envoy in Colombo made the authoritative declaration that this South Asian nation needs a federal structure to redress minority Tamil grievances when he was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s South Asian Bureau – the next immediate official to Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal. Previously, he was working very closely on Sri Lankan issues with Robert Blake when he was the assistant secretary of the South Asian Bureau. Mr. Blake was the US envoy in Colombo during the period the Sri Lanka military undertook the final assault on the Tamil Tiger movement.

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Conservatives woo Tamil diaspora vote Election manifesto highlights David Cameron’s Jaffna visit

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna during his presence in the Island for the 2013 CHOGM has been highlighted in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto with the party’s commitment towards finding a political settlement to the Lankan Tamil issue.

Addressing in a manner attracting the Tamil diaspora in Britain the Conservative Party’s election manifesto was released on 14 April along with other priorities of the Conservatives. According to the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers, the Conservative Party manifesto has expressed its commitment to the UN investigation into Sri Lankan atrocities and pledged to work towards a political settlement for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

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19th amendment only half way measure to abolish executive presidency in Sri Lanka

A key amendment adopted by Sri Lankan parliament last week is only a halfway measure towards abolishing executive presidency as only 60 to 65 per cent of powers of the top post have been reduced, according to an architect of the legislation. 

“The government itself has gone public saying that it could not go the full distance,” Jayampathi Wickramaratna, a constitutional lawyer who was involved in drafting the 19A, said. 

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Five jailed in The Hague for supporting LTTE

Five Dutch nationals of Sri Lankan origin have been jailed in The Hague for between 19 months and six years three months for raising money for the Tamil Tigers, Dutch News.nl web reported yesterday.

 

It said: The Tamil Tigers have been on the EU’s official list of terrorist organisations since 2006. The group has been fighting for what it calls Tamil Eelam, an independent state for Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka, since the 1970s. The appeal court ruled the five, who range in age from 43 to 60, were members of the LTTE and had raised money for the terror group between 2003 and 2010. This involved threatening people who refused to make donations and organising illegal lotteries, the court said. A lower court in 2011 found the five guilty of membership of a criminal organisation but not guilty of being members of a terrorist organisation.