By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
The Tamil National Alliance(TNA)regarded as the premier political formation of the Tamils of Sri Lanka has been very much in the news lately due to what could be termed as an internal crisis.
The TNA that has in recent times been contesting elections under the house symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK)is afflicted by internal dissension among its constituent members.
Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Faces Acute Political Crisis’ »
In a quiet lane in Eluthumadduval, Jaffna, cement and concrete structures, in different stages of construction, show up on either side every few yards.
The Hindu-Vamadevan Nandakumari with her father near their house that is under construction as part of India’s owner-driven housing scheme in Sri Lanka. Photo: Meera Srinivasan
Part of the second phase of Indian Housing Project launched, they will soon take the form of compact, new homes.
Continue reading ‘Northern Residents Happy to Have Homes of Their Own Through Indian Project to Build 50,000 Houses’ »
For the first time almost all Muslim religious, social and cultural and other organizations and groups, buried their differences, and met in one platform under one roof at Wellawatta Miami Reception Hall on Thursday 2 May 2013 to announce the formation of an Interim Consultative(Shoora) Council-ICC.
The main purpose of ICC is to meet the emerging challenges and deal with burning issues facing the community besides seeking to play a role in the overall development of the country.
Continue reading ‘Muslim Organizations in Sri Lanka Join Hands to Form an ICC “Shoora”( Interim Consultative Council )’ »
By K. Ratnayake
Sri Lankan police formally detained Azath Salley, the leader of the Muslim Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) on May 5 for three months under the country’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He had been taken into custody on May 2 and was held illegally for three days without producing him before a magistrate.
Salley was released yesterday afternoon following a widespread outcry in Sri Lanka and internationally. President Mahinda Rajapakse was forced to step in to revoke the three-month detention order.
The detention was the first time that a political leader has been held under the PTA since the defeat of separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. It signals a new political witch-hunt against opponents of the Rajapakse government. By taking Salley into custody, the government has boosted Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist groups that have been carrying out provocations against Muslims.
Continue reading ‘Arrest of Azath Salley Under Terrorism Act Signals a new Political Witch-hunt Against Opponents of Rajapaksa Govt’ »
pic courtesy of: Knowledge Box
Video and Full Text of remarks by Tamil national Alliance Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran at a recent Panel Discussion on “Religion, Reconciliation and Future”:
Members of the Panel, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, your Excellency and my friends,
Five minutes is all I have, so I’m going to say a few things in a very disjointed way – Before that there was reference made a couple of times to – four great religions of the world being present in this country and whenever that fact is mentioned I always remember, something that Judge Weeramantry wrote about the laws of this country, you know that the laws in this country, we have many laws, we have the Roman – Dutch law, we have the English law, we have Thesavalamai, we have the Kandyan Law, we have the Muslim law, we have the Mukuwa law – and he said the “Sri Lankan law is embarrassed by the richness of its source, rather than the lack of it.”
Continue reading ‘When Minorities within Particular Group go on Rampage their Own Majority Cannot be Silent Spectators-Sumanthiran’ »
May day 2013
“Never will tyrants freely consent to the extirpation of servitude….”
Of all the spectres the Rajapaksas fear, Oppositional-unity would arguably be the most terrifying.
The Rajapaksas began getting jittery when it became evident that the May 15th demonstration against the electricity hike would be supported by both the UNP and the JVP. The usual bag of tricks was deployed: the shrill screams about undead-Tigers, incoherent rumblings about NGO-cum-international conspiracies; and a hastily organised counter-demonstration.
None of the ploys worked; the demonstration on the 15th was a success. If the UNP and the JVP continue their cooperation and the plantation workers join in, the token strike on May 21st too can become equally successful. And these twin successes might inject some much needed life into the Opposition and help inculcate the habit of cooperation in the oppositional ranks.
The Siblings would know that one demonstration and one token strike, however successful, is no threat to their power in the here and now. But the Rajapaksa project is an epochal one; therefore they regard even long term threats with a certain degree of immediacy and urgency.
Continue reading ‘A United Opposition is the Terrifying Spectre Feared Most by the Rajapaksas’ »
Dinouk Colombage Interviews TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran
In the lead up to the proposed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in September Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran, has expressed the belief that the government is not genuinely committed to the process of reconciliation.
pic courtesy of: Knowledge Box
In a wide ranging interview with Ceylon Today, he explained why he is doubtful the election would be held as announced and why change has to happen from within. He also said hosting the CHOGM will undermine the values of the Commonwealth.
Q) With the promise of the Northern Provincial council elections in September, does the TNA feel the government is now genuine in taking steps towards reconciliation and answering the grievances of the Tamil people?
A) No, not really. Because the announcement of the election is a result of pressure from the international community. The President is said to have given a personal undertaking to Japan in March when Japan abstained from voting at the UNHRC. It is that kind of intense pressure that has caused the government to announce the election. Even now we are not certain it is going to be held, as the President has to make an order and it is thereafter that the elections commissioner can act. We know that they are not keen to hold it, which is why I said we do not think they are genuine about this reconciliation process.
There are various forces within the government that have been set off to say that the election should not be held, and even if it is held the powers must not be devolved. Our position is that holding the election is no major concession by the government, it has to be held. Implementing the 13th amendment is neither a concession because that is part of the constitution. The only way the government can show a spirit of reconciliation is to talk to us and agree on what a further solution can be.
Continue reading ‘Only Way Govt can Show Spirit of Reconciliation is to Talk to TNA and Agree on What a Solution Can Be-Sumanthiran’ »
It says all you need to know about the current state of the Obama administration that the region of the world in which its greatest opportunities may lie over the next several years is the Middle East.
This is not because there are any great opportunities in the Middle East. Quite the contrary, it’s perhaps more dangerous, complex, and immune to successful international intervention that at any time in memory.
The point is this: on pretty much every other front, a series of missteps, self-inflicted wounds, and worse have damaged President Obama in ways that are likely to limit his options and effectiveness for the rest of his term.
Continue reading ‘Confluence of Blunders Bespeaking Arrogance,Mismanagement and Bad Judgement in Washington This Past week’ »
Dr Dayan Jayatilleka interviewed by Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe
In Australia, Sri Lanka continues to dominate headlines about allegations of war crimes and the influx of asylum-seeking refugees, but comparatively little is known about Sri Lanka’s history and politics. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respective political commentators. A prolific writer, he has published several books, including The Travails of a Democracy: Unfinished War, Protracted Crisis (1995); Fidel’s Ethics of Violence: The Moral Dimension of the Political Thought of Fidel Castro (2007), and Long War, Cold Peace: Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka (2013). In addition, and until recently, he was Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (2007–09) and ambassador to France, Portugal and UNESCO (2011-13). In March, he spoke to defence analyst Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe about Sri Lanka’s political future; the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan state; the causal factors of Tamil secessionism; Sri Lanka’s evolving relations with the United States, India, Pakistan and China; and its future strategic options.
Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe: Now that the civil war is over, what are the challenges for Sri Lanka’s political future? Can Sri Lanka ‘win the peace’ and achieve enduring political stability?
Continue reading ‘If Sri Lanka Continues in This Way it May Wind Up With Its Control Shrunk to Its Ethno- Lingual and Ethno-Religious Heartland -Dayan Jayatilleka’ »
(Full list of Petitioners and full text of petition filed at Court of Appeal reproduced below)
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA
In the matter of an application under Article 140 of the Constitution for Mandates in the nature of Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition CA (Writ) Application No: 125/2013
1. Arunasalm Kunabalasingham, Kathiripay, Atchuvely
2. Pushparani Vikneswararajah, 50/10, Kanthekaratta, Colombo
3. Nallammah Sivayoganathan, 107/2, Dehiwala
4. Balasundaram Balakumar, Navali East, Manippay
5. Kanagambikai Nallaiyah, 198/7, Ramasami Veethy, Vavuniya Continue reading ‘Legal Action at Appeal Court on Behalf of 1474 Land Owners in Valigamam North Against Land Grab by State’ »
(Full Text of Press Statement Issued by the Tamil National Alliance media office)
15th May 2013: Around 1474 persons owning land in Jaffna filed a writ application today in the Court of Appeal challenging the attempts to illegally and unlawfully acquire their private land. A further 2000 petitioners are to file on the same issue in the near future.
Continue reading ‘TNA Mounts Legal Challenge for 1474 People of Valigamam North Against State Attempt to Acquire Their Lands Unlawfully’ »
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday there would be “consequences” for Sri Lanka if its leaders did not address international concerns over human rights abuses, ahead of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to be held in Colombo in November.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told parliament “despicable human rights violations” had taken place in Sri Lanka, but that Britain still planned to attend the Commonwealth meeting there, a stance that has drawn heavy criticism from rights groups.
Continue reading ‘British Deputy PM Nick Clegg Warns of Consequences Before Commonwealth Summit if Sri Lankan Authorities Do not Address International Concerns’ »
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Mothers, wives and sisters of several LTTE surrendees are demanding that they be reunited with their family members, four years after the war.
Ananthy Sasitharan, wife of Sinnaththurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan
War came to an end in May 2009, but that did not put an end to the suffering of the communities. Even today, numerous Tamil families await justice for their families and friends in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Anguish of Uncertainty Felt by Family Members of “Missing” LTTE Surrendees’ »
By N Sathiya Moorthy
More than a month after the DMK withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh Government over the Sri Lanka vote issue at the UNHRC session in Geneva, no one is talking about the ‘Tamil Nadu factor’ influencing India’s Sri Lanka policy. If anything, after a decade and more, a Government at the Centre has survived without parliamentary support from any of the ‘Dravidian parties’ in Tamil Nadu.
UNHRC Vote-Mar 2013-pic: by UN
It is believed that the differences between the original draft and the final one at Geneva might have been influenced by New Delhi. And tactically, India could not have influenced the draft-changes without supporting the US. Even an abstention at UNHRC could not have helped. On substantial issues, India’s vote would have to be construed as making Sri Lanka ‘accountable’, not on ‘human rights issues’ but on a ‘political solution’. This also seems to be the view of many of the voting-members at UNHRC, given the practicalities of the issues and procedures that are involved.
Continue reading ‘Free and Fair Northern Provincial Council Elections Will Make India and Many Other Countries Review Position on Sri Lanka at UN in Geneva’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
15 July 2006
The UK High Commissioner was asked to comment on accusations that ‘divide and rule’ policies of the British colonial administration precipitated the present ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka.
“When the British came to Ceylon in 1796, there were three distinct kingdoms. The British made it one country for purposes of administrative convenience. In over half the number of countries in the world, the British colonial rulers adopted a ‘divide and rule’ policy. In that regard this policy was not unique to the island alone. If one were to truly examine Britain’s role one important aspect deserves special mention. That is the constitutional arrangements that Britain left behind. It left behind the Soulbury Constitution. Britain considered the Soulbury Constitution as having the necessary arrangements to provide for safeguards for minorities.
“Britain thought that the rights of the Tamils in particular would be safeguarded by these arrangements. However, history has proved otherwise, that these safeguards were inadequate and not robust enough. I regret that Britain’s policies have to such an extent been the cause for the problems,” High Commissioner, Dominic Chilcott, said.
British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Dominic Chilcott, made the above confession nearly 22 months before the end of the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Four years after the end of war, Britain has now got a rare opportunity to correct a mistake they have admittedly made by depending too heavily on the Soulbury Constitution to ensure the rights of the Tamil people. This much-awaited opportunity by the British has come in the form of CHOGM – the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Continue reading ‘Britain Trying to Utilise Commonwealth Summit to Make Amends for Mistake of Soulbury Constitution’ »
by Meena Menon
As a child in Wardha at the time of Partition, Asghar Ali heard “horrible stories of people being killed and trains full of dead bodies.” Those stories, he wrote in his autobiography, A Living Faith, disturbed him so much that he began thinking very early in his life about why people killed each other in the name of religion.
Then, as a student in 1961, he was deeply affected by the riots in Jabalpur, the worst till then in independent India. For Engineer, those riots were the beginning of his lifelong battle against the pathology of communalism and the engagement with creating interfaith harmony.
Continue reading ‘Asghar Ali Engineer 1939 – 2013: Courageous Crusader Against the Pathology of Communalism’ »
BY UDHAV NAIG
Many film awards have been accused of ignoring the significant shifts in the film industry. For capturing these changes reasonably well, the jury of Vijay Awards need to be congratulated. Small-budget but popular films such as Pizza, Vazhakku En 18/9, Aarohanam, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Kumki were bestowed with many notable awards.
Continue reading ‘Actor Shah Rukh Khan Presented Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema’ »
By Dr.Jayantha Dhanapala
(Text of the address by Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, chairman of the panel of judges, at the awarding of the Gratiaen Prize 2013 in Colombo on May 4, for what is adjudged as the finest creative work in English for the year, by a resident Lankan)
The Gratiaen Prize was established twenty years ago and in these two decades, not even its most caustic critics can deny that it has leavened our cultural scene. Creative writing in English contributes significantly to the contemporary Sri Lankan ethos far out of proportion to the minority that engages in it as practitioners and those who appreciate it as readers.
The far-sighted companion H.A.I. Goonetilleke Prize for the best translation ensures the cross-fertilization of the writing talent in our country in all three languages. The debt of gratitude to Michael Ondaatje for establishing this prize, unlike our foreign debt, will be borne for decades to come with pleasure. Ondaatje identified one of his aims in making this generous endowment as being, “to celebrate and test and trust ourselves. To select and argue about the literature around us. To take it seriously, not just to see it as a jewel or a decoration.”
Continue reading ‘Creative Writing in English Contributes Significantly to the Contemporary Sri Lankan Ethos’ »
Just when sanity seemed to be prevailing over the Bodu Bala Sena, following the various vigils, rallies and protests that have been organised in the last month, the government found yet another imaginative way to agitate people – it had Azath Salley arrested. Apparently, the Police are so busy scouring the pages of limited circulation magazines in other countries for potentially disturbing statements by Sri Lankan Muslim politicians that they don’t have time to listen to the bilge that some Buddhist monks are repeating at full volume on a daily basis on the streets of Colombo.
Fortunately, Mahinda Rajapaksa was in a good mood on Friday and Salley was released.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt Needs to Create a Lot More Demons if it is to Continue Distracting People’ »
Kindness and care are replaced with power and command. People look for somebody who knowingly or unknowingly takes the reins into his hands. In this scenario Anoma Janadare, the famous actress and a committed feminist launched the English version of her book Punarukthi, a few weeks ago. At this occasion, chaired by the veteran film director Sumithra Peiris, interesting speeches were made by radical film maker Manohan Nanayakkara and feminist teacher Kanzul Sirdous.
Anoma says this book was written to tell her own story; but as I understand it is the story of a female rebel challenging the male chauvinist world and it could take place anywhere in the world. Names and sites could change but the basic human conflicts and contradictions are the same. Hence it is relevant to all. As a male I am also an accused, as the challenge exposed in her book is so general. It covers both the main and the marginal. What a male may consider as marginal and unimportant, in this male-dominated world, is generally removed from the agenda; but it may not be so.
Continue reading ‘Male Chauvinism Could be as Hard as Racism or National Oppression’ »
(Intervention by the Ambassador P.M. Amza, Head of Mission to the European Union, at the Screening of the “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” at the Premises of the European Parliament on 14 May 2013)
1. The Government of Sri Lanka strongly protests the use of the premises of the European Parliament for screening of this film today. My presence here is to reject the contents of this film and to make a brief statement. I would like to stress that my presence is in no way meant to give credence to either the event or the documentary.
2. I am a native Tamil Speaker. I personally have seen to my own eyes how the conflict began, how the innocent people from South to North and from West to East in Sri Lanka suffered during the last 30 years. I also witnessed how the LTTE led Diaspora manipulated matters, in this part of the world taking advantage of some of the generous national policies. Hence, I can speak with confidence and authority on what is happening in my country, especially to those who make empty slogans while having not done anything for the Tamils in the country.
Ambassador P.M. Amza
Much of what is shown are part of a sinister effort to make Government of Sri Lanka look guilty. For that, the truth has been ignored or suppressed.
Continue reading ‘Ambassador Amza Intervenes at Screening of “No fire Zone”, Pinpoints Serious Flaws and Questions Credibility of Film’ »
The country’s 30-year ethnic conflict may have ended four years ago, but for Gunaratnam Selvi — who remained displaced for considerable part of the war — the daily battle for food is far from over.
Resettled Tamils like Selvi and Gunaratnam (Jaffna) are unhappy in government-sponsored dwellings-pic courtesy of-The Hindu
“I pawned my earrings a few days ago because we had no money for food,” said Ms. Selvi, who has been residing in a thatched-roof home in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Konappulam, Jaffna, since her family’s return in 2002.
Continue reading ‘5000 Families in North are About to Begin Legal Battle for Their Land Rights in Vali North Pradeshiya Sabha’ »
By Ian McGillis
It hasn’t been a century since Shyam Selvadurai was a star presence on the Canadian literary stage, but it was in a previous century that most of us last saw him — in 1998, to be precise, when his second novel Cinnamon Gardens solidified the profile established by his 1994 debut Funny Boy, a book that won what is now called the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and quickly became a foundation text both as gay literature and South Asian Canadian fiction.
Now he returns with The Hungry Ghosts (Doubleday Canada, 371 pages, $29.95), an epic novel that incorporates elements of the earlier two in its story of the half-Tamil, half-Sinhalese Shivan Rassiah, a young gay man torn between the difficult adjustment to Canadian life and the unresolved dramas he and his family left behind when they fled the civil war in Sri Lanka. It also adds a new maturity of tone, scope, language and character.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Born Canadian Author Shyam Selvadurai Returns to Literary Scene with Epic Novel “The Hungry Ghosts”’ »
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
A board placed roadside announced,: “Keppapulavu Model Village”.
Houses here are those who belonged to the final batch of returnees from Menik Farm, onetime the world’s largest facility for the Internally Displaced Pesrons (IDPs).
In September last year, public and media were denied access to this site.
Continue reading ‘Life Begins Anew for Keppapulavu Displaced People Relocated At Seeniyamottai’ »
LOOKING BACK: Kumaran Pathmanathan, popularly known as KP, at a home he runs for war-affected children in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka on Friday, May 10. Photo: Meera Srinivasan-The Hindu
If there is one weapon that Kumaran Pathmanathan now says he has faith in, it is education. “If only I had taken education more seriously, I would have acquired the ability to think and analyse issues independently,” he says, leaning back on his chair, at his office in Senchcholai Children Care Home –Kilinochchi.
Continue reading ‘Former LTTE Chief Arms Procurer “KP” Now has Faith in a New “Weapon”-Education!’ »
The lord of the Lankan jungle, the leopard is one of the ‘Big Five’ in Sri Lanka and the Yala National Park is undoubtedly the best place in the island for leopard sightings.
The apex predator here, the Lankan leopard has been stealing the spotlight from other wildlife destinations around the world, bringing in celebrity visitors and boosting Sri Lanka’s profile as a nature lover’s paradise, especially since the end of the war. It’s no surprise then that Cinnamon Wild Yala, John Keells Hotels’ world class game lodge located on the periphery of the Yala National Park, has gone to great lengths to protect the leopard and its habitat.
Continue reading ‘“Project Leopard”: Cinnamon Wild Yala Throws a Lifeline to Sri Lanka’s Endemic Leopard-Panthera pardus kotiya’ »
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
The Indian Ocean like other seas is bountiful and its resources benefit many. But for the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen, fishing in the deep blue waters of the Palk Strait, from time to time, it also amounts to fishing in troubled waters.
Freshly caught crab in Karainagar~pic by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai~ via: twitter.com/dushiyanthini
While both countries handle the issue of fishermen and their livelihood” through diplomatic channels, for the fisher folk, it is far more direct and person to person.
Continue reading ‘Kaarainagar Fishermen Suffer Rapacious Exploitation at Hands of Tamil Nadu Poachers’ »
Former Colombo deputy mayor and founder leader of the National Unity front Azath Salley who was released after 8 days of “arrest” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act has denied that he had apologized to President Rajapaksa to secure his freedom as alleged in some sections of the state media. Salley in an interview to the “Ceylon Today”newspaper queried as to why he should apologize to the President and stated that all what he conveyed to the president was included in the affidavit he had submitted.
pic via: facebook.com/mazathssalley
Excerpts of the interview and affidavit published in “Ceylon Today” are reproduced below-
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley Denies Apologizing to President for his Release and Asks “Why Should I”?’ »
“….instead of looking for necessary and sufficient conditions of change we must train ourselves to be on the lookout for unusual historical developments, rare constellations of favourable events, narrow paths, partial advances that may conceivably be followed by others…. We must think of the possible rather than the probable”. ~ Albert Hirschman (New York Review of Books – 10.4.1986)
Had Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga removed Presidential term-limits, Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have become the President. If the Rajapaksa dynasty takes root, every non-Rajapaksa SLFP leader will be condemned to a life of servitude.
Celebrating Birthday of Namal Rajapaksa at Torrington Square-April 10, 2013: pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL
The prospect of such a life-sentence of servility, not just to Mahinda Rajapaksa but to a host of other, major and minor, Rajapaksas, would dismay most SLFP leaders. Their dread of Rajapaksa vengeance would prevent them from voicing their discontent, but beneath this public show of quiescence, discontent will bubble. Nurturing and deploying this silent resentment is a sine-qua-non for any successful project of resisting Rajapaksa rule.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksas are Bad for the Minorities, Worse for the Sinhalese and Worst for the Sinhala Buddhists’ »
Aatish Taseer~pic courtesy of: mid-day.com
FOUR years ago this week, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that their struggle for an independent homeland in northern Sri Lanka had “reached its bitter end.” The group had been fighting on behalf of the Tamil people for more than a quarter-century, and its defeat was absolute.
Today, great sections of Tamil country are still a scene of devastation. The houses are either destroyed or brand-new; the land is uncultivated and overgrown; there are forests of decapitated Palmyra palms, damaged by heavy shelling. And then there are the relics of war — graveyards of L.T.T.E. vehicles rotting in the open air; the remains of a ship, its superstructure blown to pieces and in whose rusting starboard a gaping hole gives on to blue sea.
When I first arrived there last March, I saw the loss in primarily military terms. But the feeling of defeat among the Tamils of Sri Lanka goes far deeper than the material defeat of the rebels. It is a moral and psychological defeat.
Continue reading ‘Feeling of defeat Among the Tamils of Sri Lanka is a moral and Psychological Defeat’ »
Now that the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu is caught up once again after a long gap in the web of local issues like caste-clashes, and continual concerns, including drought, Cauvery water dispute and the Centre’s alleged neglect on both and more, it may be time for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans to study and understand the dynamics of domestic politics in neighbouring India, for them not to give undue weightage to the ‘Tamil Nadu factor’ in bilateral relations, any more.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Bodygaya~Feb 2013
This does not amount to condoning the attacks on Sri Lankans visiting the State or those transit-pilgrims to Bodhgaya and other north Indian centres of religious importance to the Sinhala-Buddhists from the island-nation.
Continue reading ‘It is Wrong for Sri Lankans to Assume that Provincial Council Polls in North Could be Stepping Stone for Separation’ »
By Indika Sri Aravinda
Parliamentarian Duminda Silva has been reappointed as the organizer for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the Kolonnawa electorate.
Minister Basil Rajapaksa was appointed as the SLFP organizer in the Kolonnawa electorate after the Mulleriyawa shooting incident in October 2011 in which Silva was seriously injured.
However now that Silva has recovered and is out on bail he has been given back the SLFP Kolonnawa organizer’s post.
Continue reading ‘Duminda Silva Re-appointed SLFP organizer for Kolonnawa: Hirunika Quits Politics’ »
By Nirmala Kannangara
The Sri Lanka Navy and the Special Task Force (STF) are accused of grabbing 1,220 acres of forestlands in Shasthrawela, Ragamwela, Ulpassawela, Horowkanda and Ella in Panama chasing away the villagers whose forefathers too had been occupying these lands even during the Uva-Wellassa rebellion
However though sanctions have been imposed by the Forest Department, Archaeological Department, Coast Conservation Department and Central Environmental Authority on carrying out any development work on forestlands, the Sri Lanka Navy claims that such formalities are totally discarded when the Defence Ministry approves their projects.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Navy and Special Task Force Grab 1220 Acres of Forest Land in Panama Chasing Sinhala Villagers Away’ »
Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
So is humiliating or being antagonistic towards the Government the latest excuse that will be used to invoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA, 1979) against critics?
This question is unfortunately self-explanatory as we entered into the theatre of profound absurdity last week with the PTA detention order arresting dissenting Muslim politician Azath Salley inter alia stating that he had engaged in ‘humiliation of the Government’ and proclaimed ‘antipathetic statements against the Government which lead to public disturbance.’
Continue reading ‘Arrest of Azath Salley Shows Emergency Regulations have been Replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act’ »
Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake
The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Friday unanimously adopted a resolution stating that former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had been “subjected to absolutely unnecessary harassment and humiliation” at the office of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and corruption.
Continue reading ‘Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake Harassed and Humiliated by the Bribery Commission -Bar Association of Sri Lanka’ »
By Franklin R. Satyapalan
National Organizer of the SLFP, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday that the government has still not reached finality on the longstanding proposition to repeal certain sections of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution considered obstacles to government’s development initiative.
He said the effort envisaged the scrapping of land and police powers, an issue which has gathered momentum with the impending Northern PC polls.
Rajapaksa was of the opinion that whatever the UPFA government’s final decision on the matter was, it would be the moral obligation and responsibility of all constituent political parties to abide by the President’s decision to conduct the Northern PC polls in September this year.
Continue reading ‘Decision to Repeal Powers of the Provincial Council not Finalised yet -Basil Rajapaksa’ »
The main political drama over the past several days was the detention of Azath Salley and the hunger strike he had launched while in detention. During the few days that he was in CID custody Salley was being transported from the CID headquarters to hospital and back in the full glare of media attention. He was visited in the hospital by the Chairman of the Human Rights Council as well.
The present writer has known Salley from the time he was in the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party and later the Bahujana Nidahas Peramuna led by Chandrika Kumaratunga. In 1994, he joined the UNP with Dr Rajitha Senaratne. He was able to make some headway in the UNP even becoming the UNP Deputy Mayor in Colombo.
Salley’s arrest came as a surprise to those who knew him, including this writer. Salley is an excitable person, with a tendency to talk out of turn and a great love for publicity. The two are not connected. The talking out of turn comes naturally to him – it’s not that he talks out of turn deliberately in order to gain publicity – he does so without thinking.
Continue reading ‘The Arrest, Release and Future of Azath Salley’ »
By Kalana Senaratne
Reading a tome on constitutional history, theory and practice – like Asanga Welikala’s edited collection titled The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 – can be a daunting task. For a start, such books have too much to say about constitutions. The more you read about constitutional documents, the more they begin to appear God-like. For a constitutional-skeptic, this is a horrible prospect. Also, the broader discipline of constitutional law often comes across as an esoteric one. In examining the Table of Contents, one senses that much of what is contained in Asanga’s collection (which runs into two large volumes) is for the specialist. With 1166 pages divided into four parts – namely ‘constitutional history’, ‘constitutional theory’, ‘constitutional practice’ and ‘interviews and recollections’ – one feels (and the feeling comes slowly) that it might just not get read during this life-time.
Therefore, one is tempted to skip the academic and expert-analysis, and get to the ‘real’ and ‘interesting’ stuff: interviews and recollections, words from the heart (as they say). But on further inspection, skipping becomes difficult, unnecessary: the chapters on history and theory appear like reminiscences and recollections of the respective authors, while those who were interviewed seem to have engaged in historical and theoretical exegesis. Thankfully, the collection becomes interesting; and reading it, not too bad for your health after all.
Continue reading ‘Reading The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 (edited by Asanga Welikala)’ »
(Text of Statement Issued on behalf of the Nava Sama Samaja party by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne)
Meeting in April 2013~pic via: facebook.com/mazathsalley
Azath Sally was arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and he has been now released due to the campaign for his release by national and international democratic forces.
Continue reading ‘“We wish Azath Salley will soon Join the Struggle at the Point where he left”-NSSP’ »
SITE, an Internet monitoring group, has drawn attention to a new web-based jihadi magazine in English called Azan.
According to SITE, the magazine is believed to have been started by jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its first web issue appeared on May 5, 2013.
Continue reading ‘New “Jihadi” Magazine in English Called “Azan” Focussing on Muslims in south Asia Launched on the Web’ »
It’s looking likely that Prime Minister Harper will boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Sri Lanka this November, due to that country’s deteriorating human rights and governance record. If so, Canada may be alone among the Commonwealth leaders in adopting a boycott. Other countries seem to be endorsing a policy of engagement and waiting for Sri Lanka to make good on its promises of democratic reform.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper Raising a glass in honour of French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault-Mar 13, 2013-pic via: pm.gc.ca
Why would Canada stick its neck out on this issue? The answer to that question depends on whether you’re looking primarily at the particulars of the Sri Lankan case. If so, you’ll notice that despite many promises to enact democratic reforms, the government of Sri Lanka is continuing to persecute its minority Tamil population, and is becoming increasingly authoritarian. In January it removed the Chief Justice of its Supreme Court from power after she delivered a judgment against the government’s efforts to expand its control over the state.
Continue reading ‘Canada May be Alone Among Commonwealth Leaders in Adopting a Decision to Boycott CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando and Lal Gunasekera
President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the immediate release of leader of the Muslim-Tamil National Alliance (MTNA), Azath Salley, after the latter denied a report in India’s Junior Vikatan magazine that he had asked the Muslims to take up arms against the Sri Lankan state. The directive was given before President Rajapaksa left on an official visit to Uganda.
Salley was detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on suspicion of having committed offences under the Penal code and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Under the PTA he was to be detained for three months.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Orders release of Azath Salley Before Departing on Official Visit to Uganda’ »
By Aisha Nazim
Former Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Azath Salley, was released yesterday afternoon, ending his eight-day detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
President Mahinda Rajapaksa revoked the controversial detention order under which the Muslim politician was held after Salley submitted an affidavit to the President in which he denied having supported or advocated any group to take up arms against the country.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Revokes Detention Order on Azath Salley After He Submits Affidavit Stating he Had Nothing to do With Terrorism’ »
From Kotagala struggle now we have entered the battle to free Azath Sally. We got together as the Movement for Unity with Power Sharing some time back. Team consisted of Mano, Sumanthiran, Azath, Siri and I. We met regularly to discuss the implementation of the LLRC and relevant subjects. Press conferences, statements, meetings and such actions to increase awareness on power sharing were our activities.
In addition all of us worked with the UNP in the Protest of the Opposition. Our specific campaign for sharing of power has angered many chauvinist elements in the society. We could see this growth in attacks made against us in websites and e mails.
Continue reading ‘Arrest and Harassment of Azath Salley is Indicative of the Climate of Fear Critics of Govt Must Live Under’ »
In a damning revelation, powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has stated Muslim politician Azath Salley was arrested as he conspired to mobilize Sri Lankan Muslims for an armed struggle along with a Tamil group in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to our sister paper, Rajapaksa said intelligence agencies have uncovered evidence against Salley, who had been held in detention under a controversial detention order obtained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley,TNA Parliamentarian and a Tamil Professor Have Discussed Armed Struggle in Sri Lanka With Tamil Nadu Group reveals Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »
By Hasitha Kuruppu and Anuradha Samuel
Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain politician, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, says if Duminda Silva can perform miracles, there is no God. “All I can say is, Duminda is not a good man, but a trickster. My father’s murder was well-planned. I know Duminda’s actual physical and mental status,” she alleges in an interview.
Following are excerpts:
Continue reading ‘Why Should Duminda Silva meet the President and Get His Blessings? asks Hirunika Premachandra!’ »
Channel 4 Documentary “NO FIRE ZONE”:Screening and Discussion at Frontline Club
The third instalment of Chanel 4’s documentary, titled NO FIRE ZONE, the killing fields of Sri Lanka is being preview screened at various locations in London. It is yet to be scheduled to be broadcast by Ch4 itself.
It was screened at the Frontline club in London a few weeks ago and on Tuesday at the LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science).
At the LSE, it was presented by a panel consisting of award winning journalist Callum Macrae (NoFireZone Director),
Shivani Jegarajah (a LSE trained barrister from Renaissance Chambers) and
Janani Jananayagam (Independent politician who secured over 50,000 votes at the European Elections and founding Director of Tamils Against Genocide). It was a free event and held in Tower 1 at the LSE.
It was chaired by
Dr. Devika Hovell, from the LSE Department of Law. Her areas of expertise are listed as international courts, international humanitarian law, United Nations, public law, use of force, international law, public international law, domestic law, international tribunals.
Continue reading ‘The Middle Path of Reconciliation seems quite Distant in Sri Lanka to any Objective Observer’ »
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
From last year’s World Press Freedom Day to this year’s, few things have changed in the country’s media status, if any.
Activists and journalists taking part at a protest
Continue reading ‘Media Freedom in Sri Lanka: A year of Silence and Muted Pain’ »
By The Social Architects
Even though the protracted internal armed conflict has ended, community members have been unable to return to their day-to-day lives. Under the administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s militarization has continued unabated.
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has established numerous checkpoints and camps near peoples’ homes. Military personnel frequently patrol these areas – day and night. Sadly, the military’s intrusion into practically all aspects of civilian affairs remains a way of life in the conflict-affected North and East.
Continue reading ‘Militarization as a way of life: an ‘Orwellian’ note from Kilinochchi’ »
By Chitra Weerarathne
The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support Friday, May 10, 2013, the fundamental rights violation application filed by the former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Azarth Salley.
The petition has alleged illegal detention by the CID since May 2, 2013. The issue was in respect of an interview said to have been given by Salley to a Tamil Nadu based magazine. Salley says the article is incorrect and he has asked for a correction but not received a copy of that correction.
Continue reading ‘Violation of Fundamental Rights Application by Azath Salley to be Heard by Supreme Court on Friday May 10th 2013’ »
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Interviewed by Chamitha Kuruppu
“The ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ is in danger; it is increasingly overshadowed by the ‘Gota Chinthana,’” stresses Sri Lankan Diplomat and Political Scientist Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka.He warns that President Rajapaksa has devolved far too much of his power to those close to him. “I am not sure really whose hand is consistently on the tiller.
At the Conference of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation-May, 2013-pic: defence.lk
I am not sure who is really driving policy.”Dr. Jayatilleka points out that the country is experiencing an intra-regime change.“The centre of gravity is shifting from the pragmatic populism of Mahinda Rajapaksa to a harder, harsher neo-conservatism, which is more visibly represented by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.”
Following are excerpts from the interview:
Continue reading ‘“Mahinda Chintana” Is In Danger of Being Overshadowed or Overtaken by “Gota Chintana” – Dayan Jayatilleka’ »
(Text of a Statement Issued by the Centre for Policy Alternatives)
9th May 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: With the recent arrest and detention of opposition politician Azath Salley, Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has once again come under critical scrutiny. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and other civil society groups have condemned the use of the PTA to stifle dissent and reiterate this call yet again, urging for its repeal and replacement as set out below.
Continue reading ‘THE NEED TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT (PTA) -CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES’ »
“Everything is going to end in violence….and who knows what limits of madness will be reached?”
Georg Forster (Works XVII)
A Presidential Offspring hammers a referee, in full view of hundreds of spectators.
An Appeal Court Judge has a temper tantrum in an international airport and throws a water bottle at another Judge.
Fellow referees do nothing either to protect their colleague during the incident or to protest against it afterwards.
The Appeal Court judges have reportedly complained to the President, but nothing is likely to come out of it. The alleged tantrum-cum-bottle-thrower had been the District Judge of Tangalle from 1987-1990 and was appointed to the Appeal Court by none other than President Rajapaksa, in violation of the 17th Amendment .
Continue reading ‘From Being Indifferent to Suffering of Tamils We Have Become Indifferent to Suffering of Our Fellow Sinhala Buddhists’ »
Secretary of Ravana Balaya, Innekande Saddhatissa Thera threatened to stop the screening of films starring Tamil Nadu actors such as Vijay, Kamal Haasan, Sarath Kumar or Rajanikanth, saying “We will not say it unless we can actually do it.”
Recent awareness fast in Chennai for Tamils of Sri Lanka ~ Via twitter.com/vikatan
The Thera made his sentiments known at a meeting with Chairman of the National Film Corporation, Asoka Serasinghe, yesterday.
Continue reading ‘“Ravana Balaya” Wants Ban on Films Starring Tamil Nadu Actors Like Rajnikanth, Kamal Haaasan, Sarath Kumar and Vijay’ »
From time to time, politicians from the South, especially during various phases of political negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have dangled a particular carrot before the Tamil community from the North and East – elections in the provinces to elect their own representatives.
Tamil political parties for their part, particularly the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), for years had resisted the idea, claiming the absence of civil administration and a suitable climate for engagement in political activities. In 2008, a former LTTE cadre was installed in office as Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. Now it is the turn for the former war-ridden Northern Province to hold polls, albeit with some snags.
Continue reading ‘In Hindsight the LTTE Has Only Achieved Death and Destruction for the People it Sought to Represent’ »
By Prof. V. Suryanarayan
In a unanimous resolution on 3 May 2013, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly demanded the Government of India should take immediate steps to take back control of Kachchatheevu, a small, barren island in the Palk Bay, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. The context for reviving the demand is the ‘continuous violent attacks, torture and arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy’. During the last three decades the rich fishing grounds, especially lucrative on the Sri Lankan side of the maritime boundary, have become a bone of contention among fishermen in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen and the Sri Lankan Navy. Nearly 400 Indian fishermen have been killed in incidents of firing, several boats have been destroyed, many fishermen have been injured and catch worth crores of rupees have been dumped into the sea.
Continue reading ‘Indian Fishermen Deprive Sri Lankan Tamil Fishermen of their Livelihood’ »
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA
“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” -‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919)
When Sri Lanka was nominated as host of the Non Aligned Conference and chair of the Non Aligned Movement under Madam Bandaranaike there wasn’t a single dissenting voice within that movement or anywhere in the world. As Sri Lanka plans to host the Commonwealth summit, there are. It is highly likely that there will be a global media and civil society campaign which causes considerable embarrassment to this country and further tarnishes its name, as the summit nears.
pic via: facebook.com/mazathssalley
This makes it incumbent upon Sri Lanka to demonstrate that it is indeed suitable beyond a reasonable doubt, in terms of its adherence to and practice of the democratic values, virtues and spirit of the Commonwealth to chair that organization for two years. It is against this backdrop that the Azath Salley saga unfolds.
Continue reading ‘Why Treat Azath Salley as a Major Threat to National Security and Turn him into an Internationally Known Name?’ »
The Dalai Lama has implored Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to put an end to a series of recent attacks on Muslims in their countries, the Associated Press reported today.
The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of about 15,000 students, faculty, and guests as part of the Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace on May 7th, 2013 – pic by James Levin courtesy: Diamondback-University of Maryland
The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader spoke Tuesday night about religious violence when asked questions following a speech he delivered to 15,000 people at the University of Maryland. He condemned all killing being carried out in the name of religion and then turned to his own religion.
Continue reading ‘Dalai Lama Criticises Buddhists Including Monks For Violence Against Muslims in Sri Lanka and Burma’ »
Azath Salley’s detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be revoked and he should be released immediately.
If there are indeed serious allegations of his inciting religious hostility that merit investigation, such investigation, and any consequent action, should take place under the normal law. It should also be part of a wider law-enforcement exercise against all such offenders, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliation.
Continue reading ‘RELEASE AZATH SALLEY: Civil Rights Movement Calls for Even-handed Action Under the Normal Law’ »
Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran has stated that the expulsion of Muslims from North was an act of ethnic cleansing. Eviction of Muslim community from North within 24 hours was nothing but ethnic cleansing he said.
M.A. Sumanthiran MP paying tribute to S.J.V. Chelvanayagam in Batticaloa~May 2013
Sumanthiran made these comments which he described as the “bitter truth”, at the 36th death anniversary of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam meeting held in Vantharumoolai, Batticaloa. Chelvanayakam is the founder of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi also known as the Federal Party.
Continue reading ‘TNA MP Sumanthiran Says Eviction of Muslims From North was Nothing But Ethnic Cleansing’ »
Rizona and Azath Salley ~ at their daughter Amina’s Wedding ~ Oct 2012
A writ of habeas corpus regarding former Colombo deputy mayor and leader of the National Unity Front Azath Salley was filed in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday May 7th.
The writ was filed on behalf of Mr. Salley’s wife Mrs. F. Rinoza M. Salley by senior Attorney at law Ms. Gowrishankari Thavarajah. Tamil National alliance parliamentarian and senior lawyer M. A. Sumanthiran will be supporting the habeas corpus write when taken up by the Appeal court.
Ms. Gowrishangari Thavarajah is the wife of lawyer KV Thavarajah who is also the president of the Colombo branch of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK)
Continue reading ‘TNA MP Sumanthiran Will Support in Courts the Habeas Corpus Writ Filed by Azath Salley’s Wife’ »
Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday in parliament, demanded to know from the Government whether the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act would continue to be used to suppress opposition politicians.
Making a special statement, on the arrest of National Unity Alliance General Secretary Azath Salley, the Opposition Leader said that the present conduct of the government raises serious questions. “The conclusion we can arrive at through this conduct is that the government is abusing the Prevention of Terrorism Act to suppress its political opponents. This situation may be aggravated in future.”
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Raises in Parliament the Issue of Azath Salley Being Arrested Under Prevention of Terrorism Act’ »
By Norman Palihawadana
Irked by various quarters raising concern over the arrest of former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley, blunt speaking Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that Salley was arrested for discussing the option of taking up arms and inciting Muslim youth in a speech, in Tamil Nadu.
Continue reading ‘Defence Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says There was Nothing Wrong in Arresting Azath Salley’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
It is no secret that the assurance the government received that Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will definitely be held in Sri Lanka as scheduled carried India’s imprimatur.
President Pranab Mukherjee shakes hands with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during a meeting at rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi~Sep 2012~PTI Photo
Speculation as to who in the Indian polity pulled it off for President Mahinda Rajapaksa gained considerable interest in the local political guessing game. Now, it has come to light through sources at the Ministry of External Affairs, the knight in armour, who came to the rescue was none other than Mahinda’s erstwhile friend, Pranab Mukherjee, President of India.
Continue reading ‘Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Guardian Angel in the Indian Establishment’ »
By Ameen Izzadeen
The genie is out and it is difficult to put it back into the bottle, say concerned Sri Lankans as anti-Muslim hatred spreads far and wide, evoking fears of a major ethnic riot which the country last witnessed in July 1983. But the voice of the concerned citizens is a murmur against the raucous anti-Muslim hate speech.
Continue reading ‘Anti-Muslim hate campaign intensifies in Sri Lanka’ »
Ameena Azath Salley, daughter of Colombo Municipal Council Member Azath Salley talking to media
Former Colombo Deputy Mayor and founder leader of the National Unity Front Azath Salley has been admitted again on Monday May 6th to the Colombo National Hospital after losing consciousness in Police custody
Salley was carried out on a stretcher by Policemen at the Police CID headquarters in Fort and rushed to hospital and wheeled in to ward forty – five where he was administered Saline and Insulin by doctors.
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley In Critical Condition Hospitalised Again and Given Insulin and Saline’ »
7 May, 2013
We the undersigned, vehemently condemn the arrest and detention of Former Deputy Mayor and General Secretary of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), Azath Salley, by a team of officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID), on Thursday, 2 May 2013 morning, and call for his immediate release in the absence of any demonstrable evidence.
Mr. Salley was arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and he has been placed under detention for further interrogation by the CID for 3 months under Section 2(1)(h) of the PTA. Section 2(1)(h) states that a person who has committed an offence under the PTA “….by words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise causes or intends to cause commission of acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony or feelings of ill-will or hostility between different communities or racial or religious groups…”
Continue reading ‘Public Statement Condemning the Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Azath Salley and Calling for his Immediate Release’ »
Former Colombo Deputy Mayor and Founder Leader of the National Unity Front Azath Salley is currently held at the Police CID Fourth floor headquarters in Fort on a detention order for 90 days issued under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
First Lady Visits Rizana Nafeek’s Home, Feb 2013
When Azath Salley was arrested on Thursday May 2nd the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Director General Lakshman Hulugalle was reported by the State controlled “Daily News” newspaper as saying that he was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department following several complaints received by the CID regarding conduct which could damage ethnic harmony, and harm national unity
Hulugalle reportedly said that Salley was taken into custody under Section 120 of the Penal Code and provisions under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Hulugalle reportedly stated that Salley had violated clause 21 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and section 120 of the Penal Code. He (Salley) had incited people with the aim of causing damage to ethnic and religious harmony, in the guise of agitating against the government.
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley was Arrested Because He Made Critical Remarks About Shiranthi Rajapaksa on TNL’ »
By Claire Carter
It is not yet known why the monarch will not attend the meeting. The Prince of Wales will go in her place, Buckingham Palace said.
pic via: facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy
The news comes amid controversy over the summit, with concerns having been raised by member governments over human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. But the decision by the Queen not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) is not thought to be related, according to Sky News.
Continue reading ‘Queen Elizabeth Wont Be In Sri Lanka For Commonwealth Summit But Prince Charles Will Attend’ »
By Upul Joseph Fernando
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, in a wide-ranging interview, talks about her rise and decline in Sri Lanka’s turbulent politics, 20 years after her ascendance to political power, which turned tables for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that was reeling under a spell of defeats.
Continue reading ‘“I had CID and NIB Reports That Mahinda was Planning to Topple My Govt With the UNP’s Help -Chandrika Kumaratunga’ »
“I believe in the essential unity of all people and for that matter of all lives.”
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
The need for an inclusive solidarity between all Sri Lankans is now urgent. This includes solidarity between members of all communities, as well as members of the Diaspora(s). Such social solidarity, which transcends ethnic and religious barriers, can only be generated by meaningful interaction between people (as individual persons) and between peoples. This means building a cohesive society, one in which diversity is mutually appreciated and valued. It may not be a permanent solution for the current clash of identities but it is part of the solution as it can also be developed as an effective approach to economic and social issues.
Continue reading ‘Building a Reciprocal Solidarity Between Both the Majority and Minority Groups’ »
I recall as though it happened the other day, little A. C. S. Hameed, the former ineffective Foreign Minister in J. R. Jayewardena’s Government and later Minister in charge of various ministries in R. Premadasa’s Government, putting on what I term his ‘wise look’, looking over his spectacles balanced on the tip of his nose, and saying with the utmost ‘gravity’ as though saying something profound, “The Opposition will have its ‘say’; but the Government will have its ‘way’ ” and the then leader of the House, Ranil Wickremaesinghe expressing wholesale agreement with such sentiment by echoing those words.
Today, the roles are reversed and Wickremesinghe is the under siege leader of a purported ‘Opposition’ which has its ‘say’ or several ‘says’ but nothing more.
The fact that a Government will have its ‘way’ is not something new, but something that always existed after ‘Independence’ whenever the Government had, by purchase or otherwise, a majority of seats in the legislature. When one considers the fact that members of the legislature, from the time of independence, almost always acted as ‘signal posts’ of the leaders of their respective parties and voted in whatever manner such leaders wanted, the truism “the Government will have its ‘way’ ” means in fact that the leadership of a political party will have its way. This is an ugly phenomenon which has grown in magnitude since 1970 from around when sycophancy became a sine qua non for political advancement.
Continue reading ‘Horrific Extent of the Intoxication of the Present Govt with the Heady Wine of Power’ »
By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA
President Mahinda Rajapaksa with Azath Salley~File pic via: facebook.com/mazathssalley
If Azath Salley is a terrorist in the making – a terrorist who has to be pre-empted by recourse to detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act – or a promoter of fanatical, fundamentalist ethno-religious hatred, he comes with the strangest of profiles.
Continue reading ‘Was Azath Salley a Founder, Leader, Member, Supporter or Sympathizer of an Armed Terrorist Group?’ »
In the wee hours on Thursday 2 May 2013, prominent Muslim politician Azath Salley, former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Municipality and leader of the newly formed National Unity Alliance, was arrested from his daughter’s Kolonnawa house. He is now being held at the CID headquarters in Fort on a three month detention order.
Salley, taken into custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, was accused of inciting people aimed at causing damage to ethnic and religious harmony, in the guise of agitating against the government.
Salley’s family members stated that STF and CID officers had surrounded his daughter’s residence at about 5.30 a.m. and Salley had surrendered to the CID at 7.45 a.m. He was then taken to CID Headquarters in Fort. His family was with him at the time of his arrest.
His arrest drew swift and widespread condemnation demanding his release.
Continue reading ‘Why are the Jathika Hela Urumaya,Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya Not Arrested for Inciting Hatred Against Muslims?’ »
Bodu Bala Sena Rally in Kandy-Mar 2013
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has reportedly obtained a detention order to keep Azath Salley, the former Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), in custody, for an additional three months, according to the family of the detained politician.
Salley has been kept in custody by the CID since last Thursday (2) after he was arrested under the much loathed and despised Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and 120 of the Penal Code. He has been accused of inciting ethnic disharmony.
Continue reading ‘Sinhala Buddhist Hardliners Like Bodu Bala Sena Allowed Hate Speech but Muslim Politican Azath Salley Arrested as a ‘Terrorist’ Under PTA’ »
pic courtesy: BBC
I approach this subject as a political scientist, a former diplomat and briefly a Minister in the Cabinet of the North East Provincial Council. At the overlap of these experiences and roles is what is classifiable as a Realist perspective.
As a Realist, I reject outright three myths about devolution which have been around for a long time but have been resuscitated in the post-war period. Firstly, that devolution in our context is primarily to do with empowerment of the people and ‘the people’ considered without any ethnic connotation. Secondly, that it was to do with the Tigers and now that the Tigers are no more, there is no case for devolution. Thirdly, that it has to do originally and primarily with India.
Continue reading ‘Are Sinhalese Hawks Ready to Face Consequences of Doing Away With the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment?’ »
“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” Malcolm X (Advice to Youth of Mississippi – 1964)
Senior Journalist J Tissanayagam was charged with creating ethnic dissension, by a regime which included such apostles of reconciliation as Champika Ranawaka. Azath Salley has been arrested for fermenting religious disharmony by a regime which is providing succour to such proponents of brotherly love as Rev. Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thero.
If creating religious disharmony is really an issue for the government, it is not Mr. Salley who should be in custody but the likes of Rev. Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thero.
pic courtesy: BBC
Mr Salley was arrested because he made the cardinal error of criticising the Rajapaksas, because he had the temerity to take on the BBS. He stood up to the BBS while Muslim ministers maintained radio silence – probably because they know that the BBS is a Rajapaksa-monkey; and that any minority leader who opposes the saffron-mobsters engaged in Rajapaksas’ work risk imprisonment or worse.
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley, Bodu Bala Sena, Northern Elections and 19th Constitutional Amendment’ »
JONATHAN MILLER Foreign Affairs Correspondent
The Prime Minister’ s decision comes amid growing alarm over Sri LankaТs dismal and worsening human rights record and fears that permitting Colombo to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will enable the regime to whitewash allegations of war crimes.
Continue reading ‘Human Rights Groups React with Disgust to British PM David Cameron Attending Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka’ »
Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing cartoonist and columnist Prageeth Eknaligoda, holds a placard with an image of her husband during a protest in front of the United Nations head office in Colombo, October 22, 2012. The protest was held to mark 1000 days since the disappearance of Eknaligoda who worked for Lanka-e-News, a privately owned independent network that was critical of the government ~ pic courtesy of: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Twenty-fourth January is remembered for many reasons. Historically, it was on this day that former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill died (1965), that the American serial killer Ted Bundy was electrocuted (1989), that Robert Baden-Powell organized the first Boy Scout troop in England (1908)…. but for Sandhya, wife of missing cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda, this is the day ‘happiness died’, forcing her on a quest for answers that has proved to be as arduous as it has been heartbreaking.
Continue reading ‘January Twenty-fourth is the “Day that Happiness Died” for Missing Cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda’s Wife Sandhya’ »
Identity cards in Sinhala, Tamil soon
The relevant authorities are taking a policy decision to include both Sinhala and Tamil languages in the identity card, Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne informed the Supreme Court.
The fundamental rights petition filed by A.P. Dananjaya Gamage cited Registration of Persons Commissioner General R.N.S. Sarath Kumara, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara and the Attorney General as respondents.
Continue reading ‘National Identity Cards to be in Both Sinhala and Tamil Due to Fundamental Rights Petition Filed by Sinhala Youth’ »
N Sathiya Moorthy
It takes two to tango, and come September, Sri Lanka will see which way they will go. To be precise, which way one will lead the other – or, who between the two will lead the other, where and how!
In September, the promised elections to the Northern Provincial Council are due. So is one more round of UNHRC session in Geneva. If elections are conducted, and are free and fair (read: TNA wins?), then Geneva will lose its charm to many.
The global reservations to the Commonwealth Summit in November could also lose some more of its steam.
A ‘Tamil government’ in the North, independent of the political colour, could lead to the current international discourse to Sri Lanka’s ‘national problem’ re-focussing on political issues and a political solution, where it should still belong. ‘Accountability issues’ could get pushed to the background.
Continue reading ‘‘Tamil Govt’ in the North Could Lead to Accountability Issues Getting Pushed to Background with International Discourse Re-Focussing on a Political Solution’ »
The Bishop of Galle has denied making comments about the Bodu Bala Sena or calling the organisation ‘Buddhist Taliban’ operating in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Spokesperson for Galle Bishop Wickramasinghe Denies Statement to Fides Agency About “Buddhist Taliban”.’ »
Colombo (Agenzia Fides) – The group of Buddhist fundamentalist monks, extremist and violent seriously concern civil society and religious minorities.
This is ‘the alarm sent to Fides Agency by His Exc. Mgr. Raymond Wickramasinghe, Bishop of Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, expressing his fears for what happens in the country: it is the phenomenon of the so-called “Buddhist Taliban” – as they have been defined by the press – who have launched a wave of violence against religious minorities, Muslim and Christian. The group, reported for acts of intolerance is the “Bodu Bala Sana” (BBS, “Force of Buddhist power “), but it is not the only kind of movement that exists.
Continue reading ‘Galle Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe Expresses Fears About “Buddhist Taliban” Violence Against religious Minorities’ »
The opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International airport in Sri Lanka has been hailed by representatives of the Sri Lankan government as a significant boost to Sri Lanka’s economic development. In keeping with the priority the government clearly seems to be placing in the last few years, on large scale development projects, environmental and even economic concerns about the airport have been summarily dismissed by the unwavering government claim that the Mattala airport opens a new chapter in Sri Lanka’s economic development.
The Tamil National Alliance has repeatedly raised concerns regarding the ‘development’ policy of the government in the North and East. Government boasts of new roads, bridges and culverts in the North and East have done little to ease the desperate needs of those who live there – basic needs such as a return to their lands and property which they are still prevented from occupying, housing with proper facilities, and proper nutrition. These are needs that the government seems determined to ignore.
Continue reading ‘Victims of Sri Lankan Govt Development Policies are not only the People of the North and East but also People of the South’ »
By Dr Devanesan Nesiah
President Lyndon Johnson ranked the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the most important legislative achievement of his career – even more important than the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The latter was drafted under the direction of President John Kennedy, but was pushed through after his assassination by President Johnson. Both legislations were products of the Civil Rights Movement that gained momentum in the 1950s and dominated US politics for two or three decades. The Civil Rights Act redefined the relationships and sought to level the playing field between men and women and between different races of the USA. It introduced reverse discrimination (which it termed affirmative action) as a matter of national policy and outlawed racial segregation which was the norm, de facto and de jure, in many states especially in the South.
Why did President Johnson rank the Voting Rights Act above the Civil Rights Act?
Continue reading ‘The Hope of Provincial Council Elections Initiating and Facilitating a Process of De-militarisation not only in the North but also in the East’ »
pic via: facebook.com/reno.azath
Former Colombo Deputy Mayor and Founder leader of the National United Front(NUF) Azath Salley has been hospitalised by the Police after he collapsed during interrogation at the Police CID headquarters 4th floor. He was taken to the hospital at about 5 pm on Friday May 3rd and is now receiving treatment under heavy Police guard at ward 55 of Colombo National hospital.
Continue reading ‘Azath Salley on a 30 Hour Hunger Protest Hospitalised After Collapsing During Police Interrogation at 4th Floor’ »
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Calls on Mr Cameron to boycott the event risked an embarrassing split with Buckingham Palace, had the Queen travelled to the meeting as the Commonwealth’s head.
The organisation decided at its last meeting two years ago to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Sri Lanka this year but many states have since been dismayed by Sri Lanka’s failure to heed calls for reform.
Continue reading ‘British PM David Cameron Will Criticise Sri Lanka Human Rights Record Openly at Commomwealth Summit in November’ »
Mangala Samaraweera M.P.
Mangala Samaraweera M.P.
We were gravely disturbed to learn of the arrest of former Deputy mayor of Colombo and Muslim Tamil National Alliance leader Azath Salley by the CID on May 2nd 2013.
This is yet another blatant manifestation of the depths to which the rule of law has sunk in this country and further proof that even as the Government prepares to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in a few months, it is simultaneously taking steps to suppress dissent and victimise political opponents in a manner that runs directly contrary to the fundamental tenets of democracy.
Continue reading ‘Duminda Silva’s “Recovery” and Azath Salley’s “Arrest” Expose Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamaleshwar Sharma’ »
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran asserts it is unnecessary to deploy 150,000 soldiers in the Northern Province. According to Premachandran, of the 200,000 Army personnel in Sri Lanka, 150,000 are stationed in the north. “Let the Government have any amount of Army personnel they want, but please withdraw them from north and take them to Hambantota.”
He stresses that the military in north is functioning as a political unit for the Government. “They want to suppress the Tamil people. They want to keep them under threat.” Premachandran further points out that “killing more than 150,000 innocent civilians is not a triumph” and is not the way to eliminate terrorism.
Continue reading ‘“Please Withdraw Army Personnel From North and Take Them to Hambantota,Galle or Kolonnawa –Suresh Premachandran MP’ »
Top economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has been appointed Consultant to the Government to work on substantive issues on the agenda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Colombo in November this year.
Continue reading ‘Dr.Indrajit Coomaraswamy Appointed Consultant to Sri Lankan Govt to Work on Substantive Issues for Commonwealth Summit Agenda’ »
May 3, 2013 – Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:
Andrew Bennett-Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom
“Canada condemns the arrest of Azad Sally, leader of Sri Lanka’s newly formed Muslim Tamil National Alliance. Mr. Sally was reportedly taken into custody by Sri Lankan authorities on May 2.
Continue reading ‘Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom Condemns Arrest of Mr.Azath Salley and Calls for his Immediate release’ »
Karu Jayasuriya M.P.
It is in the strongest possible terms that the arrest of former UNP Deputy Mayor Azath Salley must be condemned by all right thinking peoples of this country. His arrest – for allegedly inciting communal hatred under the prevention of terrorism act, is further proof that the Government continues to retain these repressive war time laws to hunt political opponents in peace time.
Mr. Salley’s arrest must not come as a surprise to any observer who has been witnessing the dismal levels to which law enforcement in this country has descended. Mr. Salley’s offence has been to warn of the dire consequences this country could —face if hate campaigns against a single community continue to grow.
Continue reading ‘Quadruple Murder Suspect Duminda Silva Welcomed at Presidential Palace but Azath Salley Arrested for Alleged Press Statement’ »
The United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA) Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning to reduce the terms of office of the Executive President and Chief Justice as well as restricting the powers of Provincial Councils.
1st family New Year Celebrations, Tangalle, Sri Lanka~April 2013
It is learnt that the Govt is currently engaged in drafting the required amendments to the present Constitution.
Although the Govt is keen to make all Constitutional changes through a single Amendment with multiple clauses there may be two separate amendments if necessary depending upon legal advice.
Continue reading ‘Govt Drafting New Constitutional Amendment to Reduce Office Terms of President and Chief Justice and Dilute Provincial Council Powers’ »
(Text of Press Release Issued by Amnesty International Over Arrest of Azath M.Salley by the Police in Sri Lanka)
A prominent Muslim politician and government critic arrested today in Sri Lanka must be immediately released or charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence, Amnesty International said.
Azad Sally, the leader of Sri Lanka’s newly formed Muslim Tamil National Alliance, was reportedly taken into custody on Thursday morning by the intelligence services for unknown reasons.
Continue reading ‘Prominent Muslim Politician Critical of Govt Arrested in Sri Lanka – Amnesty International About Azath Salley’ »
To whom it may concern,
Attached is a copy of my affidavit filed in an appeal made on behalf of Mr. M Azath M Sally to the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka.
Azath was taken into custody under the PTA and the police stated that according to a news item Azath has addressed a meeting provoking Muslims to rise up, directed them to armed struggle and seek support for such activity in India.
Continue reading ‘Vickramabahu Karunaratne Urges Intervention On Behalf of Azath Salley by Way of Affidavit’ »
Former Deputy mayor of Colombo and founder leader of the National United Front (NUF) Azath Salley was taken into custody by the Police in the morning of Thursday May 2nd 2013.
pic via ~ facebook.com/mazathssalley
The outspoken Muslim politician was taken away from the residence of a relative in Kolonnawa by a team of Police personnel comprising the Criminal Investigation Dept and Terrorism Investigation dept. Salley had been keeping away from his own house and staying elsewhere to avoid being arrested.
Continue reading ‘Police ‘Arrest’ Former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley For Interrogation About Allegedly Promoting Terrorism’ »
Duminda Silva MP and President Mahinda Rajapaksa
“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men”: George Orwell (The Adelphi – January 1939)
On January 2nd, 2006, five students were murdered in the Town of Trincomalee. The government initially claimed that these were LTTE cadres who died when the bomb they were carrying exploded, prematurely. The cover-up backfired unexpectedly, when a courageous Judicial Medical Officer revealed that the five young men had been shot to death, execution-style. Forced to acknowledge the crime, the regime resorted to subverting justice; judges were transferred, witnesses intimidated and victims’ families harassed. The case was shifted to a court in another province, and allowed to die.
Gen. Sarath Fonseka was the Army Commander, and a member of the de-facto ruling triumvirate, when the Trincomalee murders happened. Indubitably he would have known of the plan to subvert justice and save the Trincomalee-murderers. Equally indubitably he would have seen nothing wrong with that exercise in impunity, because the victims were Tamils and the suspects were men in uniform .
Four years later it was his turn. On 8th February 2010, the military police and the army raided Gen. Fonseka’s political office, assaulted and handcuffed their former commander and dragged him away to incarceration like a common criminal – or terrorist – suspect.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksas Justified the Unjustifiable in the Name of Patriotism and Anti-Terrorism’ »
By Alan Strathern Oxford University
Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?
This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean – Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.
In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena – the Buddhist Brigade – hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families.
Continue reading ‘Why are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims in Burma and Sri Lanka?’ »
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been publicly reiterating and recommitting himself to finally holding the long delayed and often postponed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections in September this year, almost four and half years after the war ended in May 2009.
Thereafter despite presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections, in 2010 and 2011, various excuses were contrived and trotted out to postpone the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections, an election the regime is almost guaranteed to lose to the TNA, if even a semblance of a reasonably fair and free election is held.
Continue reading ‘Will Daya Master of LTTE and Justice Wigneswaran of TNA Face Off as Chief Ministerial Candidates for Northern Poll?’ »
One of the biggest insults a government can deliver to another — the diplomatic equivalent of a slap in the face — is for the leader of one country to refuse to attend a high profile gathering hosted by another. Well, Canada has just slapped Sri Lanka.
Canadian Foreign Minister Baird greets Tamil protesters outside CMAG-pic courtesy of: twitter.com/SLCampaign
Late last week in London, Foreign Minister John Baird denounced a decision by his Commonwealth counterparts to approve Sri Lanka hosting the organization’s heads of government meeting in November. The Commonwealth, he said, was “accommodating evil” in agreeing to stage the meeting in the South Asian country despite strong criticism of its human rights record.
Continue reading ‘Canada Delivers Diplomatic Equivalent of a Slap in the Face to Sri Lanka -Ottawa Citizen’ »
It was not surprising to find yesterday, thousands of ‘electrocuted’ (and duped) Sri Lankans jubilantly assembling at various rallying points to celebrate International Labour Day. Not surprising, because Sri Lankans have been demonstrating unfailing loyalty to the war-winning regime, irrespective of the regular price escalations, the latest being the debilitating electric shock that came as a post-Avurudu bonanza.
The annual convergence of the people generally takes place in the name of the working class and their perennial struggles, but Colombo yesterday showed a marked difference.
Continue reading ‘May Day:The rights of the working class are forgotten in Sri Lanka as political pageantry takes centre stage’ »
In what feels like a repeat of Geneva 2012, behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by New Delhi may have tipped the scales in Sri Lanka’s favour in London last week, where the Commonwealth’s most powerful grouping decided an eleventh-hour venue shift of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet was simply not an option.
In exchange, will the Rajapaksa administration pursue engagement with the country’s main Tamil party on power devolution and conduct a poll in the Northern Province by September 2013? Or is India setting itself up for disappointment again?
Continue reading ‘Will The Rajapaksa Administration Hold Northern Provincial Council Polls Or Will a Promise to India Be Broken Again?’ »