Friday, 29 February 2008
The Janatha Vimukthi Perumna (JVP) chief, Amarsinghe Somawansa, on Tuesday accused India of leading a campaign for “international intervention” in the name of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the human rights of citizens, and asserted that under no circumstances would it accept any laws and measures under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
R2P, a concept designed by the International Crisis Group (ICG), has become a major controversy in the island nation since the ICG chief visited the country a few months ago and argued that Sri Lanka is a potential case for international intervention in view of its human rights record.
In an interaction with members of Sri Lanka Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) here, Mr. Somawansa argued that the 13th Amendment is “illegal” and was imposed against the will of the overwhelming majority of the people of the nation by India at gun point following the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 and accused New Delhi of pressuring President Mahinda Rajapaksa to implement the 13th Amendment.
He accused India of having promoted cross-border terrorism by supporting the Tamil separatist groups in the 80’s and said a section of the Indian bureaucracy is misleading the Manmohan Singh government to return to the period of late 80’s when India intervened militarily.
“India is leading the R2P [Responsibility to Protect] evil axis in Sri Lanka. Delhi, Brussels, Oslo, Washington and Tokyo are the key partners in this campaign. We are very concerned about the evil design. We would not allow it to succeed in its designs,” Mr. Somawansa asserted.
Source: the hindu
by Lin Freestone
Sri Lanka Telecom has set up a subsidiary to broadcast IPTV to its broadband customers.
The company plans to invest $1m in the initial launch of the SLT Visioncom unit. Sri Lanka Telecom considers that IPTV is a value-added service with strategic importance in the future broadband service portfolio of the company.
Sri Lanka’s telecommunications company had more than 54,000 ADSL broadband customers and 88,000 post-paid dial-up subscribers by the end of 2007.
Sri Lanka Telecom was the country’s first telecommunications company and is the successor to the former government owned Telecommunications Department. It leads the country’s telecommunication industry with 87% of the fixed line network.
Siddique Islam - AHN South Asia Correspondent
Colombo, Sri Lanka (AHN) - At least 14 Tamil Tigers rebels have been killed in fierce clashes with security forces in the country's violent northern region on Thursday. Sri Lankan Air Force jets carried out air strikes on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) artillery command center and an underground bunker located in Palai.
"In this attack 14 LTTE terrorists were killed and six T-56 assault riffles were recovered. Two soldiers were slightly injured in this attack," according to the Air Force.
Meanwhile, the LTTE alleged that two separate claymore mine attacks by the Sri Lankan army's deep penetration unit killed eight civilians in northern Mulaitivu on Thursday. In both incidents, the victims were traveling in tractor trailers to work in paddy fields, according to the statement.
More than 700 people have been killed in the escalating conflict since the beginning of this year, the military said
The LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland for the ethnic minority Tamils in the north and east for more than two decades, resulting in the death of more than 70,000 people.
Accusing India of cross-border terrorism by supporting the Tamil separatist groups, Sri Lanka’s hardline JVP Marxist party has said the country was leading an international campaign for outside intervention in the island nation’s internal affairs.
India is leading the R2P (Responsibility to Protect) evil axis in Sri Lanka. Delhi, Brussels, Oslo, Washington and Tokyo are the key partners in this campaign. We are very concerned about the evil design, leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Somawansa Amarasinghe told reporters at an interaction with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondents’ Association last night.
Amarasinghe said the R2P was nothing new to Sri Lanka as it has faced several interventions in the past, with India’s direct involvement in the local civil war in the late 80s being the last one.
The members of the R2P campaign are after the natural resources in other countries. This is not the Responsibility to Protect, but to Right to Plunder, Amarasinghe said.
Coming hard on India the JVP leader said, India is once again trying to force a solution on Lanka by reactivating the 13th Amendment to the constitution that devolved powers to the provinces. He said that the Provincial Council system was imposed at gun point by India on Lanka as a solution to the ethnic conflict, but ironically the system was in operation other than the Northern and Eastern provinces, which were merged illegally by India by force without the consent of majority of the people in the country.
We will reject any solution based on the 13th Amendment, because it is illegal as it stemmed out from the Indo-Lanka Accord.
We totally reject the proposals of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) or the 13th Amendment as much as we oppose the Indo-Lanka Accord, Amarasinghe said, adding that India was violating the Panch Sheel policies unlike China.
Pointing out that the JVP with 39 members in Parliament holds the balance of power in the current political scenario, the JVP leader said the party would vehemently oppose the implementation of the APRC proposals.
He, however, said the party was fully supportive to the current military campaign against the Tamil Tiger rebels and wanted the rebels to be completely wiped out.
We are supporting the war and believe that the national security should be ensured and separatism should be defeated at any cost, Amarasinghe said, expressing hope that the troops would capture the Wanni from the rebels very soon.