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Tamil diaspora extend support to TNA

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The Global Tamil Forum has called on all Tamils to cast their precious vote wisely at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election in Sri Lanka.

The GTF in a post published by the Canadian Tamil Congress said the Tamil people’s struggle for democratic rights in Sri Lanka has a long history and since independence the desire of Tamils to live as a free people has not been diminished by the many setbacks and the tests of endurance faced by Tamils in their onward march for justice, dignity and equality.

“The manner in which the Tamils of Sri Lanka fought for liberty underwent many changes over the decades. In the beginning the Federal party led the Tamil struggle with a programme of non-cooperation with the State based on the Ghandian model. The conspicuous lack of success of the non-violent movement to win equal rights led to an armed struggle that escalated into a 30 year civil war with the Sri Lankan state,” CTC post said.

CTC post noted that from the end of the civil war in May 2009, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has provided leadership to resist the actions of an unjust State and promote the aspirations of a beleaguered people by searching for cooperation to create a framework for a just society in which all Sri Lankan communities can live peacefully.

“In the last Parliament, the Tamil political leadership sensibly cooperated with other progressives in the South and with the help of the international community attempted to lay the foundations for a more equitable society by generating policies based on universal humanitarian principles and creating institutions to implement them. Progress unfortunately, was tardy and minimal. Whilst these small forward steps provided some breathing space they were insufficient to bring meaningful relief to the Sri Lankan Tamil community.”

CTC noted that the Sri Lankan political terrain is a difficult place to negotiate political outcomes based on universal humanitarian principles.

“The hallmark of the present political culture in Sri Lanka is the absence of the rule of law, a compromised judiciary, a submissive press and the militarisation of the executive. The current political structure is not conducive for meaningful change in the future for the establishment of a just and equitable society. We can see dark clouds gathering in the horizon which threaten to further weaken Sri Lankan society as a whole and particularly impact on the Tamils,” CTC said.

CTC noted that Tamils in Sri Lanka are a marginalised community and have specific political needs and aspirations but have limited electoral strength.

“It is vital that Tamil votes are not split and thereby weaken the community’s Parliamentary representation. It is therefore, important that the Tamils elect a principled and powerful group of parliamentarians who could represent the community in both the North and the East and effectively use their collective strength to advance Tamil communitys’ interests. At the present time, this could be achieved by strengthening the existing Tamil political leadership which is the TNA,” CTC said.

The TNA under the leadership of R. Sampanthan, has earned the recognition and respect of the international community including Canada, USA, EU, UK, Australia and India. It is widely accepted that it has carefully and consistently articulated the concerns, grievances and aspirations of the Tamil people.

The CTC has also worked closely with TNA and its spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran in particular at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. CTC has also worked with other TNA members on economic development efforts in the war affected Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

CTC appealed to all Tamil citizens is to cast their precious votes and cast it wisely, keeping the long-term interest of their community in mind.

 



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MP’s wife, father-in-law among three detained

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Rishad held under PTA to be questioned

16-year-old girl’s death:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Police investigating the death of 16-year-old Ishalini, the domestic servant at All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader Rishad Bathiudeen’s Baudhaloka Mawatha residence have arrested Ayesha Shiabdeen, 46, the wife of the former minister.

Police also took into custody Rishad’s father-in-law Mohammed Shiabdeen, 70, and Ponnaiah Pandaram alias Shankar, 64, a resident of Dayagama.

Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said that Shankar had brought Ilashini from Dayagama to the Baudhaloka Mawatha residence of Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) Vanni District lawmaker late last year.

Having studied the post postmortem report, they were taken into custody in terms of Section 360 C and Section 308 B of the Penal Code that dealt with human trafficking and cruelty to children, the top police officer said. According to him, so far 20 statements had been recorded.

Asked whether MP Bathiudeen, too, had been among the questioned, Senior DIG Rohana said the parliamentarian detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) over 2019 Easter Sunday carnage, too, would be interrogated in that regard.

The ACMC contested the last general election on the SJB ticket. It switched its allegiance to the SJB ahead of 2020 general election after having represented the cabinet in UNP led yahapalana administration. Rishad has also served President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet during his second term.

Having suffered serious burn injuries on July 3 at the MP’s residence and admitted to the National Hospital, Illashini succumbed to her injuries on July 15th. Medical examination revealed that she had been raped over a period of time.

The police spokesman said that they intended to secure court approval to detain the suspects for 72 hours. A Superintendent of Police could obtain such approval on the strength of a B report submitted to the court in respect of offenses on children.

Although, the police indicated earlier in the day they would be produced in Colombo Magistrate court they weren’t brought in.

Meanwhile, the SJB said that interested parties were making a despicable attempt to politicize the incident. The police should be allowed to conduct the investigation without interference, a spokesman for the main Opposition party said.

 

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Women’s organisations in North conduct protests demanding justice for Ilashini

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A section of those engaged in Jaffna protests

 

By Dinasena Ratugamage

Women’s organisations in the North yesterday held a number of demonstrations in Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna against the death of J. Ilashini, the 16 -year-old girl who died while working at SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence.

The protesters urged authorities to ensure that investigations into the death are conducted in a transparent manner. The family of the victim should be compensated and those guilty punished, they said.

Representatives of the organisations said that if justice was not done, they would hold a massive demonstration in Tarapuram, Mannar, which Bathiudeen represents in Parliament.

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Dancer lodges complaint with police over FB post 

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Police headquarters yesterday (23) said that dancer Anusha Damayanthi had lodged a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over a Facebook post alleging that she was running a brothel.

Police headquarters said that Damayanthi, while denying the accusation, had also brought to the CID’s notice that a minister was being accused of lambasting the Walana anti-crime strike force for carrying out the raid. Police said that an investigation was underway.

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