| January 1
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
highlighting the Government's achievements in the past two years
in his New Year message said the Government is focused on empowering
the people while encouraging co-existence and harmony between
SLMC, backed by some other minority
parties, opposed the new electoral system called the "Mixed Member
Proportional System". SLMC leader, Urban Development Minister
Rauff Hakeem told that his party was against it because, if enacted,
it would be disadvantageous for the parties.
Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils
Faizer Mustapha refused to accept the report of the Delimitation
Committee reviewing the demarcation of electoral boundaries in
local Government wards as only three members of the five-member
committee has signed the much-delayed report.
Mullaitivu District Court asked the Army to submit
the list of LTTE cadres who surrendered to the security forces
during the final phase of the war with the LTTE in 2009.
Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed
by the Prime Minister on January 26, 2016 handed over its complete
report to the Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
CaFFE made an open request from the Local Government
and Provincial Councils Ministry to publish the report of the
Delimitation Commission through a gazette notification as soon
The three-day parliamentary debate on constitutional
proposals was postponed because some political parties sought
further time to come up their stands.
Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Secretary of CTF on
Reconciliation mechanisms said that war victims have no trust
in domestic mechanism.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad
Al Hussein welcomed the report published by the CTF on Reconciliation
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that
I have no confidence in the CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed
by the Prime Minister.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference
at the President's House, State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardene said that President Maithripala Sirisena categorically
ruled out the participation of foreign judges to hear or inquire
into war crime allegations.
TNA's Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran said
that TNA is positive about six subcommittee reports on new Constitution.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said "Deciding
on the participation of foreign judges with the investigations
on Sri Lanka's war crime allegations and human right violations
is a sovereign right of the Sri Lankan Government and will be
decided by the Sri Lankan Government."
HRW urged the Sri Lankan Government to adopt recommendations
of the CTF on including foreign judges in a domestic mechanism
on accountability as stated in the consensus resolution the country
sponsored with the UNHRC.
European Commission on proposed GSP+ trade concessions
to Sri Lanka in exchange of the Government's commitment to ratify
27 international conventions on human rights, labor conditions,
protection of the environment and good governance.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the recovery
of the GSP+ concessions is a result of the present Government's
efforts and dedication over the last two years to protect the
rights of the people and establish democracy in the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera
said "Sri Lanka is committed to the implementation of the United
Nations resolution, which it cosponsored in October 2015 so that
we as a country can deal with the past honestly and truthfully,
accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build
our Sri Lankan nation anew."
AI backing the recent report of CTF on Reconciliation
Mechanisms called on the Sri Lankan Government to chart a roadmap
for the establishment and efficient functioning of the mechanisms
proposed by the report.
HRW said that though the Sri Lankan Government
was able to report progress on certain aspects and sought technical
expertise from the UN and other countries, the UNHRC resolution
adopted in October 2015 on the country remained largely unimplemented.
Commonwealth delighted to give technical assistance
to the constitutional realignment to Sri Lanka, Secretary-General
of Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland said when she met with Sri
Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera. I
President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a gathering
in the Galle said that the Government will never advocate federalism
or division of the country on federal lines.
GTF welcoming the recommendations of the CTF on
Reconciliation Mechanisms released on January 3, 2017 has called
on the Sri Lankan Government to fully implement the recommendations.
TNA senior leader Dharmalingam Siddharthan said
"If the Government abandoned the idea of finding a solution for
the National question, we won''t be part of the Constitution making
process and we would be compelled to leave it."
TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran pointed out any Constitutional
Amendment could not be made without a referendum.
UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said that Constitution
is outdated and should be changed in keeping with today's needs.
An alleged fundraiser for LTTE lost his battle
to stay in Canada as Federal Court upheld deportation order.
Delimitation Review Committee reviewing the demarcation
of electoral boundaries in local Government wards handed over
its much-awaited final report to the Minister of Local Government
and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha.
Vavuniya Government Agent M.B.R. Pushpakumara
said the Omanthai Army Camp and Checkpoint on the A-9 Road had
been dismantled after 25 years and the land occupied by the Army
was officially handed over him to be given to its original owners.
Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said
that Omanthai Army Camp has not been removed but 18 acres of land
around the camp belonging to the civilians has been handed over
to the Vavuniya Government Agent.
EU said that the ratification and implementation
of 27 international conventions signed by the Sri Lankan Government
was the only criteria to to re-gain the GSP+ facility.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad
Al Hussein expressed his satisfaction towards the positive steps
taken by Sri Lanka to improve the country's human rights conditions.
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran
speaking during a discussion in Jaffna District said that no skills
based training was provided to Ex-LTTE cadres during the reconciliation
ICJ called on the Sri Lankan Government to implement
the recommendations made by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation
Joint Opposition MP Keheliya Rambukwella said
that President Maithripala Sirisena is attempting to enact a 'Sampanthan
Constitution' by cancelling the first three clauses in the First
Chapter of the current Constitution.
Government at a function held in Mullaitivu District
handed over another 243 acres of land held by Army to the people
in the North. At the function land entitlement deeds were presented
to 1,352 families and subsistence to the tune of 100,000 rupees
were given to 300 low income families of the District.
Four ex-LTTE cadres in the Tamil-majority Northern
Province were arrested by the TID officials for plotting to assassinate
TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.
Minister for Regional Development and former Army
commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka speaking to the media after
participating in a function at the Hadabima Authority said that
war crime perpetrators should be punished irrespective of their
President Maithripala Sirisena speaking as the
Chief Guest at a ceremony at Ambepussa town in the Kegalla District
said that the country will never forget the sacrifices made by
the Security Forces and the Police during the country's three
decade old LTTE war.
Provincial and Local Government Minister Faizer
Mustapha said the Delimitation Committee Report will be gazetted
within a month.
Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister
Mahinda Samarasinghe speaking at an Independence Day ceremony
in Kalutara District said Northern Province Chief Minister C.
V Wigneswaran's moves to establish a hybrid court in the province
is a dream which will never materialize.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told foreign
correspondents that the Government will seek more time at the
next UNHRC session to investigate war crime allegations against
the LTTE which ended in 2009.
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran
said that Police saying there is a threat toTNA leader Sumanthiran's
life is a ploy to station the Army permanently.
||Foreign Minister Mangala
Samaraweera while meeting Colombo-based foreign correspondents said
that a new Constitution is the most potent weapon for non-recurrence
of Sri Lanka's conflict and would have to be given priority over
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed the Parliament
that the relevant authorities have been instructed to take the
necessary action to provide maximum security to the TNA Parliamentarian
Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella in reply
to a question raised by MP Wimal Weerawansa on devolution of power
in Parliament said that the Government intends to hold a public
referendum on new Constitution with the consent of all political
||TPC in a resolution adopted
at the Eluga Thamil rally held in Batticaloa District called
for an international investigation on war crimes allegations.
||Former LTTE leader turned
politician Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman launched
a new political party to voice the concerns of minority Tamils in
the North and East.