JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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ITAK affirms self-rule within a unitary state in Sri Lanka: The Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), the main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), on September 22 in an affidavit to the Supreme Court affirmed that neither the ITAK nor the TNA will seek a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka.

The leader of ITAK parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah submitted the affidavit to the apex court when six petitions filed by representatives of Sinhala majority nationalist organizations were taken for hearing. The affidavit further stated that the TNA and its leaders has consistently expressed publicly on the ITAK's position pertaining to a federal solution within a united Sri Lanka at several occasions. Earlier, the six petitions filed in the apex court alleged that the political objective of the TNA is to form a separate Government in Sri Lanka and their manifesto is in line with the hidden agenda of the defeated Tamil terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Colombo Page, September 23, 2014.

TNA seeks international observer's presence at talks with Government on resolving the national issue: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought an international observer's presence at talks with the Government on resolving the national issue. Responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's interview to The Hindu published on September 11 in which the President said his Government was open for talks with the TNA, the leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan said, "We are prepared to talk to him anytime, but in the past this has been without a time frame. As a result we would very much like an international observer's presence at talks to ensure that the commitments he gives are known to everyone.". Colombo Page, September 12, 2014.

Only the central Government has the power to make decisions on national security, says Military spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya: Military spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that only the central Government has the power to make decisions on national security. "Only the central Government has the power to make decisions on the country's national security and it is not something that concerns the Local Governments, nor Provincial Councils or its councilors," he said. The military spokesperson made this remark in response to a statement made by the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council C. V. Wigneswaran that the latter should be informed about setting up of Army Camps and land acquisition programs in the Northern Province. Colombo Page, September 5, 2014.

Army camps in North cannot be dismantled, says Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle: Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said that Army camps in the North would not be dismantled just because the Northern Province Chief Minister (CM) C. V. Vigneswaran made such demands. Rambukwella observed that many areas of the North were yet to be cleared of land mines that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had planted. Minister Rambukwella was responding to the CM's remarks that the presence of many army camps in the Northern Province had resulted in Tamils being unnecessarily questioned and harassed. The Island, September 5, 2014.

[Source: SATP]

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