Connect with us

news

Sumanthiran asks whether sovereignty only for the majority, if so then minorities will find their own

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

TNA Jaffna District MP MA Sumanthiran says that if the government believes that sovereignty of this country is only for the majority then the minorities will be compelled to seek their own.

Participating in the third reading debate on Wednesday, MP Sumanthiran said: “Sovereignty of a country is for all people. If the majority only enjoys sovereignty, then you are leaving the other people out. You are forcing them to claim their own sovereignty. That will be your own doing.

“The Foreign Minister at the start of his speech wanted to teach a lesson to Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella and said that India was a federal nation because it had princely states previously and all those states had to be brought together. I want to ask him of the history of this island. When the Europeans arrived and conquered this island, was there one state here? Was there one kingdom on this island then? No. There were three kingdoms on this island. All of them fell for Western powers at different times.  It was only in 1833, consequent to Colebrook-Cameron report, for administrative convenience, that it was made one country. So, you must remember when you are giving lessons on how India became a union or the United States of America had different states coming together remember the history of this country as well. This country consists of different people who each have different rights under the international law. Violation of an international law is not a domestic matter. You cannot hide behind the cloak of state sovereignty. There is nothing called state sovereignty. Sovereignty is enjoyed by people. You cannot hide behind the concept of sovereignty and violate international law and claim that these are domestic matters. You know that very well. Fashioning the country’s foreign policy you have now gone on reverse gear, you put the country at peril. It is our duty to call you to turn around. Promoting accountability and reconciliation is not a matter that violates sovereignty of any country.

“This is the month of November and it is considered the time to remember the dead. That is why poppy flowers are sold all over the world. In Sri Lanka, the people in the north remember their family members who died in the war. Not allowing people in the North to remember their dead kith and kin is an undignified act by the state. Honouring the dead, remembering the dead is in our culture a solemn affair. The other day I stood with a mother 83 years old. She has only a shack for a house. Her son died in 1985. She lit a lamp in his memory. I participated in that event. It was a solemn occasion. Why are you so worried, why are you so scared of the dead? Is it because you put them to death in the most brutal manner violating all the international norms.”



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Scotland Police to stop training Lankan cops

Published

on

Sujeeva Nivunhella
reporting from London

Concerns over the human rights record in Sri Lanka has led to the halt of the police training contract between the Sri Lanka and Scottish Police, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone of the Scotland Police confirmed.

He said they have written to the British High Commission in Colombo to inform the Sri Lanka government that they are no longer planning to renew the training contract with Sri Lanka’s police force due to end in March next year.

The British Foreign Office reported last week that Sri Lanka’s human rights situation deteriorated during the first half of 2021.

The report said: “Security forces increased their surveillance and intimidation of human rights activists and their use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, with a number of arbitrary arrests.

The government proposed new regulations with powers to arrest and send individuals to rehabilitation centres to be ‘de-radicalised’ with no judicial oversight or requirement for further process.”

News of Scotland’s Police not renewing the contract was welcomed by critics of Sri Lanka including Mercedes Villalba who is a Scottish Labour politician who has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for North East Scotland since May 2021.

British MPs and MSPs jointly sent a letter to the Scotland Police and the British High Commission in Sri Lanka a few weeks ago requesting them to stop the training programme.

Villalba was one of the signatories and after this announcement, she said “I have been pleased to support the campaigners and thank them for their tireless efforts in securing the commitment from the chief constable. I also want to thank Police Scotland for being responsive to the real concerns which were expressed about Sri Lanka’s record of human rights violations.”

Talking about the decision to stop training, Chief Constable Livingstone said that a review must be done to accurately reflect the current security and human rights issues in the region, which have changed since the initial deployment after the end of the Civil War in 2010.

“We remain of course committed to supporting the international development of policing services right across the world so that we can enhance and enable human rights and we can underline the values that we hold dear in Police Scotland of integrity, fairness and respect. Those values will always be at the heart of the work we deliver in Scotland and at the heart of everything we do internationally”, he added.

Continue Reading

news

Interfaith Week celebrated in London

Published

on

Sujeeva Nivunhella reporting from London

A Pooja to celebrate Interfaith Week was organized here last week with the advice and guidance of Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayake Thera, head of the London Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayake of Great Britain.

This annual event begins on Remembrance Sunday, a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of the World War I to remember armed forces personnel who died in the line of duty. This tradition was inaugurated by King George V in 1919.

Adhering to the country’s Covid guidelines, this year’s celebration was held using Zoom technology on the theme “Altruism in each religion”.

Ven. Seelawimala welcomed everyone who joined the session. Notable participants of the event were Ven. Thawalama Bandula Thera, Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thera from London Buddhist Vihara, Dr Harriet Crabtree – Director of Interfaith Network, UK, Ranjish Kashyap, General Secretary/Director Hindu Council,UK, Dr. Pujya Samaniji Pratibha Pragya, who is a Jain nun from Harrow, Rev Gyoro Nagase, Japanese monk, London Peace Pagoda, Battersea, Dr Desmond Bidulph – Chairman of Buddhist Society and Charanjith and Ajith Singh MBE, Hounslow Friends of Faith, who represented the Sikhs.

All present chanted prayers according to their own faiths to eradicate human suffering, to have peace and especially to see an end to the pandemic situation in the world.

A pre-recorded video of Devotional Songs by London Buddhist Vihara Dhamma School Children was played at the event.

Interfaith Network – UK was founded in 1987 with representatives from the Buddhist, Bahai, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Islam, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities,

National and local interfaith bodies, academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter-religious issues are affiliated to the organization. Then head of the London Buddhist Vihara late, Ven. Dr. Medagama Vajiragnana Nayaka Thera was actively involved in forming the Network and was a founding member.

Continue Reading

news

Frankfurt Consulate massive white elephant, alleges Lankan living there

Published

on

Foreign office looking at closing some overseas mission due to financial constraints

by Harischandra Gunaratna

Sri Lanka’s Consulate in Frankfurt has turned out to be a white elephant although the Sri Lankan government spends a whopping Rs. 200 million per year for its operations, Azad Shaukatally, a businessman and a Sri Lankan expatriate in Frankfurt told the Sunday Island.

“Over the years, this consulate has not contributed anything tangible to the country. All that has happened is successive governments appointing political loyalists to head the Mission. None of them have done anything concrete to promote business between the two countries,” he said.

According to him, the Mission could have contributed a great deal by promoting Sri Lankan exports and tourism as Frankfurt is the business hub of Germany.

“What actually happens is, the Consulate in Frankfurt simply replicates several tasks performed by the Embassy in Berlin and that’s it. But it cost the country exorbitantly without the knowledge of the authorities. This is sheer waste of national resources and it needs to be brought to an end,” Shaukatally said.

When the Sunday Island contacted the Foreign Ministry on the matter, its Acting Director General Sugeeshwara Gunaratna said: “The Foreign Ministry regularly evaluates individual performance of each Sri Lankan mission abroad, and constructively engages with them from time to time on specific issues or matters which are mutually beneficial in promotion of Sri Lanka’s bilateral and multilateral relations with the host country and various international organizations while ensuring best interests of the people of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan citizens living abroad.”

He said that any decisions related to opening of new missions or closure of particular Missions/Posts abroad including the Consulate General in Frankfurt would be taken after wider consultation with relevant stakeholders based on the relevance of each Mission/Post in promotion of Sri Lanka’s relations abroad.

“Under the current financial constraints, the Foreign Ministry is in the process of closing down some of the Sri Lankan Missions/Posts abroad after obtaining the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. However, no final decision, has so far, been taken with regard to the Missions/Posts which would be closed down in the near future,” Gunaratna said.

Continue Reading

Trending