Si Lanka’s south western neighbour, Maldives is locked in a dispute with Mauritius over each other’s maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean. This week, the two countries have submitted a special agreement and notification to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It is for the purpose of the delimitation of the maritime [...]


Maritime dispute between Maldives and Mauritius: Special chamber to decide


Si Lanka’s south western neighbour, Maldives is locked in a dispute with Mauritius over each other’s maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean.

This week, the two countries have submitted a special agreement and notification to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It is for the purpose of the delimitation of the maritime boundary.

The Tribunal has appointed a “special chamber” to deal with the dispute.

It consists of judges from South Korea (President), Cabo Verde, France, Japan, Algeria, Iceland and India, and two judges ad hoc. Mauritius will make its choice of judge ad hoc in due course. Bernard Oxman has been chosen by the Maldives as judge ad hoc.

The parties agreed to transfer the arbitral proceedings instituted on June 18 by Mauritius under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to a special chamber of the Tribunal during consultations with the special chamber’s president, held at the Tribunal on September 17, it has been announced.


SLFP letter in broken Tamil

In the past, writing official letters by those in authority was regarded as an ‘art’ and a very careful process, with special attention given to the choice of words depending on the purpose.

Nowadays it has often become a joke, where anyone who can write a couple of sentences thinks he or she can write a letter.

One such letter was sent from the office of SLFP Jaffna Parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan in broken Tamil, with improper language describing another TNA MP.

The letter, signed by an SLFP MP, was addressed to the Northern Governor, who has an academic background. Worst still, copies were also sent to media personnel via email. But the letter was withdrawn with a request to ignore the earlier mail.

Disputes over election time jobs

During election times, politicians offering jobs is not an uncommon allegation.

But it is sometimes the officials who have to take the responsibility of providing these jobs during the election period.

Some of them unable to take the responsibility have either threatened to quit their jobs or even sent in their resignations.

One such case has been a senior official from the Human Resources section of the Presidential Secretariat. He has sent in his resignation, saying he was unable to approve job appointments. A similar case has been reported from the Central Environmental Authority (CEA).

On Friday a group of persons who had been recruited to government jobs protested against the Assistant Commissioner of Elections in Kandy as instructions have been issued to withhold their appointments.

Hours later, Minister Lakshman Kiriella gave them an assurance that the appointment letters were valid and would be accepted after the presidential election.

Another way of guaranteeing some votes!

The politics of contempt

On Tuesday, hundreds of people took to the streets in Mullaitivu condemning violation of a court order by some monks attached to the Bodu Bala Sena over the burial of a Buddhist monk near a disputed temple.

The protesters alleged that although a court order was issued by the Mullaitivu magistrate to perform the funeral rites in a particular place, the monks went ahead and held the cremation near a disputed temple, which the residents claim to be a Hindu temple.

Among the protesters was the Northern Province’s former Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, who is a retired Supreme Court Justice, but currently faces contempt of court charges over his sacking of a Provincial Minister.

Earlier, the Court of Appeal held that the removal of the PC Minister was illegal and arbitrary without following due process.


Attempts to cover up tribute to senior LTTE member

Even after the end of the war in 2009, there has been a trend among Northern Tamil politicians to evoke the name of the  Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) purely for the purpose of securing votes.

This week, their duplicity came to light when they organised a remembrance event in Nallur, Jaffna for former LTTE cadre Rasaiah Parthipan well known by his nom de guerre Thileepan.

He died after a 12-day fast campaign in 1987 demanding political rights for the Tamil people and withdrawal of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) from the country.

Ahead of the remembrance event, Tamil politicians were made aware of his military rank of ‘Lieutenant Colonel’ given by the LTTE. This was seen in the mega size banner that was put up near his memorial site in Nallur.

Acting quickly, the local politicos with the help of their supporters took steps to make sure the title was not visible.

One of their supporters came up with the idea to hide the military rank in the banner with a piece of black cloth. Thereafter, the politicos came in line along with people to place garlands and flowers at the memorial site.


Former CJ’s book big attraction at book fair

Visitors to this week’s annual international book fair at the BMICH were seen attracted to the book titled ‘Hold me in Contempt,’ authored  by retired Chief Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake.

It gives details of how Sri Lanka’s 43rd and first woman Chief Justice was hunted and haunted by the previous government.

The memoir illustrates her nearly two-month tumultuous journey followed with a flawed impeachment process in Parliament. It has given a complete picture of what was going through her mind as she decided to take on the government.

The book also gives an insider account with political snippets of what had happened during the crucial period and how things turned out to be in the process to oust her from office unlawfully.

Once revelation is how a group led by the then Government whip decided to hand over the Impeachment Resolution to the Speaker at an auspicious time.

She also reveals how some Parliament Select Committee (PSC) members humiliated her in front of her lawyers, using unparliamentarily language during the probe.

She went one step further and gave details of a letter to the then Speaker. In this letter, she included words and phrases the members used to insult her.

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