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Veteran Trade Union Leader Comrade Bala Tampoe Passes Away in Colombo at 92 Years of Age.

Veteran Trade Union leader Bala Tampoe has passed way in Colombo at the age of 92.Philips Balendra Tampoe born on May 23rd 1922 was a legend in his lifetime being general secretary since 1948 to date of the Ceylon Mercantile,Industrial and General workers union known popularly as the CMU.Having interacted with comrade Bala in the past I made it a point to meet him last year when I returned to Sri Lanka after an absence of 25 years. Later I was in touch with him by e-mail.I later wrote about Bala Tampoe on the occasion of his 92nd birthday in May this year.The article which appeared in the “Daily Mirror” of May 31st 2014 was posted simultaneously on my blog under the heading”Comrade Bala Tampoe: Evergreen Phenomenon in the Trade Union Sphere”.I am reproducing that article here without any changes by way of tribute to one of the greatest Sri Lankans I have known in my life. I shall be writing another article about this mighty fighter for the rights of the underdog later this week-DBS Jeyaraj


Comrade Bala Tampoe: Evergreen Phenomenon in the Trade Union Sphere

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

General-Secretary of Ceylon Mercantile Union Celebrated 92nd Birthday on May 23rd 2014

May 23rd was the 92nd birth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s unique Trade union leader Philips Balendra Tampoe known generally as Bala Tampoe. Bala or comrade Bala as he is popularly called has been at the helm of the Ceylon Mercantile Union(CMU) as its General-secretary since 1948.Though called the CMU still, the amended name of the union is now The Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union.

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Bala Tampoe

CMU staffers and members of the union’s executive committee were preparing for a celebration in honour of their nonagenarian General-Secretary at the Trade union office down 22nd lane Kollupitiya when President Mahinda Rajapaksa made an unannounced entry with a birthday cake. Earlier Mr. Mahinda Madihahewa, Co-Chief Executive Officer to the Secretariat for Senior Ministers, had visited the premises and informed Bala Tampoe that the President wanted to visit him at the CMU office. The “Birthday Boy” however told Madihahewa that while the President – a former CMU member – was most welcome to visit the office , he did not want the trade union premises to be invaded by media or security personnel. So when Mahinda Rajapaksa walked into the CMU headquarters to felicitate Bala Tampoe, he was only accompanied by Mahinda Madihahewa. The in – house birthday party turned out to be a pleasant occasion.

Continue reading ‘Veteran Trade Union Leader Comrade Bala Tampoe Passes Away in Colombo at 92 Years of Age.’ »

Why Narendra Modi Wants Sri Lanka to Build on the 13th Amendment

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Astute Observers consistently following the erratic course of Sri Lankan Tamil politics were in for a pleasant surprise last week. The premier political representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamil people configured electorally as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)embarked on a passage to India to meet the recently elected Prime minister Narendra Modi and key officials in New Delhi.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and R. Sampanthan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and R. Sampanthan

The element of pleasant surprise in this exercise was due to the fact that a trip to New Delhi by the TNA was not expected to materialise until after the advent of the 2015 new year.
Continue reading ‘Why Narendra Modi Wants Sri Lanka to Build on the 13th Amendment’ »

5 JVP and 4 UNP Offices Destroyed in “Ninja”Attacks in Wellawaya and Moneragala Within 24 Hours by Gunmen in Unmarked Vehicles.

Moneragala ‘ninja’ attackers move to Wellawaya – 4UNP offices and 5 JVP offices destroyed

Where are the high powered police motorbikes? – Road blocks still not in place

Nine election offices of opposition political parties have been attacked in Wellawaya and Moneragala between August 29 and 30. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) observes that five Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) offices and four United National Party (UNP) offices have been burnt and three of them have been completely destroyed.

Last week 21 election offices of opposition political parties were attacked within 72 hours in Moneragala district, most of the attacks were concentrated in Bibile electorate.

Continue reading ‘5 JVP and 4 UNP Offices Destroyed in “Ninja”Attacks in Wellawaya and Moneragala Within 24 Hours by Gunmen in Unmarked Vehicles.’ »

Akhila Ilankai Tamil Mahasabha Leader Dr.K.Vigneswaran Criticises Govt,Army,LTTE and UN for Conduct During War at Colombo Collquium.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Former EPDP MP, Dr. K. Vigneswaran on Friday (Aug 29) alleged that LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran had facilitated the then Premier, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory at the Nov. 17, 2005 presidential election as he believed the new president would create a situation conducive for him to speedily achieve Eelam.

One-time Chief Secretary of the Indian backed EPRLF administration in the then temporarily merged North-Eastern Province, Dr. Vigneswaran asserted that the LTTE had probably felt it could take advantage of a crisis caused by the new president.

Dr. Vigneswaran was addressing a colloquium on ‘3rd Narrative’ Issues of Truth and Accountability (The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka) at the BMICH.

The former EPDP advisor was among those invited to address a gathering, including diplomatic representatives from western countries as well as Pakistan and India. Dr. Vigneswaran opined that it was a major blunder on the part of the LTTE leadership.

Dr. Vigneswaran is the chairman of the Akhila Ilankai Tamil Mahasabha (AITM), formerly the Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front, which secured recognition by the Election Secretariat in February 2006. The Election Secretariat also recognized the revised name on September 13, 2013.

Continue reading ‘Akhila Ilankai Tamil Mahasabha Leader Dr.K.Vigneswaran Criticises Govt,Army,LTTE and UN for Conduct During War at Colombo Collquium.’ »

Former Parliament Secretary-general and Ombudsman Sam Wijesinha Passes away at 93 in Colombo

Former Secretary General of Parliament and Ombudsman Sam Wijesinha passed away at the age of 93 last evening (Aug 31st) in Colombo.He also served as Chairman of the Human Task Force and the Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Sam Wijesinha had a distinguished record of public service in a career spanning more than seven decades.Widely regarded as an accomplished and genial personalit Sam was considered as the ultimate authority on matters pertaining to Parliament and many matters of governance.

Continue reading ‘Former Parliament Secretary-general and Ombudsman Sam Wijesinha Passes away at 93 in Colombo’ »

“The TNA is not LTTE or Agents of the LTTE Promoting a Separate State in Sri Lanka”-M.A.Sumanthiran M.P.


By
Kelum Bandara


While saying that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution provided the unit of devolution, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran in an interview with the “Daily Mirror” said that the TNA rejected the 13A as it was fundamentally flawed citing External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris. However, he said that the TNA wanted to convey to the majority community that what the TNA wanted was devolution of power in a united, undivided country. He further added that new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his party to engage with the government of Sri Lanka. Also, he said the TNA made a mistake by not addressing the majority community to allay the notion that his party was acting as a proxy of the LTTE.

Q
How do you analyze your recent visit to New Delhi and interactions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Continue reading ‘“The TNA is not LTTE or Agents of the LTTE Promoting a Separate State in Sri Lanka”-M.A.Sumanthiran M.P.’ »

TNA Leadership is Yet to Prove That Its Word Counts in All Matters Concerning the Tamil Community and Polity in Sri Lanka.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

If the Indian position on Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue under the post-poll Narendra Modi leadership has deviated from those of predecessor governments, including the immediate-past Manmohan Singh dispensation, it is here. Or, so would it seem. “The Prime Minister urged all stake-holders in Sri Lanka to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation towards finding a political solution” an Indian official statement said after the visiting TNA delegation had met the host leadership, including PM Modi.

It was the first visit by a TNA delegation, under party chief Sampanthan, after the Modi-led BJP Government had assumed office in Delhi. It was also their first meeting, not only with the Prime Minister but also the new National Security Advisor (NSA), A K Doval. It was also the first meeting that any Sri Lankan delegation has had with NSA Doval. Sri Lankan Government leaders will get to interact with him later in the year. Doval is said to have been slated to address the annual ‘Galle Dialogue’, hosted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.

Continue reading ‘TNA Leadership is Yet to Prove That Its Word Counts in All Matters Concerning the Tamil Community and Polity in Sri Lanka.’ »

Sri Lanka Should Discard Its Absurd Election Laws and Follow Indian Election Laws

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Sri Lanka must be the country with the silliest election laws on the planet. This is a country that got universal suffrage in 1931 just three years after the British public won the same privilege and from that time onward, elections to various levels of government have been a part of life in this country. For more than 60 years governments have changed through elections and democracy has put down firm roots.

One would think that in a country with such a profile, the laws under which elections are held would be among the most rational and practicable in the world. But every time an election comes around, we hear strident cries from elections monitoring NGOs and even some political parties that one party or the other are violating election laws.

What is often meant by ‘violation of election laws’ is not outright violence, intimidation, bribery and the like but the displaying of posters, cut outs, holding processions and the like. TV channels often show elections authorities and the police cutting down banners and removing posters put up by candidates saying they violate elections laws. Many people would have silently wondered how putting up an election poster and cut outs violate election laws when there is an election on.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Should Discard Its Absurd Election Laws and Follow Indian Election Laws’ »

Senior Jaffna District MP Somasundaram Senathirajah(Maavai)to Replace Sampanthan as Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi Leader.

By

Ananth Palakidnar

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian and senior Tamil politician “Mavai” Somasundaram Senathirajah, who is expected to succeed R. Sampanthan, as the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) leader, at the Party’s annual general meeting this week in Vavuniya, speaks to Ceylon Today on the TNA’s recent talks with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Senathirajah also expressed the readiness of the Tamil National Alliance to hold direct talks with the government as far as the chauvinist forces do not mess around in finding a durable solution.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q:
How do you see the Tamil National Alliance’s recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Continue reading ‘Senior Jaffna District MP Somasundaram Senathirajah(Maavai)to Replace Sampanthan as Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi Leader.’ »

Rajapaksa Govt Favourite Subramanian Swamy Wanted Sri Lanka to be a Federated State of India in 2000

The advent of the Modi Government in New Delhi and its UPFA counterpart’s initiatives in Colombo to shore up relations leave much to be desired.

The most visible and much publicised exercise was a seminar in Colombo by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies. The organisers described it as “track two diplomacy.” BJP parliamentarian, Subramanian Swamy, was a key player in the event. Influential sections of the UPFA believed he had strong clout in the BJP Government and could influence policy.

Such a belief led to Swamy being given VVIP treatment on his visits to Colombo. He made a second visit within weeks. This time it was for the seminar organised by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Most regarded him as a voice of the Modi Government.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Govt Favourite Subramanian Swamy Wanted Sri Lanka to be a Federated State of India in 2000’ »

Tamil National Alliance Leader R.Sampanthan has Closed Door Meeting with Tamil Nadu State Leaders of the BJP in Chennai

Three TNA delegation memebers — Mavai Senathirajah, Pon Selvarajah and Selvan Adaikkalanathan — returned to Colombo while others proceeded to Chennai. Adaikkalanathan thereafter returned to Chennai to join the others. Senathirajah, currently General Secretary, is tipped to become leader of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK). They are the principal partner in the TNA and the alliance is recognised officially by the Commissioner of Elections under the ITAK label.

There are two aspirants for the ITAK General Secretary’s post. Vying for the post are Pon Selvarajah and Krishnapillai Thurairajasingham, Deputy Secretary and a member of the Eastern Provincial Council. He was a former MP.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Leader R.Sampanthan has Closed Door Meeting with Tamil Nadu State Leaders of the BJP in Chennai’ »

Manmohan Singh Promises TNA to Inform Narendra Modi About the Way Mahinda Rajapaksa Defaulted on Implementing the 13th Amendment.

A precursor to the TNA meeting with Narendra Modi was significan event of the Tamil National Alliance meeting with former Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh. After arriving in New Delhi on August 21, Sampanthan and his delegation called on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his private residence. Singh declared that he was deeply touched by the TNA’s gesture.

Sampanthan asked the former Premier whether he would grant a big favour to the “TNA and the Tamils of Sri Lanka.” That is by telling his successor Modi how President Rajapaksa promised the implementation of the 13th Amendment, go beyond it and the way things have moved since then. “I have already told him,” replied Singh who added “Now that you have asked, I will meet the Prime Minister again and tell him.”

Continue reading ‘Manmohan Singh Promises TNA to Inform Narendra Modi About the Way Mahinda Rajapaksa Defaulted on Implementing the 13th Amendment.’ »

Will Rajapaksa Regime and Tamil National Alliance Resume Direct Dialogue as Requested by Indian PM Narendra Modi?

Indian Premier Narendra Modi has urged the TNA to begin a direct dialogue with the Government. He was reiterating India’s earlier call that the Government should have a blateral dialogue. India has concurred with the TNA’s position in not taking part in the Parliamentary Select Committee. The earlier request was made in the days after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva adopted the third US-backed resolution to launch an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. India which abstained from voting held the view that a dialogue between the Government and the TNA would have had a salutary effect on Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Will Rajapaksa Regime and Tamil National Alliance Resume Direct Dialogue as Requested by Indian PM Narendra Modi?’ »

Indian PM Narendra Modi Greets TNA Delegation with “Vanakkam”in Tamil with Assurance at end of “ We are 100 Percent with you”.


A few hundred metres away from one of New Delhi’s best known addresses – No 7, Race Course Road – security men stopped a three-vehicle convoy. The occupants were told to alight and board three other vehicles for the rest of their journey. It was to the official residence of the Prime Minister of India. There, with clasped hands Premier Narendra Modi greeted Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan and five of his parliamentary colleagues. He said Vanakkam, the Tamil word for greetings.

As they settled down in their seats, Modi turned to Sampanthan who was next to him and declared in Hindi: “I want to listen to you first.” It was translated by an interpreter. The meeting scheduled for 30 minutes lasted almost an hour. At the end, when Modi used the parting words “we are hundred per cent with you,” it signalled the beginning of a new and perhaps decisive chapter in the relations between Sri Lanka and India. Ties have remained bumpy and taken egregious turns with the previous Congress Government.

However, very clear insights into how the Modi administration will deal with issues are now emerging. Whether the UPFA Government, with its present woeful inadequacies on the foreign policy front could read correctly the different nuances in New Delhi’s diplomatic approaches, remains a critical question. This has been proven by its recent questionable actions to improve Sri Lanka-India relations. Now, the TNA visit to India lays bare plenty more.

Continue reading ‘Indian PM Narendra Modi Greets TNA Delegation with “Vanakkam”in Tamil with Assurance at end of “ We are 100 Percent with you”.’ »

Sarath Silva is Helping Mahinda by Seeking to Divert the “Common Candidate for Regime Change”Focus to that of Constitutional Interpretation.

By

Kalana Senaratne

There was a time, especially during the latter half of his stint as Chief Justice, when one felt that anything was possible with Sarath N. Silva. For a brief moment, even his critics were confused; for some of his decisions began to irk the rulers quite severely. That shrewdest of all contemporary politicians (perhaps after President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister Basil Rajapaksa), is back again.

The seeming thrust of his argument is: that President Rajapaksa cannot run for a 3rd term, that the Constitution prevents him from doing so. Ever since the adoption of the 18th Amendment in September 2010, one had thought that President Rajapaksa can; for the 18th Amendment had eradicated the term-limit barrier. Silva now says, almost 4 years after the 18th Amendment was adopted, that we were wrong.

As explained to the Lankadeepa (17 August) and Daily Mirror (29 August) newspapers, Silva’s legal argument revolves largely around (the now repealed) Article 31(2) of the Constitution.

Continue reading ‘Sarath Silva is Helping Mahinda by Seeking to Divert the “Common Candidate for Regime Change”Focus to that of Constitutional Interpretation.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Has Close Links and Insider Dealings with Top Echelons of the Govt Alleges Ravi Karunanayake

The United National Party is caught up in a fresh dilemma with Sajith Premadasa, who is likely to be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the party soon, proposing to abolish the Leadership Council of the party.

Premadasa has also demanded that 10 members, nominated by him, should be appointed to the Working Committee of the party, simultaneously with his appointment as Deputy Leader of the UNP.

With these two conditions, a serious question arises over the future of Karu Jayasuriya, who is presently the Chairman of the party’s Leadership Council. The Leadership Council is entrusted with the task of handling strategic operation of the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Has Close Links and Insider Dealings with Top Echelons of the Govt Alleges Ravi Karunanayake’ »

Like “Good Jihadists”and “Bad Jihadists” There are “Good Tamil Tigers” and “Bad Tamil Tigers”for the West when it Suits Their Objectives.

By

Jean-Pierre Page

(Contributive Presentation at the Marga Colloquium on “Issues of Truth and Accountability
Narration III-The Last Stage of the War in Sri Lanka” at BMICH Colombo on August 29th 2014)

I would like to share with you a few ideas in relation to the 3rd narrative of the last stage of the war in Sri Lanka.

I will try to make myself as clear as possible!

I don’t believe in this notion that it is the influence of the Tamil Diaspora that determines Washington’s foreign policy and that of its Western allies And I think it is very wrong and dangerous to put all the Tamil Diaspora in one basket.

Most Tamils I know outside this country do not support a separate State. They are not separatists, and they are not Terrorists.

Of course, the Tamil separatist forces outside do have relations with Washington and its allies, but these relations are determined by the national and geostrategic objectives of the US and its allies, as we have seen in Afghanistan, or now in Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine.

For the West, when it suits their objectives, they are good Tamil Tigers and when it doesn’t, they are bad Tamil Tigers, like the good jihadists and bad Jihadists. It all depends on the circumstances. Today, the LTTE has been defeated, but tomorrow it can become useful again!

Continue reading ‘Like “Good Jihadists”and “Bad Jihadists” There are “Good Tamil Tigers” and “Bad Tamil Tigers”for the West when it Suits Their Objectives.’ »

Body of 31 Year Old Woman of Sri Lankan Origin – Amesha Rajapaksa – Found in a Flooded Sydney Creek in Australia


By

Emma Partridge

A woman appeared agitated and concerned as she left the foyer of a Sydney unit block just 12 hours before her body was found in a Sydney creek on Wednesday morning.

Homicide detectives and local police are trying to establish whether Amesha Rajapakse’s death is suspicious after the 31-year-old’s body was found in water behind a set of Westmead unit blocks.

Police said her death was puzzling because of where her body was found but said there were no marks or obvious signs of injury on her body.

“The location she was found at was puzzling; it was hard to get to,” a homicide detective said.
“But we really don’t know one way or the other.”

Building manager Tom Hailey said security footage captured the woman pacing back and forth in the foyer of a building inside Monarco Estate about 7.30pm on Tuesday.
Continue reading ‘Body of 31 Year Old Woman of Sri Lankan Origin – Amesha Rajapaksa – Found in a Flooded Sydney Creek in Australia’ »

Power Struggle Between M.Karunanidhi the Father and M.K.Stalin the Son Escalates in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham.


By

N Sathiya Moorthy

It seems that the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham doesn’t learn from its mistakes. Following their crushing loss in the 2014 elections, party cadres and sympathisers thought things would change. However, it doesn’t appear to be. The party seems determined to continue on this ‘self-destructive’ mode.

Despite drawing a huge blank in the Lok Sabha polls, the DMK still retained its traditional 25 per cent vote-share. Both cadres of the DMK and other parties that had lost out to the ruling AIADMK had hoped for the party to shed its shock and demoralisation, to be able to lead a possible anti-AIADMK alliance for the state assembly polls, due in 2016.

Continue reading ‘Power Struggle Between M.Karunanidhi the Father and M.K.Stalin the Son Escalates in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham.’ »

Colombo International Film Festival: Six Days That Would Change Your World

By

Vangeesa Sumanasekara

It is possible that one may find my title to be exaggerated: this is not the first time that we are hearing the words ‘international film festival’ in a Sri Lankan context. Over the years, we have had many events of this nature where films made by non-Sri Lankans were shown together. True, those words may have been used before for some of those, no doubt important, efforts to bring in those cinephiles and other art enthusiasts together to appreciate the art of cinema. I insist, however, that this is indeed unprecedented, both in quality and in quantity. An international film festival worthy of that name – comparable at least in spirit, if not in deed, for now, to those iconic festivals of that mythical entity called ‘the world cinema’.

The old Marxian distinction between the base and the superstructure, it seems to me, gives us an adequate approach to understand the radical novelty and the unavoidable importance of this first ever Colombo International Film Festival. That this distinction was at the center of the disputes apropos what can be tentatively called ‘Marxist philosophy of art’ makes it all the more suitable to our current purposes.

At its most elementary level, we can say that the base, in classical Marxism, is the invisible, or the deliberately hidden, process of social production upon which the visible sphere of politics, the law and culture, constituting the superstructure, rests. Almost from the moment of its inception, this distinction has been challenged by a wide array of critiques, ranging from intentional misreadings to politically salient questions. If this distinction has generally withered away from political thought today, it is because there is no getting away from the fact that the founding fathers of Marxism remained convinced that economic production is the ultimate – as Engels liked to put it – determining element in history and compared to which all the other factors are, again, ultimately of secondary importance.

Continue reading ‘Colombo International Film Festival: Six Days That Would Change Your World’ »

Memoir Written by LTTE Ex-Child Soldier “Niromi de Zoysa” Being Made into Movie Named “Tigress”

AT FIRST glance, Niromi de Soyza* is just like any other mum you might meet, one who juggles the school run with running a household in an affluent area of North Sydney. But behind this peaceful suburban life lies an extraordinary story of AK-47s, cyanide capsules and death, fighting alongside rebel soldiers in the jungles of Sri Lanka.

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Niromi de Soyza in this month’s Vogue magazine. Source: Supplied

In her previous life, de Soyza was a Tamil Tiger.
Continue reading ‘Memoir Written by LTTE Ex-Child Soldier “Niromi de Zoysa” Being Made into Movie Named “Tigress”’ »

Pope Francis to be First Pope to Visit North: Will Bless Tamil Families Victimised by War at “Our Lady of Madhu” Church.

BY

PAOLO AFFATATO

ROME-In his trip to Sri Lanka, that will take place between the 13th and the 15th of January 2015, before proceeding to the Philippines, Pope Francis will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu and will thus be the first Pope in history to set foot in a territory where most inhabitants are Tamil. Francis chooses to touch on the sore point of the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people that devastated the island for 26 years (1983-2009) and has left deep wounds.

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While we await the publication of the official programme of the trip, the confirmation of Francis’ pilgrimage to Madhu – that appears to be the culmination of the whole visit to ex-Ceylon due to its symbolic value – came from Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo and the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the island. The cardinal, who is a leader for Sinhalese Catholics, decided to visit Madhu, the oldest Shrine on the island, to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption last 15th of August. On that occasion, he stood next to Rayppu Joseph, the bishop of the dioceses of Mannar who had asked the Holy See that the Pope visit Tamil territories, on behalf of numerous priests and lay representatives of the Tamil Catholic community.

From the pulpit of the Shrine, Ranjith made the Papal visit, that was greatly awaited by the pilgrims gathered there, official. Francis, said the cardinal, will celebrate Mass in the Shrine on the 14th of January, where he will meet and bless the many Tamil families who were victims of the war.

Continue reading ‘Pope Francis to be First Pope to Visit North: Will Bless Tamil Families Victimised by War at “Our Lady of Madhu” Church.’ »

Mystery of Sudden Visit by Mahinda Rajapaksa to Houston,USA.

by

Upul Joseph Fernando

Mahinda’s sudden visit to Houston in America has stirred the curiosity of many Sri Lankan watchers of the developing political scene. In January 2011 also Mahinda went on an unscheduled visit to Houston quite suddenly raising a whole host of speculations. To an inquisitive media the government sources at the time disclosed that the President was on a private visit to see his brother Dudley Rajapaksa who was an American citizen living in Houston. Later it transpired Mahinda had been actually visiting former American President George Bush.

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He had advised Mahinda when he met him in 2006 on the sidelines of UN General Assembly Sessions that year, not to trust terrorists under any circumstance and destroy them employing whatever means available to him. He did that successfully as advised by Bush to find him entangled in a controversial international human rights violation conflict with America and the Western powers. Spectre of war crimes relentlessly pursuing him, he met with Bush to complain to him about Obama administration’s incessant attempt to bring human rights violation charges against him.
Continue reading ‘Mystery of Sudden Visit by Mahinda Rajapaksa to Houston,USA.’ »

Chandrika,Ranil,Shirani,Sobitha Thero-Who is the Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa is Afraid of?

by Upul Joseph Fernando

Political analysts are intrigued by what Mahinda is studying with much interest these days. It is, without a doubt, reports submitted to him by his political intelligence sources, in particular about the political leaders who attended Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera’s latest and much publicized meetings. He must be wondering who, among them will come to challenge him for the Presidency. A close study of his probable thought process on this matter will yield interesting results.

Continue reading ‘Chandrika,Ranil,Shirani,Sobitha Thero-Who is the Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa is Afraid of?’ »

“Development Activity in North has Slowed Down Because Provincial Council is not Cooperating” Says Basil Rajapaksa


By
Dharisha Bastians

Observing what he called a ‘slowdown’ of development activities in the north, powerful Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday called on the Northern Provincial Council to cooperate with his Ministry to push the process forward.

Minister Rajapaksa said that his understanding was that the Northern Provincial Council was not very interested in development, because they had more important priorities.

“But my own view is that people’s needs are more important than politicians’ needs. We need to attend to the people’s needs and then they can continue to fight for the things they want,” he added.

His Ministry was eager to cooperate with the Northern Provincial Council to accelerate development, Minister Rajapaksa observed.

“There is a lot we can do together,” he asserted, complaining that so far such cooperation had not been possible.

Continue reading ‘“Development Activity in North has Slowed Down Because Provincial Council is not Cooperating” Says Basil Rajapaksa’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot Contest the next Presidential Election –Ex Chief Justice Sarath Silva


by

Susitha R.Fernando

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While the question whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa could contest the Presidency for the 3rd term has become a hotly debated argument in legal and political circles, former Chief Justice and Constitutional expert, Sarath N. Silva says that President Rajapaksa has no right to contest the next Presidential Election. Describing why the 18th Amendment came into being, Mr. Silva says it is a dishonest amendment and was introduced for the benefit of President Rajapaksa alone.

Excerpts from the interview:

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot Contest the next Presidential Election –Ex Chief Justice Sarath Silva’ »

Tamil National Alliance Back from Talks in New Delhi with Indian PM Modi is Ready to Resume Talks with Sri Lankan Govt.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said today it was ready to resume talks with the Government in search of a lasting solution to the ethnic crisis based on power devolution within a united Sri Lanka.

TNA parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran told a news conference that it did not have a hidden agenda and said it was strongly committed to finding a solution to the political question.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Back from Talks in New Delhi with Indian PM Modi is Ready to Resume Talks with Sri Lankan Govt.’ »

Human Rights Activist Dr.Nimalka Fernando Complains to Fort Police About Poster Campaign Saying she has “Puppies for Sale”

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) activist and Attorney Nimalka Fernando has complained to the Fort police seeking an inquiry against a poster campaign by unknown persons indicating that puppies were to be sold, giving her contact number in the posters.

Ms. Fernando had told police that the posters had emerged outside the Colombo Fort railway station indicating that puppies are to be sold, after displaying two mobile phone numbers – one belonging to Free Media Movement Secretary Sunil Jayasekara and her mobile numbers in the posters.

She told police that a person who identified himself as a policeman attached to the Fort police’s environmental unit telephoned her asking whether there were puppies for sale. She said the policeman told her not to carry out such a poster campaign in a manner that polluted the environment. She had told policeman that neither was she engaging in such a business nor was she involved in such a poster campaign.

Continue reading ‘Human Rights Activist Dr.Nimalka Fernando Complains to Fort Police About Poster Campaign Saying she has “Puppies for Sale”’ »

Duraiappah Sports Stadium in Jaffna to be Renovated and Modernised with Indian Grant of 145 Million Rupees.


The foundation stone of the project to renovate the Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna was laid by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage and High Commissioner of India Y.K. Sinha at a ceremony yesterday (27).

Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda, Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Mayor of Jaffna Yogeswary Patkunarajah, Ministry of Sports Secretary A.M. Jayawickrama, Northern Province Chief Secretary R. Wijialudchumi, Department of Sports Provincial Secretary Sathyaseelan and other senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka participated in the event.

The Duraiappah Stadium, named in honour of a former Mayor of Jaffna, the late Alfred Thambirajah Duraiappah, is being renovated at a cost of Rs. 145 million, and the project is scheduled to be completed by May 2015.

Continue reading ‘Duraiappah Sports Stadium in Jaffna to be Renovated and Modernised with Indian Grant of 145 Million Rupees.’ »

First Phase of Atchuvely Industrial Estate Opened in Jaffna With Indian Aid Will have 22 Industrial Units in 25 Acres of Land.

A post-war milestone was achieved yesterday when the first investment zone in the north, the Atchchuvely Industrial Estate, was opened by Economic Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

The Industrial Estate is expected to attract potential investors, from within and outside Sri Lanka, by providing suitable infrastructure and amenities. The main focus will be setting up eight ventures in the zone, which have been selected from 61 applicants.

Continue reading ‘First Phase of Atchuvely Industrial Estate Opened in Jaffna With Indian Aid Will have 22 Industrial Units in 25 Acres of Land.’ »

How Dr.Subramanian Swamy Deluded the Rajapaksa Regime into Being Complacent over Modi Govt and the TNA

By
Dharisha Bastians

Subramanian Swamy is the new celebrity in Sri Lanka.

pic courtesy of: Ada Derana

pic courtesy of: Ada Derana

In the capital, he travels in tinted jeeps with a security detail, presumably because he has been a vocal critic of the LTTE. Swamy is mobbed by reporters eager to hear his views on Indo-Lanka relations and the Tamil issue. He is afforded lengthy television and print interviews, in which he never minces his words. He is vociferously anti-Tamil Nadu and Tamil diaspora, purports to be an expert on the Narendra Modi Government’s positions on the Sri Lankan issue and using silky tones, criticises the Tamil National Alliance and its continuing struggle for maximum devolution and a permanent political solution to the ethnic issue. Naturally, everything he says is music to the Sri Lankan Government’s ears.

The election of Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) strongman Narendra Modi in India was met with jubilation in Government circles in Colombo. The BJP was so antithetical to the Congress Party in ideology and policy that the Rajapaksa Government believed its relations with India – faltering over the past few years under the Manmohan Singh administration – would finally turn a corner. It was perhaps prematurely concluded that the Modi Government’s heartbeat would resonate with the Rajapaksa administration in Colombo: The former Gujarat Chief Minister was not only a strong nationalist, but a political leader who prized development and economic growth above all else.

Continue reading ‘How Dr.Subramanian Swamy Deluded the Rajapaksa Regime into Being Complacent over Modi Govt and the TNA’ »

Politically Ambitious Sajith Premadasa Must First Learn to be Grateful Towards his Father’s Loyalists Ranil and Karu.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

The faith of South Asian people in dynastic rule is astounding considering all the braggadocio about democratic traditions. There have been the odd ‘outsider’ of course but by and large the political stories of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and as of late the Maldives have been about fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters. It’s not a two generation thing either, for there are grandparents and grandchildren as well.

And it’s not just head of state we are talking about. Dynastic aspiration is something prevalent across the board and at all levels. We see it in local government bodies, provincial elections and even within political parties. It can’t be the political fascination of the powerful or those who crave power. Sure, they tend to have lots of money or draw from moneyed backers and this helps secure votes, but that’s exactly the point – unlike monarchies where there’s no-sweat succession, here you have to be voted in. Well, it looks like the general public is not averse to dynasty.

Continue reading ‘Politically Ambitious Sajith Premadasa Must First Learn to be Grateful Towards his Father’s Loyalists Ranil and Karu.’ »

Revival of Atchuvely Industrial Estate in Jaffna with Rs 100 million Indian aid Envisages 2000 direct and 8000 indirect jobs.

By
Meera Srinivasan

After over two decades of remaining shut over Sri Lanka’s civil war, a once-thriving industrial zone near Jaffna is abuzz with activity yet again.

The Atchchuvely Industrial Estate, which India has helped revive with a Rs.10 crore investment, seems to have raised expectations among locals who have returned to their village after being dislocated multiple times during the war.

Continue reading ‘Revival of Atchuvely Industrial Estate in Jaffna with Rs 100 million Indian aid Envisages 2000 direct and 8000 indirect jobs.’ »

Hired Thugs of Govt With Firearms Travelling in Security Vehicles of UPFA Politicos Destroying Opposition Party Offices and Spreading Terror in Monaragala District

BY

RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday demanded IGP N.K. Illangakoon to act promptly and disarm hoodlums deployed by the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), and institute legal action against those goons, presently running amok and threatening the conduct of a free and fair election in Uva.

The government is deploying thugs to create a reign of terror in the Moneragala District, the JVP claimed yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Hired Thugs of Govt With Firearms Travelling in Security Vehicles of UPFA Politicos Destroying Opposition Party Offices and Spreading Terror in Monaragala District’ »

India Under Prime Minister Modi Finds New Confidence to Provide Leadership to Smaller Nations of South Asia.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

After visualising India as the ‘net-provider’ of security in and for South Asia, as then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had mentioned, the nation may now face the dilemma of defining and designing it to the satisfaction of its neighbours. It’s not without reason, cause or worry, either.

The expectations from individual South Asian nations from India in matters of strategic security and accompanying politico-diplomatic backing are different. They are at times contradictory and self-defeating, too. They may also be different from India’s perception of their requirements and its own ability in turn – not to mention expectations in return.

Afghanistan is a case in point. More than possibly Afghanistan per se, it’s the US that looked like wanting India to take up or at least share the security responsibilities in that country after the withdrawal of American troops. After decades of propping up Islamabad, the US does not trust the Pakistani neighbour of Afghanistan, nor does Afghanistan trusts Pakistan. But Pakistan does not trust India, either.

Continue reading ‘India Under Prime Minister Modi Finds New Confidence to Provide Leadership to Smaller Nations of South Asia.’ »

How Valid are the Attacks Launched by Treasury Secretary PB Jayasundara and Foreign Minister GL Peiris Against Non-Govrnmental Organizations?

BY

Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

The pot does sometimes call the kettle black. In this peculiar case against non-governmental organizations (NGOs) it has something that is more deep and debatable.

Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. P.B. Jayasundara delivering the keynote address at the recently concluded 2014 Defence Seminar on 18 August to delegates and defence attaches of 66 countries noted that the operation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in non-regulated environments has become a threat to financial management, inclusive development and law and order itself.

President of International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination in Sri Lanka, Dr. Nimalka Fernando questioned the moral authority of Dr. Jayasundara to pass judgment on NGOs when he remains in his present position after being found guilty by the Supreme Court of mismanaging State resources.

Continue reading ‘How Valid are the Attacks Launched by Treasury Secretary PB Jayasundara and Foreign Minister GL Peiris Against Non-Govrnmental Organizations?’ »

Indian PM Modi Advises Tamil National Alliance to Work with Other Minority Groups Such as Muslims and Indian Origin Tamils.

By

Meera Srinivasan

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought India’s help in the return of Sri Lankan refugees from India.

“There are over one lakh refugees in Tamil Nadu living in 115 camps. We have requested the Indian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to release their [refugees’] land in the north which has been taken over by the Army,” said senior TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, who was part of the TNA delegation that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi recently.

The population of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province declined considerably after the war and the return of refugees was crucial, he said. “They have to come back and be resettled in their own lands with secure livelihoods.”

Continue reading ‘Indian PM Modi Advises Tamil National Alliance to Work with Other Minority Groups Such as Muslims and Indian Origin Tamils.’ »

Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization led by DMK chief Karunanidhi Wants UN to Forbid Mahinda Rajapaksa or his Representative Addressing General Asssembly in New York

CHENNAI: The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (Teso), headed by DMK chief M Karunanidhi, on Tuesday lauded the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s efforts to find a political solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and urged the Centre to expedite steps in that direction.

“It’s heartening to know that the Modi government has taken an interest in the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. We urge the Centre to find a political solution according to the wishes of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” a resolution passed at a meeting of Teso here said, referring to Modi’s recent meeting with Sri Lankan Tamil MPs.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization led by DMK chief Karunanidhi Wants UN to Forbid Mahinda Rajapaksa or his Representative Addressing General Asssembly in New York’ »

Demons of the 18th Amendment are devouring body and soul of Sri Lanka

By

Vishwamithra 1984

“Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don’t let them take you ALIVE.”
~Sid Vicious

Chaos, they say, is order undeciphered. Such undeciphered order is what is prevalent in Sri Lanka. All attempts by any quarter to decipher that disorderly ‘order’ is being met by extreme measures. And these measures could be discerned against the harsh realities of self-imposed censorship, intimidation of independent-minded journalists and free-expressing academics, stuffing any and all worthwhile jobs with blood relatives who have proven to be absolute nincompoops and imbeciles and distorting and camouflaging truths about the economy, war-victory and any and all sundry achievements.

From the impeachment of the then Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to the harassment of attorney Upul Jayasuriya, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and the alleged assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga, disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and the assault on Upali Tennekoon, Poddala Jayantha and the editorial staff of the Jaffna-based ‘Uthayan’ newspaper, tell a very sordid story of sinister hands at work with diabolical aims in mind.

Every dictatorship wants to have control over its subject population. In ancient Rome they restricted knowledge and information but gave entertainment, bread and circuses to the populace. They limited education and they censored any means of self-expression. This is a pattern that repeats itself in every dictatorship, throughout history.

Continue reading ‘Demons of the 18th Amendment are devouring body and soul of Sri Lanka’ »

Indian Religious Conclave Passes Resolution that Shirdi Sai Baba Must Not be Worshipped as a Deity Because he was Neither God nor Guru.

PTI- A two-day-long Dharma Sansad (religious conclave) convened by the Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati of Dwarka Peeth on Monday passed a resolution that Sai Baba, the 19th century saint of Shirdi, should not be worshipped as a deity by the followers of “Sanatan Dharma”.

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“Kashi Vidvat Parishad has taken a decision that Sai Baba was neither a god nor a guru, therefore he cannot be worshipped,” Rajesh Joshi, the media in-charge for the Dharma Sansad, which was held in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district, told PTI.

Continue reading ‘Indian Religious Conclave Passes Resolution that Shirdi Sai Baba Must Not be Worshipped as a Deity Because he was Neither God nor Guru.’ »

“TNA has Done Nothing for the People in the past Year Since Assuming Charge of Northern Provincial Council”-Douglas Devananda.

By

Meera Srinivasan

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on devolution of political rights to Tamils is welcome, a solution has to come ultimately from within Sri Lanka, Tamil politician and Cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda said here on Monday.

He was referring to Mr. Modi’s statement at a recent meeting with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders in New Delhi that India would continue to engage with Sri Lanka for full implementation of the 13th Amendment.

Following the meeting, Mr. Devananda, whose Eelam People’s Democratic Party is aligned with the ruling coalition that President Mahinda Rajapaksa leads, wrote to Mr. Modi, thanking him for his emphasis on the 13th Amendment.

Continue reading ‘“TNA has Done Nothing for the People in the past Year Since Assuming Charge of Northern Provincial Council”-Douglas Devananda.’ »

South Asia Including Sri Lanka Resents Nations who “Sinned”in Iraq and Afghanistan Throwing the UNHRC Book at them.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

The West has lately been miffed that the Sri Lankan Government should be resisting the UNHRC probe just for the sake of it. Worse critics, some even nearer home, attribute it to apprehensions of personal vilification at the hands of the probe, and political and personal consequences for some.

The truth is far from it. It is not only about Sri Lanka. The whole of South Asia in particular and the Third World in general has a socio-cultural civilisation dating back to centuries prior to western societies and democracies came into being. Maybe not as ‘modern’ in concept and practice, they have had democratic values of a kind ingrained in the DNA of the rulers, who were hereditary and the people, who came to be dubbed ‘subjects’ in the colonial lingo.

The DNA-coded perceptions for the ruling class was based on ‘sin’ that travelled with them in this birth and the next, and carrying on to generations of the kind. The rulers were thus told not to sow bad seeds in this birth and leave behind a worse crop for generations to reap. The family, and not the individual, being at the nucleus of societal existence, it helped. It worked.

There were bad apples there too – just as there are dictators even under the modern democratic scheme. If the bygone royalty ‘fooled’ the subjects, any working and more successful democracy of the world today is systemised at being a ‘guided democracy’. In a way, ‘market capitalism’ and the interests of the capitalists from among them is at the centre of all such democracies. Not the people, who are just given a choice between two political forces – invariably not more.

Continue reading ‘South Asia Including Sri Lanka Resents Nations who “Sinned”in Iraq and Afghanistan Throwing the UNHRC Book at them.’ »

Present Constitution and Executive Presidency are NOT the Root Causes of all the Problems we face Today – Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

By

Niranjala Ariyawansha

JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake in an interview with Ceylon Today,giving reasons for the exit of former JVP firebrand Wimal Weerawansa from the party said, “In Weerawansa’s case, he gave party internal information to the enemy, and did not maintain the minimal discipline needed by a party stalwart and disregarded party decisions. Therefore, we had to take disciplinary action against him and he left the party”.

Here are excerpts of the interview;

Q.
Uva Provincial Council election is the last election before the Presidential election. The result of the election has great impact on the Presidential poll. How will the election affect the JVP?

Rajapaksa regime considers this election the precursor for the Presidential election scheduled to be held at the beginning of the next year. The JVP election front has experienced a setback but we were able to revive and direct the party towards a vote base increase in our own way at the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. We hope to further improve those performances at the next election. The SLFP and UNP have ruled this country for 66 years. Senanayaka family, Bandaranaike family, Rajapaksa & Wickramasinghe family and Rajapaksa family ruled the country for 63 years. In our election propaganda campaign, we are educating people of Uva Province that we need to change the path of the country. We hold pocket meetings and conduct door to door canvassing.

Continue reading ‘Present Constitution and Executive Presidency are NOT the Root Causes of all the Problems we face Today – Anura Kumara Dissanayake.’ »

Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva says he will go to Courts to Prevent Elections Commissioner Holding Presidential Polls Before January 2016.

By

Indika Sri Aravinda

Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva said today there were provisions to take legal action against the Elections Commissioner if he makes arrangements to hold the presidential election before November 19, 2016.

He said if this was to happen he would intervene by petitioning the Supreme Court against the Elections Commissioner.

Mr. Silva said Section 31. 2 of the Constitution clearly states that a President who is elected to office on two successive occasions was disqualified from contesting again in a presidential election but this had been changed by 18th Amendment passed in September 2010.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva says he will go to Courts to Prevent Elections Commissioner Holding Presidential Polls Before January 2016.’ »

Richard Attenborough British Actor Turned Film Maker who Directed Oscar Winning”Gandhi” Dies at 90

BY

BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE

Richard Attenborough, a distinguished stage and film actor in Britain who reinvented himself to become the internationally admired director of the epic “Gandhi” and other films, died on Sunday. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his son, Michael, according to the BBC.

Mahatma Gandhi travels across India ♫ in Gandhi (1982)

Until the early 1960s, Mr. Attenborough was a familiar actor in Britain but little known in the United States. In London he was the original detective in Agatha Christie’s play “The Mousetrap.” On the British screen, he made an early mark as the sociopath Pinkie Brown in an adaptation of Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock” (1947).

But it was not until he appeared with his friend Steve McQueen and a sterling ensemble cast in the 1963 war film “The Great Escape,” his first Hollywood feature, that he found a trans-Atlantic audience. His role, as a British officer masterminding an escape plan from a German prisoner-of-war camp, was integral to one of the most revered and enjoyable of all World War II films.

Richard Attenborough (August 29, 1923-August 24, 2014)

Richard Attenborough (August 29, 1923-August 24, 2014)

That performance established him in Hollywood and paved the way for a series of highly visible roles. He was the alcoholic navigator alongside James Stewart’s pilot in “The Flight of the Phoenix” (1965), a survival story about a plane crash in the desert. He won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for best supporting actor: first in “The Sand Pebbles” (1966), also starring McQueen, set during China’s civil war in the 1920s, and then in the whimsical “Doctor Dolittle” (1967), playing Albert Blossom, a circus owner, alongside Rex Harrison as the veterinarian who talks to animals. In “The Chess Players” (1977), by the renowned Indian director Satyajit Ray, he was a British general in 19th-century India.

Years later Mr. Attenborough became known to a new generation of filmgoers as the wealthy head of a genetic engineering company whose cloned dinosaurs run amok in Steven Spielberg’s box office hit “Jurassic Park.”

Continue reading ‘Richard Attenborough British Actor Turned Film Maker who Directed Oscar Winning”Gandhi” Dies at 90’ »

11 Opposition Party Offices Attacked in 24 Hours as Violence Intensifies in Uva with UPFA Candidates Transporting Goons into Province.

By

Rathindra Kuruwita

Eleven election offices of the Opposition Political Parties, including four of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), were attacked on Saturday night and early yesterday in the Moneragala District. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said Saturday had been one of the most tense days in the recent election campaign and supporters of a leading United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate were behind the attacks.

“JVP offices in Obbegoda, Mariyarawa and Weliyaya, in Moneragala and Mayuragama, in Kataragama, have been attacked. Meanwhile, seven offices of other Opposition Parties have also been attacked.

JVP candidate for the Moneragala District, Anura Kumara Wickremasinghe has said that a leading UPFA candidate was behind the attack,” said CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon.

Continue reading ‘11 Opposition Party Offices Attacked in 24 Hours as Violence Intensifies in Uva with UPFA Candidates Transporting Goons into Province.’ »

UNP,JVP Opposition Party Offices Attacked in Uva Province as Election Campaign Related Violence Escalates.

BY

Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

In the run up to the 20 September Uva Provincial Council polls, incidents of violence and violation of election laws have rapidly increased in the Province, police and election monitors claim.

The Network for Election Monitoring – Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR), Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said 57 incidents were reported up to yesterday.

Of a total of 57 incidents reported since the nominations date, CaFFE reported six acts of violence (four from Badulla District and two from Moneragala District), while PAFFREL reported eight such incidents out of 45 complaints, and the NEM-IHR recorded nine violent incidents from 113 election law violations.

Continue reading ‘UNP,JVP Opposition Party Offices Attacked in Uva Province as Election Campaign Related Violence Escalates.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Angry Over TNA Meeting Indian PM Modi; Conveys Displeasure to Sampanthan Through Emissary.

Last Saturday, the President had been up in Nuwara Eliya for the 125th anniversary of the Golf Club. There he had wowed members, society ladies, caddies and cooks alike and when asked to swing a wooden driver to hit the golf ball across the range, he turned to old friend and one time Nuwara Eliya Golf Club President Herman Gunaratne and said with a chuckle, “Madamulaney mata mona golf-da”. (What golf for a person from Medamulana). He didn’t do too badly with the drive either, despite the national dress he was attired in.

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Yet, Rajapaksa by Thursday was livid at the news that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan and five TNA parliamentarians were headed for New Delhi the next day. Other members of the delegation were Mavai Senathirajah, M.A. Sumanthiran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Suresh Premachandran and Pon Selvarajah. Conspicuous by his absence was Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

On Friday, the delegation met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in New Delhi that “Sushma Swaraj stressed on the need for a political solution that addresses substantially the aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.”

The TNA delegation had a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday where a whole range of issues including the fuller implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was discussed.

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Fuller details of the talks were not immediately available. Before his departure, Sampanthan told the Sunday Times, “I don’t want to be discourteous to the Indian Prime Minister by saying what we want to talk. There will be a wide range of issues we are concerned about. We want to live within a united, undivided Sri Lanka.”

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Angry Over TNA Meeting Indian PM Modi; Conveys Displeasure to Sampanthan Through Emissary.’ »

Ex-CJ Sarath Silva who Enabled Mahinda to Become President by Kicking out Chandrika is now Blocking a Third Term for Rajapaksa

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Rtd. Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva

Rtd. Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva

Last week the Irida Lankadeepa published an interview with the former Chief Justice Sarath Silva where he had argued that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was disqualified from contesting a third time. It was a ruling given by Silva in 2005 that sent Chandrika Kumaratunga home one year before she thought she was due to relinquish office. This writer has always held that Silva ranks as one of the heroes who pulled this nation out of the abyss because he sent CBK packing one year early. If not for him, Mahinda would not have become president, Gota would not have become defence secretary, Sarath Fonseka would not have become army commander, the war machine would not have been set up, Prabhakaran would have been still wiping his feet on us, Sri Lanka would have been a broken, defeated nation, the roads would not have been carpeted, Colombo wouldn’t be looking like what it is today, and the Sinhalese would have had no self respect.

Indeed Silva is a national hero because he made all that has been achieved possible with one of the most convoluted and diabolically clever rulings that has ever been delivered by our Supreme Court. CBK is probably still at a loss to understand how she was kicked out one year early! We will dwell on that nation-saving ruling later in this column but it now appears that the former CJ is formulating theory to kick out Mahinda Rajapaksa as well. Given the fact that it is no lesser a person than Sarath Silva who claims that MR is disqualified from contesting a third time, everybody should stand up and take notice. We would like to examine below some of the arguments that Silva he has put forward in his Irida Lankadeepa interview.

Continue reading ‘Ex-CJ Sarath Silva who Enabled Mahinda to Become President by Kicking out Chandrika is now Blocking a Third Term for Rajapaksa’ »

FARA Unit of US Justice Dept to Probe Information About Deals Signed with US Lobby/PR firms by Sri Lankan MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena

Revelations in the Sunday Times in the past two weeks have prompted a review of mandatory information forwarded to the US Department of Justice by public relations (PR) and lobbying firms assigned by Sri Lanka using vast sums of public money.

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The FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) Unit of the US Justice Department said it would conduct a re-scrutiny. Timothy Pugh of the Unit functioning under the Attorney General’s Department said we “will review the information” forwarded by the registrants.

The move stems from the declarations made by three PR/lobbying agencies, joined by a fourth just two weeks ago. Whilst disclosing that their client was Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring MP for the External Affairs Ministry (EAM), the address has been given as 9/2 Dudley Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 8. As exclusively revealed in these columns, there has never been a Government office at this address. It is now occupied by the Korean International Corporation Agency (KOICA). Earlier, the office of Cosmos Aviation, a helicopter fleet operator where Vass Gunawardena is a director, was located in the premises.

In terms of the FARA, any person who wilfully violates provisions in any registration statement is liable, when proved, for a fine of not more than US$ 10,000 or imprisonment for more than five years. For some offences, the punishment is not more than $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

It came to light this week that another PR/lobbying agency Vigilant Worldwide Communications, 85-1466 Road, Rego Park, New York 11375 has been hired for the “Office of the Monitoring MP for Ministry of External Affairs.” Dated July 31, the FARA declaration says this firm has been engaged for six months at a cost of $5,000 a month or a total $ 30,000 dollars.

Continue reading ‘FARA Unit of US Justice Dept to Probe Information About Deals Signed with US Lobby/PR firms by Sri Lankan MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena’ »

CV Wigneswaran Seeks Treasury Approval to set up a “Chief Ministers Fund”for Northern Provincial Council Despite Governor Chandrasiri’s Objection.

By

Chris Kamalendran

The Northern Provincial Council has sought Treasury approval to operate a ‘Chief Minister’s Fund’ despite objections by the Governor, a spokesman for the Chief Minister’s office said. The Council had granted approval for the establishment of the fund which hopes to attract aid from foreign donors and well-wishers. Similar funds have been set up in three provincial councils — the Southern, Sabaragamuwa and the Uva PCs.

The proposal was sent for endorsement by the Governor, Major General (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri, but he turned it down on the basis that a ‘Governor’s Fund’ was already in operation, the Chief Minister’s Coordinating Secretary M. Manmadaraja said. “Though we sent the request to the Governor it was not mandatory to get his approval. The Chief Minister has now sent the request to the Treasury to operate the fund,” he said.

Continue reading ‘CV Wigneswaran Seeks Treasury Approval to set up a “Chief Ministers Fund”for Northern Provincial Council Despite Governor Chandrasiri’s Objection.’ »

Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne Rejects Proposal by Subramanian Swamy for Indian Fishermen to Fish in Lankan Waters for Three Years by Permit.

By

S. Rubatheesan

Fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratna yesterday rejected a call to allow Indian fishermen to fish in Sri Lankan waters on a permit system for three years.

He was responding to a call by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader Subramanian Swamy who made the suggestion at a seminar organised by the Defence Ministry in Colombo this week.

“There is no possibility of agreeing to such a request. Nobody can take an arbitrary decision on this,” Dr Senaratne said. Dr. Swamy said Indian fishermen were unable to catch good fish due to reckless fishing on the Indian side. “On the Gulf of Mannar, our quality fish and shrimps have been fished out. Now, the good export value fish and shrimp are on the Sri Lankan side. We have to sit down with Sri Lanka and say give us three years to repopulate our side of the ocean. In between you give us some permits to fish on your side,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne Rejects Proposal by Subramanian Swamy for Indian Fishermen to Fish in Lankan Waters for Three Years by Permit.’ »

Tamil National Alliance Committed Cardinal Mistake of Backing US Sponsored Resolution at UNHRC in Geneva.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

Despite claims to the contrary by the SLFP leader of the ruling UPFA the controversy over the need and demand for abolishing/down-sizing Executive Presidency has refused to die. The latest to join issue, if it could be dubbed so, are two partners in the UPFA, as has been the case in the recent past.

The traditional Left ally in the Government, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader and Minister Dinesh Gunawardane has said in a media interview that Parliament does not have adequate powers to participate in governance. He should know. After all, he is the Chief Government Whip in Parliament.

The National Freedom Front (NFF) of Minister Wimal Weerawansa has gone a step further. Not stopping with the abolition of the Executive Presidency, It wants a new Constitution, to boot. Furthermore, it has claimed a signed agreement with the SLFP leadership. NFF leaders have cited senior SLFP ministers, including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa as signatories to the pact. The SLFP has neither denied, nor clarified the NFF claims.

If such was the case, what stops the Government from talking to the TNA? After all, none of the demands, including those from the UNP Opposition, on the abolition of the Executive Presidency, has been characterised as the national problem. The ethnic issue alone has been, instead.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Committed Cardinal Mistake of Backing US Sponsored Resolution at UNHRC in Geneva.’ »

Anti-Sri Lanka Protests in Tamil Nadu Organized by Cinema Director Seeman who has made his films on LTTE drug Money – Subramanian Swamy

By

Arthur Wamanan

Chairman of the Bharathiya Janatha Party Committee on Strategic Action and former Union Minister of the Government of India Dr. Subramanian Swamy is confident that Tamil Nadu would soften its stance on Sri Lanka with regard to its concerns on human rights issues.

Speaking to The Nation during the Defense Seminar held in Colombo last week, Dr. Swamy pointed out that the protests against Sri Lanka, and his visit to the seminar, were spearheaded by a minuscule number of people. “Nobody takes them seriously and it is essentially organized by a cinema director who has made all his films on LTTE drug money. He is kind of a financial orphan. His name is Seeman,” he said.

“They are against any normalcy in the relations between Sri Lanka and India. But normalcy is coming. It’s already here and in a few months India and Sri Lanka will become absolutely good friends, supporting each other,” Dr. Swamy added.

Continue reading ‘Anti-Sri Lanka Protests in Tamil Nadu Organized by Cinema Director Seeman who has made his films on LTTE drug Money – Subramanian Swamy’ »

Indian PM Narendra Modi Tells TNA Delegation led by R.sampanthan that he wants to meet Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran.

By
Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yesterday urged all Sri Lankan stakeholders to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, towards finding a political solution that builds upon the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

The Prime Minister met the six-member TNA delegation, led by MP R. Sampanthan, yesterday afternoon at his office.

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The PM stressed the need for a political solution that addresses the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Indian PM Narendra Modi Tells TNA Delegation led by R.sampanthan that he wants to meet Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran.’ »

Indian PM Modi Tells TNA that ALL Stakeholders Must Engage Constructively to Find Political Solution Built Upon the 13th Amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged Sri Lanka to ensure “equality, dignity, justice and self-respect” for its Tamil minority.

Modi made the appeal when a six-member delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, called on him.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Delegation meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Aug 23, 2014-pic: courtesy of Australian Tamil Congress

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Delegation meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Aug 23, 2014-pic: courtesy of Australian Tamil Congress

“The prime minister stressed the need for a political solution that addresses the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka,” an official statement said.
Continue reading ‘Indian PM Modi Tells TNA that ALL Stakeholders Must Engage Constructively to Find Political Solution Built Upon the 13th Amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution’ »

The Fishermen of Mannar are now far Ahead of the Farmers in their Journey to Sustainability

by
Thulasi Muttulingam

Time and tide, they say, wait for no man. Now though, through the intervention of an infrastructure project funded by the European Union to help fishermen, tides have been taken out of the equation.

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The Palk bay, running along the coast of Mannar, is known to many for various reasons, not the least of which is the controversial Sethusamudram project.
Continue reading ‘The Fishermen of Mannar are now far Ahead of the Farmers in their Journey to Sustainability’ »

“Islamic Terrorism” Poses Threat to Sri Lanka Reiterates Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

By

P K Balachandran

COLOMBO: In a paper published in the latest issue of the US Defence Department’s journal “Prism”, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has reiterated his belief that Islamic terrorism poses a threat to the island nation.

Since the LTTE’s defeat, some of the Muslim groups in Lanka have begun to engage in activities that go “far beyond self-protection”, he said in the journal brought out by the Center for Complex Operations (CCO).

“There is information that some of these groups have even tried to link up with global Islamic terrorist organisations. This is a situation that requires careful monitoring,” Gotabaya said. “Some Islamic groups in Lanka have started to establish ties with LTTE-linked agents to create further problems,” he further said.

Continue reading ‘“Islamic Terrorism” Poses Threat to Sri Lanka Reiterates Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.’ »

India Tells Visiting TNA Delegation that the “Way Forward”for Sri Lanks Including Tamils is Within Framework of Indo-Lanka Accord.

By

Devirupa Mitra

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told a visiting delegation of Sri Lankan Tamil Members of Parliament on Friday that New Delhi continues to look at the 13th amendment as the framework for a political solution in the island nation.

This was the first engagement of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with the new dispensation in New Delhi, though their first interlocutor was an old acquaintance. Swaraj had met with the visiting delegation members in her earlier avatar as the Leader of Opposition, when she led a parliamentary group to the island nation in 2012.

Giving the details of the meeting, spokesperson in the External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said the 6-member delegation gave a presentation in fairly detailed manner on what they perceive as current situation in Sri Lanka in terms of political environment and their engagement or otherwise with the Sri Lanka government.

Continue reading ‘India Tells Visiting TNA Delegation that the “Way Forward”for Sri Lanks Including Tamils is Within Framework of Indo-Lanka Accord.’ »

Gen.Sarath Fonseka has no Faith in Project to Achieve Consensus on A Common Presidential Candidate to Contest Mahinda Rajapaksa.


By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Democratic Party Leader and former Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka insists that he has no faith in coalitions meant to achieve short term projects such as consensus on a common presidential candidate to face incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the next presidential election.

Asked to comment on a recent statement attributed to Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) regarding the organisation decision to field a common candidate to pave the way for the abolition of the executive presidency, Gen. Fonseka said that such a decision taken at a gathering of 100 to 150 persons in Colombo would be irrelevant as far as the electorate was concerned.

Continue reading ‘Gen.Sarath Fonseka has no Faith in Project to Achieve Consensus on A Common Presidential Candidate to Contest Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

India Reiterates Commitment to “Substantially Addressing Aspirations of Tamil Community for Equality, Dignity, Justice and Self-Respect Within United Sri Lanka”

India was keen on engaging with the Sri Lankan government and all political parties to help with the ongoing reconciliation process in the island nation.

TNA delegation in New Delhi-Aug 22, 2014

TNA delegation in New Delhi-Aug 22, 2014

This was conveyed to a visiting Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday, signalling broad continuity of the Sri Lankan policy adopted by the United Progressive Alliance government. External Affairs Ministry spokesman said the Minister stressed the need for a political solution that “addresses substantially the aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka for equality, dignity, justice and self respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.”

Continue reading ‘India Reiterates Commitment to “Substantially Addressing Aspirations of Tamil Community for Equality, Dignity, Justice and Self-Respect Within United Sri Lanka”’ »

Northern Chief Secretary Wijeyaluckshmi Ramesh Talks about Problems with TNA Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran.

by

J. Yogaraj

Sometimes those who are elected by the people forget their basic obligations. When you take things personally, you may not think about the public service. Most politicians face two major challenges.

1. Winning the election, 2. Keeping the promises given in the election manifesto.

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province is struggling with the second challenge due to his personal attitude and the influence of the TNA politicians.

If there is a will there is a way. But for some Tamil politicians it works the other way. There is a way, but there is no will. Recently, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, made a blunder ordering out the Chief Secretary.

This has gone to Court and the Court taught a lesson to CV stating that the Chief Minister does not have the authority to order a Chief Secretary. But the Chief Minister may request the Chief Secretary and the staff to coordinate their tasks in fulfilling their duties by the public.

After this, though there is no open conflict, we see there is a underlying lapse and slow moving process in the provincial administration.

We contacted Chief Secretary Wijeyaluckshmi Ramesh and had a brief interview to get a clear picture of the situation.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Secretary Wijeyaluckshmi Ramesh Talks about Problems with TNA Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran.’ »

“Tamils and Muslims will never Support a Buddhist Clergyman no Matter how Honest and Genuine he is” –Suresh Premachandran

By

Chamitha Kuruppu

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) claims the Opposition is still not prepared to put forward a common presidential candidate, despite speculation.

TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran asserted that although a common presidential candidate will be the only way out of the present situation, there is lack of seriousness in the talks about the matter.

He added that a member of the Buddhist clergy will not be able to secure votes of all communities. “The present situation in the country is such that Tamils and Muslims will never support a Buddhist clergyman no matter how honest and genuine is.”

Following are excerpts from the interview:

Continue reading ‘“Tamils and Muslims will never Support a Buddhist Clergyman no Matter how Honest and Genuine he is” –Suresh Premachandran’ »

U.R. Ananthamurthy: Greatest Story Teller of Modern Kannada Literature.

By

SHIV VISVANATHAN

Often I feel angry with death and the Gods. They take away the best in a way that leaves me inconsolable. I feel helpless not just because of the pain of missing them but because my world shrinks, my map of friendship collapses into empty outlines. This happened when my friend the philosopher Ramu Gandhi died. I felt the same way when the great chemist C.V. Seshadri disappeared into the sea.

U.R. Ananthamurthy

U.R. Ananthamurthy

I felt completely broken when U.R. Ananthamurthy passed away on Friday evening. It was as if a cosmos had collapsed, a way of life had disappeared. It was not the achievements of the man as a writer and a public intellectual, but the man himself as an achievement that mattered.

U.R. died fighting till the end. He had won most of the awards one could dream of. But it was not a curriculum vitae, a career as a shopping list that captures him but the fact that his autobiography could also be the sociology of the intellectual at his best.

Continue reading ‘U.R. Ananthamurthy: Greatest Story Teller of Modern Kannada Literature.’ »

Kannada Writer and Indian Jnanpith Award Winner U.R.Ananthamurthy Passes Away in Bangalore Hospital at 82 Years of age.

By

MURALIDHARA KHAJANE& AFSHAN YASMEEN

Kannada writer and one of the most acclaimed public intellectuals in the country, U.R. Ananthamurthy passed away at a private hospital here on Friday. He was 82.

Dr. Ananthamurthy, a Jnanpith award winner, had a kidney ailment and had been on dialysis for a long time. He was put on ventilator on Thursday night.

Manipal Hospital director H. Sudarshan Ballal said Dr. Ananthamurthy’s condition worsened on Thursday night. “There was a sudden drop in his blood pressure around 6.30 p.m. on Friday following which his heart stopped functioning. Despite efforts by doctors to resuscitate him, he could not be revived,” he said.

Long illness had never come in the way of Dr. Ananthamurthy’s continued writing, critical thinking and public engagement. He had always been a critic of Hindutva politics and had incurred the wrath of the supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election for stating that he would not wish to live in a country with Mr. Modi at the helm. He was deeply influenced by Ram Manohar Lohia’s political movement.

Continue reading ‘Kannada Writer and Indian Jnanpith Award Winner U.R.Ananthamurthy Passes Away in Bangalore Hospital at 82 Years of age.’ »

65 Pro-LTTE Tamil Nationalist Organizations Oppose Release of Tamil Films”Puli Paarvai” and “Kaththi” in Tamil Nadu.

By SRUTHISAGAR YAMUNAN & UDHAV NAIG

Upping the ante against two Tamil movies with a Sri Lankan connection in the offing, 65 organisations with Tamil nationalist sympathies, including parties such as the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the Tamilar Vaazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), have come together to oppose the release of Puli Paarvai and Kaththi.

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Speaking to The Hindu after a meeting of the outfits here, the TVK chief and former MLA, Vel Murugan, said Pulipaarvai, being produced by Vendhar movies, showed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its slain leader V. Prabhakaran in a bad light.

According to him, the movie portrayed Balachandran — the younger son of Prabhakaran who is alleged to have been executed during the final stages of the civil war in 2009 — as a child soldier.

Continue reading ‘65 Pro-LTTE Tamil Nationalist Organizations Oppose Release of Tamil Films”Puli Paarvai” and “Kaththi” in Tamil Nadu.’ »

International Credit Agencies Imposing “Sanctions Clauses”in Agreements with Sri Lanka in Anticipation of Economic Sanctions by West Against the Country.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

This week, the global insurance giant, American International Group (AIG), announced that it was pulling out from Sri Lanka, effective from 31 August. The decision to withdraw from the Sri Lankan market was first communicated as early as June this year. AIG’s share in the local insurance market is a meagre 0.3 per cent and its withdrawal is unlikely to have an impact on the local market.

An AIG statement attributed the pull out to the on -going effort to streamline its operations. General Manager of AIG’s Colombo office, Baldev Singh was on record as saying, “the decision was based on the assessment of current size, future potential cost of capital and various other performances and economic indicators.”

In the same week, US based fund Janus sold shares in Conglomerate, John Keells Holdings, resulting in a net foreign outflow of 4.52 billion rupees (US $34.73 million), the worst net foreign selling on the Colombo bourse since 25 March 2010.

The local currency fell due to heavy dollar demand and a moral suasion by the Central Bank capped the depreciation.

The two events may appear unrelated, but not so, if you add the third: A leading Sunday English newspaper reported last week that international export credit agencies have begun imposing ‘sanction clauses’ into agreements with Sri Lanka, in anticipation of potential international sanctions. The ‘sanction clauses’ would mean that the local partners would have to pay a higher premium to the lending agencies if the sanctions are imposed. The newspaper also added that the Attorney General’s Department has opposed.

Continue reading ‘International Credit Agencies Imposing “Sanctions Clauses”in Agreements with Sri Lanka in Anticipation of Economic Sanctions by West Against the Country.’ »

Gary Anandasangaree Wins Nomination as Scarborough Rouge Park Constituency Liberal Party Candidate for Canadian Parliamentary Elections.

Gary Anandasangaree has won the nomination election for the Scarborough Rouge Park constituency on behalf of the Liberal Party in Canada.

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On 20th August, nomination election was held to select the next Federal Liberal candidate for the Scarborough Rouge-Park constituency for the general election to be held in 2015 in Canada.

The three candidates for the nomination race were Gary Anandasangaree, Bhardwaj Ashwani and Michael Johnson. Despite the series of slander, false allegation and propaganda on Gary has crossed all the hurdles.

Continue reading ‘Gary Anandasangaree Wins Nomination as Scarborough Rouge Park Constituency Liberal Party Candidate for Canadian Parliamentary Elections.’ »

Tamil National Alliance Delegation Bound for India to Meet Prime Minister Modi,Foreign Minister Swaraj and National Security Adviser Doval in New Delhi

By

Meera Srinivasan

Senior members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an amalgam of Tamil political parties currently in power in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on August 23.

A delegation led by TNA leader and senior politician R. Sampanthan will leave for New Delhi on Thursday, sources said.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Delegation Bound for India to Meet Prime Minister Modi,Foreign Minister Swaraj and National Security Adviser Doval in New Delhi’ »

“Gaveshana Charika”(Investigative Tours)Campaign Launched by the UNP has More Pluses than Minuses.

By

Vishwamithra 1984

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”

~Gore Vidal

“Gaveshana Charika” literally means ‘investigative tours’. Taken in its literal sense, these investigative tours undertaken by a selected group of Parliamentarians of the United National Party (UNP) indeed sounds very genuine although it is quite obvious to every man and woman on the street that the tagline is a politically-loaded catch phrase invented by the UNP essentially to render at least some rudimentary identity to an otherwise isolated mode of protest launched by the Party to satisfy a ‘suspecting’ public who is getting increasingly alarmed and frustrated at the rotten stagnation and inactivity of the main Opposition party in the sphere of agitational politics in Sri Lanka’s.

Yet to everyone’s surprise, this very lackadaisical approach to protest is being given validity and importance by none other than the Government itself, against whom the protests are aimed. Had the Government opted to keep quiet about these “Gaveshana Charikas”, and allowed the UNP parliamentarians to enter the premises of failed Government projects and departments and show a farcical sense of freedom and tolerance of opposition-politics, then the steam, if there were any, would have died a natural death and no instant heroes would have been born.

Continue reading ‘“Gaveshana Charika”(Investigative Tours)Campaign Launched by the UNP has More Pluses than Minuses.’ »

Unity Between Ranil and Sajith can Boost UNP but may Crush Hopes of a Common Opposition Candidate

By

Dharisha Bastians

On 24 July, within the musty confines of New Town Hall on Green Path, extraordinary political scenes unfolded. Ironically, the politically-charged event featured only academic, professional and civil society speakers, all of whom discussed constitution and nation building, rampant abuse of power and the broken quality of the present system.

There were two remarkable things about the low key event organised by the moderate scholar monk Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who is leading a movement agitating for constitutional reform that will abolish the executive presidential system. Firstly, the National Movement for Social Justice, with its band of top legal luminaries and constitutional experts, announced that it had developed a tangible roadmap for abolition. The discussion around abolition has existed for decades and fingers have been burnt many times over. Yet Sobitha Thero’s experts succeeded in bringing the discussion out of the abstract for the very first time, setting deadlines, closing loopholes and drafting a credible modus operandi to ensure that the presidential system is abolished six months after the next presidential race.

But the real show-stopper that afternoon was the Opposition cast that showed up at New Town Hall to witness the event. The felicitous picture published in many newspapers the very next day featured a star cast including not only Ranil Wickremesinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Sarath Fonseka, R. Sampanthan, Karu Jayasuriya and the JVP’s Sunil Handunetti, but also ousted Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who was making a rare public appearance, and Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya, whose fiery anti-impeachment positions propelled him to lead the country’s legal fraternity.

Continue reading ‘Unity Between Ranil and Sajith can Boost UNP but may Crush Hopes of a Common Opposition Candidate’ »

Govt Could Exchange Governors by Appointing Gen.Chandrasiri to the South and Kumari Balasuriya to the North.

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

I have a great affection for General Chandrasiri, and indeed great admiration too. This began when, in 2008, he invited me to be the Chief Guest at the Future Minds Exhibition he had organized in Jaffna. The other principal invitee was to be the Bishop of Jaffna, someone else for whom I have both affection and admiration. Though he has always stood up for the rights and dignity of the Tamil people he serves, he has also spoken out against terrorism and the LTTE.

Indeed, it is a mark of his integrity that the strongest evidence against the spurious allegations made against us with regard to the first No Fire Zone comes in the letter the Bishop wrote on the day that Zone was subject to attacks. Contrary to what the Darusman report insinuates, and what an even less scrupulous report claims was our plan to corral civilians in places where the LTTE had weaponry, the Bishop said that he would ask the LTTE to refrain from transferring weapons into the No Fire Zone. Unfortunately neither the Ministry of Defence, nor the Foreign Ministry (the latter, as Dayan Jayatilleka graphically described it, now territory occupied by the MoD), have bothered to argue against the allegations on the basis of facts and evidence from independent sources.

Unfortunately the aim of General Chandrasiri in 2008, to avoid politicians, as he put it to me when asking me for the event, was countered by Douglas Devananda doggedly turning up and taking a prominent role. I could understand then why he could not be put off, but it is sad that he did not take up the idea suggested by the General’s assertion of the need to develop human resources. Instead, even in the local authorities his party won, he allowed personal predilections to come to the fore, and did nothing for development. There was no thinking of the type of partnership that could have been set up, to train youngsters and start businesses, through a synergy of talents, with civilians being in charge but accepting advice and assistance from the military.

Continue reading ‘Govt Could Exchange Governors by Appointing Gen.Chandrasiri to the South and Kumari Balasuriya to the North.’ »

“My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine”-Desmond Tutu

By

Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

Continue reading ‘“My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine”-Desmond Tutu’ »

President Rajapaksa Says Navi Pillay is “Biased”and Reiterates UN Investigators Would not be Permitted to Enter Sri Lanka.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Brimming with confidence about being re-elected to serve an unprecedented third term in office, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday shrugged off his political rivals and appeared undeterred by the UN inquiry into allegations of war crimes quietly gathering steam in Geneva.

“I will be still be here, I am planning for the next five years,” President Rajapaksa told Colombo-based Foreign Correspondents at Temple Trees yesterday, asked about his chances at the next presidential election. His Government’s vision was targeting the year 2020, President Rajapaksa explained.

Asked whether this meant he would retire in 2020, the President quipped: “Ask me that in 2020.”It was the strongest indication yet that the President may declare a snap poll in 2015, in which he will contest a third term in office.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Says Navi Pillay is “Biased”and Reiterates UN Investigators Would not be Permitted to Enter Sri Lanka.’ »

Five Pillars of Nation Building are National security, Food security, Energy security, Environment security and Macroeconomic security


By
Dr.P.B.Jayasundera


(Following is the full text of Keynote Address by Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera titled ‘Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation’ at the Defence Seminar 2014)

Good Morning to all.

Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, the Commanders and the officers of Sri Lanka tri-services, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I am indeed honoured and privileged to be the Keynote Speaker of this 2014 Defence Seminar organised by the Sri Lanka Army, being attended by a rich audience and will be addressed by renowned resource persons from around the world.

I wish to thank the Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Daya Rathnayake and his able Director Training Brigadier Ralph Nugera for inviting me to speak to this high profile gathering.

‘Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation’ – the subject assigned to me to speak at this prestigious event, compelled me to spend some time to research on our country’s post independent journey towards what it is today, and in this process several milestones we as a nation have passed are in fact eye openers to be able to understand challenges from a historical perspective, since history has a tendency to repeat itself in the future.

It is equally important to review the present phase of development and how it has been managed while passing many barricades along the journey to be able to understand the challenges of the present, since the present will invariably be the history of the future. I also thought that it is important to view challenges from a past and present perspective, to be able to visualise future perspectives and equip ourselves to facilitate the management of contemporary challenges in our transition from a middle income economy.

Continue reading ‘Five Pillars of Nation Building are National security, Food security, Energy security, Environment security and Macroeconomic security’ »

Anglican Bishop of Colombo Refutes Allegations Levelled by Group of Buddhists Against “Courageous Ministry” of Fr. M.Sathivel of Colombo Diocese.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey has publicly stood by Anglican priest and disappearances activist, Fr. M. Sathivel, who was recently targeted by a monk led group claiming to represent families of the disappeared in the south.

The protesting group, later calling itself the Dead and Missing Persons Parents’ Front, violently disrupted a meeting with the families of the disappeared from the Northern Province on 4 August at the Centre for Society and Religion in Maradana, where Fr. Sathivel was also present.

Continue reading ‘Anglican Bishop of Colombo Refutes Allegations Levelled by Group of Buddhists Against “Courageous Ministry” of Fr. M.Sathivel of Colombo Diocese.’ »

National Peace Council Condemns Continuing Surveillance of Civil Society Activities and social Functions by Security Personnel and Intelligence Officials.


(Text of a Media Release Issued by the National Peace Council titled “The CONTINUING SURVEILLANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY EVENTS”)

The issue of security forces personnel in uniform and intelligence officers in plain clothes performing surveillance of civil society activities in the North and East has been widely reported in the post-war period. There are reports that this surveillance includes social functions such as weddings, puberty ceremonies, memorial services in addition to seminars and workshops organized by civil society organizations in the North

On three occasions in the past month, the National Peace Council regrets to note that activities under its inter-religious reconciliation programme have been subjected to surveillance by the security forces. Two of these events have been outside the former war zones of the North and East, which suggests that the practice of surveillance is encompassing the entire country.

Continue reading ‘National Peace Council Condemns Continuing Surveillance of Civil Society Activities and social Functions by Security Personnel and Intelligence Officials.’ »

TNA Leader R.Sampanthan Backs TULF Leader V.Anandasangaree’s son Gary for Nomination as Liberal Party Candidate in Canadian Parliament Elections.

(Text of Statement Issued by Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan endorsing the younger son of Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) leader Mr.Veerasingham Anandasangaree, Mr.Gary Anandasangaree as a Liberal Party Candidate for the Scarborough-Rouge Park Constituency in elections to the Canadian House of Commons)

Mr Gary Anandasangaree who is seeking nomination from the Liberal Party of Canada for the Scarborough-Rouge Park riding for the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections is a long-standing Human Rights activist and lawyer who has selflessly worked for the welfare of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka.

We particularly remember the commitment with which he advocated for the rights of our people at the UN Human Rights Council for several years when very few activists saw that as a useful avenue.

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader R.Sampanthan Backs TULF Leader V.Anandasangaree’s son Gary for Nomination as Liberal Party Candidate in Canadian Parliament Elections.’ »

International Concern Mounts Over Role of Buddhist Clergy in Fuelling Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka and Myanmar


By

Roma Rajpal Weiss

A series of religious clashes in Myanmar and Sri Lanka in recent years has increased international concern about the role of Buddhist clergy in fuelling anti-Muslim violence.

Deadly riots broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lanka on 15 June. Three people were killed and 80 injured in the towns of Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dhagra. The violence was sparked by reports that a Muslim man had allegedly attacked a Buddhist monk. Further reports indicated that the argument had actually been between the driver of a monk and the driver of a Muslim man.

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS, the Buddhist Strength Force), a nationalist Buddhist group with a notorious reputation, is being blamed for the incident. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, the group’s leader, gave a speech around the time of the riots in which he claimed that the Sinhalese Buddhist population was under serious threat from the Muslims. This instigated further violence by large mobs, which attacked mosques and burned down shops and houses in Muslim neighbourhoods.

A few weeks later, similar clashes broke out in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. It was rumoured on social media that two Muslim men had allegedly raped a Buddhist woman. The news triggered violence that left two dead and scores injured. The woman later confessed that she had lied and was arrested.

Continue reading ‘International Concern Mounts Over Role of Buddhist Clergy in Fuelling Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka and Myanmar’ »

Colombo Court’s Restraining Order Surrenders Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Movement to Bodhu Bala Sena and Cohorts

By

Vishwamithra 1984


“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

~Helen Keller

The Colombo Magistrate’s Court issued on Tuesday, August 12, 2104, restraining orders on the Thowheed Jamath, Bodhu Bala Sena and Sihala Ravaya organizations preventing them from holding demonstrations and protests in Colombo and the Colombo Fort area. The demonstrations were scheduled for Wednesday, August 13. The Police making the announcement regarding the said court order stated: “The court order was issued by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court following information given by the Colombo Fort police that demonstrations were planned for today by the Thowheed Jamath, Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) and Sihala Ravaya (SR) organizations.”

What seems to be a victory for peace is in fact a dangerous alternative to the surrender of two fundamental rights, freedom of movement and freedom of speech assured to all Sri Lankans by our Constitution.Once again the Bodhu Bala Sena and its fellow travelers have scored a point. And the Rajapaksas stand to gain at least on two fronts. Firstly, they give an ostensible reason why we must have peace in the midst of our City centers and secondly, they hide their hypocrisy in their Middle-East policy of backing the regime of Israel that is considered the world over as practicing ‘apartheid’, while portraying themselves as supporters of the Palestinian Liberation Movement. Running with the hare and hunting with the hound continues, even on the international stage.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Court’s Restraining Order Surrenders Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Movement to Bodhu Bala Sena and Cohorts’ »

Almost All Ministers Except Rajitha Senaratne and Thilanga Sumathipala Think Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Behind Bodu Bala Sena.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Last Tuesday Sri Lankan history would have changed drastically if action had not been taken to prevent a clash between Muslim and Buddhist extremists in Colombo. SSP Premalal Ranagala and the police should be commended for the way they acted to contain the situation that was developing. SSP Ranagala was shown bundling the BBS monks into their vehicle and sending them off. Perhaps for the first time since the appearance of this mad monk phenomenon on our streets, we saw a cop adopting the right attitude and tone of voice towards these troublemaking monks. Had they not been packed off in that manner, Colombo would have gone up in smoke. The Muslim extremist Towheed Jamath organization and the Bodu Bala Sena had announced rival demonstrations in Central Colombo over the Palestinian issue. That Muslims in this country would want to demonstrate in favour of Palestine is quite natural.

But the fact that the BBS wanted to organize a rival demonstration in favour of Israel in the same vicinity shows that this was an attempt to provoke a religious riot. Israel has helped this country and there is nothing wrong in organizing a rally to support Israel in their war against terrorism but did it have to be right near the pro-Palestinian rally? This in-your-face attitude, and willingness to use even foreign issues to confront Muslims in a needling way shows that the BBS is involved in a concerted attempt to spark off a July 1983 style Muslim-Sinhala riot. They may not be a terrorist organization in the conventional sense of bearing arms and carrying out attacks, but what they are doing is in fact a kind of terrorism. Perhaps the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium was not too far off the mark when they so designated the BBS. The Towheed Jamath movement is also cast in the same mould. They have been working below the surface and using intimidation and coercion to have their way within the Muslim community. In places where they are in the majority such as Kattankudy, the Mulsims who do not agree with them live under a reign of terror.

Continue reading ‘Almost All Ministers Except Rajitha Senaratne and Thilanga Sumathipala Think Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Behind Bodu Bala Sena.’ »

33 TNA Provincial Councillors from North and East Write to Navi Pillay Requesting UN Probe to Determine Whether Genocide of Tamils Has Occurred in Sri Lanka.

33 Tamil National Alliance(TNA)Provincial councillors comprising 28 from the North and 5 from the East have written to outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navanetham Pillay outlining three specific requests regarding the on going investigation into Sri Lanka by her office.The TNA councillors have jointly urged ms.Pillay and her in coming successor to take the three requests into consideration. The TNA provincial councillors want the UN probe to investigate incidents affecting the Tamil people in the Island from at least the year 1974 and determine whether Genocide has taken place and also wants the probe to be conducted from Tamil Nadu in India if the Sri Lankan Govt forbids entry of the UN investigators into Sri Lanka.

While Northern chief minister CV Wilgneswaran,Council chairman CVK Sivagnanam and Eastern council opposition leader K Dhandaayuthapaani have not signed the letter the four Northern provincial ministers and deputy chairman are notable signatories.It is learnt that the controversial letter writing project of the TNA councillors is being undertaken on the initiative of former MP and current provincial councillor MK Sivajilingam.

The text of the letter with names of signatories is as follows -
Continue reading ‘33 TNA Provincial Councillors from North and East Write to Navi Pillay Requesting UN Probe to Determine Whether Genocide of Tamils Has Occurred in Sri Lanka.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena will Contest Next Presidential Election if President Rajapaksa Does Not Support BBS Policy Warns Gnanasara Thero

BY

Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has threatened to field a candidate at the next presidential election, if President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other political leaders, do not accept their soon to be presented ‘comprehensive policy framework’.

General Secretary of the BBS, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said the Buddhist group will present its policy framework to President Rajapaksa and if he agrees with the content and decides to carry it forward, the BBS will back him at the presidential election.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena will Contest Next Presidential Election if President Rajapaksa Does Not Support BBS Policy Warns Gnanasara Thero’ »

Why Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah Converted From Hinduism to Islam Seeking Solace, Inner Peace and Happiness

Popular music composer Illayaraj’s younger son and a famous composer himself Yuvan Shankar Raja Monday confirmed that he has converted to Islam, adding that he is proud of the decision which got his family’s support.

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Though the rumour was going around for quite some time, Yuvan, confirmed this in a tweet.

“Yes, I follow Islam and I’m proud about it. Alhamdhulillah,” Yuvan Shankar Raja posted on Twitter.

There were rumours that Yuvan, who was married twice, was now going to marry a Muslim woman.

However, he has denied the rumours.

“I’m not married for the third time. The news is false, and yes, I follow Islam and I’m proud of it,” India Today quoted him as saying.

Continue reading ‘Why Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah Converted From Hinduism to Islam Seeking Solace, Inner Peace and Happiness’ »

“Supersinger Winner Diwakar, “Balaey Pandia” Film and the TMS-Raju Song”Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan”

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

♫ “Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan”♫

The fourth season of Vijay TV Airtel Supersinger Competition has concluded with a fairy tale ending. The winner Diwakar is from a humble social background and without any formal training in singing. Diwakar was not only the choice of the Judges, but also of the people who endorsed him with a record number of votes.

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The zenith of Diwakar’s performance in the keenly contested show was his rendering of the song ”Neeyay Unakku endrum Nigaraanaavan”from the old Tamil film “Baley Pandia” produced and directed by B.R.Panthulu in 1962.Sung by maestro TM Soundararajan(TMS) and “Konnakol”expert MS.Raju(not to be confused with the Telugu film producer) the song was picturised on actors Sivaji Ganesan and M.R. Radha singing with K. Balaji playing the “Ghatam”.

Continue reading ‘“Supersinger Winner Diwakar, “Balaey Pandia” Film and the TMS-Raju Song”Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan”’ »

16 Sex Workers Arrested on Charges of Prostitution were Allegedly Stripped Bare and Body Searched at Welikade Prison by Female Soldiers.

BY

CHRISHANTHI CHRISTOPHER

Last week controversy prevailed over 16 women taken into custody by the police, from an Ayurvedic Centre from Bambalapitiya, on charges of prostitution, then stripped bare and searched at the Welikada Prison.

The arrested women allege the female Army officers in the Prison had insisted they remove their clothes to perform body searches on them, before they were allowed into the remand prison.
Lawyer Gunasekera Wanninayake, Counsel for the defence claimed the act of undressing women fully in search for contrabands is totally demeaning and undermines the women’s dignity.

Continue reading ‘16 Sex Workers Arrested on Charges of Prostitution were Allegedly Stripped Bare and Body Searched at Welikade Prison by Female Soldiers.’ »

Mahela Jayawardene Teaches Political Leaders the Lesson of “Reigning, Letting go and Quitting”at the Right Time.

He promised not to cry but millions of cricket fans including President Mahinda Rajapaksa and some 4,000 spectators were close to tears when one of the world’s greatest Test cricketers Mahela Jayawardena said farewell at his home-base SSC ground in Colombo yesterday.

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Captain Angelo Mathews and other players carried Mahela Jayawardena on their shoulders for a lap of honour amid roaring cheers and firecrackers as the 37-year-old star ended his Test career with a total of 11,814 runs including 34 centuries in 149 Tests during the past 17 years.

Continue reading ‘Mahela Jayawardene Teaches Political Leaders the Lesson of “Reigning, Letting go and Quitting”at the Right Time.’ »

Tarun Vijay , North Indian BJP Rajya Sabha MP Urges President Mukherjee to Declare Tamil as Language of Court in the High Court.

By

J. Venkatesan

BJP’s Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Tarun Vijay on Monday urged the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee to request the Centre to take immediate steps for declaring Tamil for use as a language of the Madras High Court for passing orders and judgments.

It might be recalled that Tamil Nadu government had passed a resolution that Tamil should be made court language in the High Court. On receiving the proposal, the Central Government had forwarded it to the then Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan and a full court meeting of the Supreme Court rejected the proposal.

Continue reading ‘Tarun Vijay , North Indian BJP Rajya Sabha MP Urges President Mukherjee to Declare Tamil as Language of Court in the High Court.’ »

Mahela Jayawardene:A man who speaks for a nation

By
Wright Thompson

(This article which appeared first on October 5th 2012 is being reproduced without any changes here from Cricinfo in honour of Mahela Jayawardene)

Three years ago, the Sri Lankan cricket team rode through the streets of Lahore, Pakistan, on the third day of a Test match. Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is to his country what Derek Jeter is to the city of New York, rode near the back of the bus. The convoy, with a police escort, rolled through the streets outside the stadium. Mahela, known as MJ, took out his phone to call his wife, and that’s when they all heard what sounded like fireworks. Someone shouted, “They’re shooting at the bus!” They heard the bullets, marching down the side exposed to the terrorist gunmen, sounding like rain on a metal roof. Mahela dived for the floor, and the first 30 seconds of what happened next ended up on Christina Jayawardene’s voicemail. An RPG flew over the bus. A grenade rolled under it. It was a blur: policemen being shot in the street, dying on a Tuesday morning, bullets striking the tires, players screaming. When she played the message for Mahela’s oldest friend, tears flowed down her face as he listened.

“I got hit,” her husband shouted, and she heard the fear in his voice. Next his friend and fellow star Kumar Sangakkara, also a cricket legend, got hit with shrapnel, too, then another and another. Six in all were wounded, only one by a bullet. Soon, the bus driver would heroically drive them to safety, and Mahela would call the president of Sri Lanka on a private number, flexing for the first time anyone could remember, telling the politician to get him and his boys home. But on the floor of the bus, wounded by shrapnel and bleeding, Mahela felt sure that he’d die outside a stadium, killed for the crime of being a cricket star in a part of the world where the games seem to matter way more than they should.

Continue reading ‘Mahela Jayawardene:A man who speaks for a nation’ »

Inhumane Treatment Meted out by Govt to Desperate Victims of Discrimnatory Practices Seeking Asylum in Sri Lanka.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

When a country or a people are starved of basic compassion, profit alone cannot ensure stability. Equally, toleration of savagery in one form can only breed greater savagery in many other guises. This is the abiding lesson surely that all great religions teach us.

Greater scrutiny required of deportation policies

Even during the grim conflict years, Sri Lankans practised Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Hindu teachings which prioritized humanity over every other concern. The evils that confronted us during war were endured as a matter of necessity. It is doubly ironic therefore that in the post-war years, we stand in the greatest danger of abandoning that humanity at an unbearable cost.

This is clearly reflected towards those who have sought asylum here from persecution in their own countries. During the past month, brutal deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers, many of whom belong to the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect or are Christians directly at risk in Pakistan have gone virtually unnoticed.

Continue reading ‘Inhumane Treatment Meted out by Govt to Desperate Victims of Discrimnatory Practices Seeking Asylum in Sri Lanka.’ »

Army Provides Drinking Water to People in Various Parts of the Jaffna Peninsula who are Affected by Severe Drought

Army troops serving in different areas of the Jaffna peninsula have started a programme to provide drinking water to the people affected by the severe drought.

Plastic water tanks have been placed in public places. In addition water bowsers have also been sent to rural areas.

As in many parts of the country, the prevailing drought has adversely affected the people of Jaffna.

Jaffna has not received adequate rainfall for nearly two years.

Continue reading ‘Army Provides Drinking Water to People in Various Parts of the Jaffna Peninsula who are Affected by Severe Drought’ »

“Tamil National Alliance Propped up by Sections of Tamil Media Toes the Agenda Set by the Tamil Diaspora”- V.Aanandasangaree


By

Chandani Kirinde

Veerasingham Anandasangaree is not someone who is afraid to speak his mind. At 81 and semi-retired from politics, the onetime Parliamentarian and General Secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has made some new public disclosures, questioning the legitimacy of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), better known as the Federal Party (FP).

Raising such questions will no doubt ruffle quite a few feathers, particularly among Tamil politicians of today, but that has not deterred the octogenarian politician from going public with such matters. “The Tamil people are being deliberately misled by the TNA. The people want peace, but after winning elections, they (the TNA politicians) are not working towards that goal,” Mr. Anandasangaree told the Sunday Times.

And to illustrate the point, he made public this week, a two-part document titled ‘The TNA and ITAK should declare their true identities’, in which he claimed that, both the ITAK and the TNA were started fraudulently and without proper authority, and hence, has no moral right to function. Mr. Anandasangaree first entered Parliament in 1970, contesting the Kilinochchi seat on the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) ticket, but it was way back in 1959 that he made his maiden attempt at an election by contesting a seat in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), also on the LSSP ticket. He lost, but it was not altogether surprising, given that he was up against veteran Colombo politician V.A. Sugathadasa.

Continue reading ‘“Tamil National Alliance Propped up by Sections of Tamil Media Toes the Agenda Set by the Tamil Diaspora”- V.Aanandasangaree’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Drafts Policy Document to Develop Sri Lanka According to Buddhist Principles and Traditional Sinhala Values.


By

Franklin R. Satyapalan

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has prepared the draft of a policy document to develop the country based on Buddhist principles and traditional Sinhalese values, the organization’s CEO, Dilantha Withanage said.

This broad-based document includes policies on diverse subjects such as health, education, nutrition, law and order and good governance, he said.

Asked whether the policies would be detrimental to the interests of other minorities and religions, Withanage replied, “Buddhist principles and traditional Sinhalese values had never been against other minority or religious interests”.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Drafts Policy Document to Develop Sri Lanka According to Buddhist Principles and Traditional Sinhala Values.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Compiles Policy Document to Develop Sri Lanka on Basis of Buddhist Principles and Traditional Sinhala Values.


By

Franklin R. Satyapalan

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has prepared the draft of a policy document to develop the country based on Buddhist principles and traditional Sinhalese values, the organization’s CEO, Dilantha Withanage said.

This broad-based document includes policies on diverse subjects such as health, education, nutrition, law and order and good governance, he said.

Asked whether the policies would be detrimental to the interests of other minorities and religions, Withanage replied, “Buddhist principles and traditional Sinhalese values had never been against other minority or religious interests”.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Compiles Policy Document to Develop Sri Lanka on Basis of Buddhist Principles and Traditional Sinhala Values.’ »

President Rajapaksa Wont get Simple Majority in the First Count at Presidential Poll says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran.

By

Paneetha Ameresekere

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will decide whether it is to field a presidential candidate or not only after the announcement of a presidential election is made, TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told Ceylon Today in an interview on Thursday (16).

“Only then will we also decide on the other option whether to support a common candidate or not,” he said.

Sumanthiran, who has an insight into the main opposition UNP’s thinking, said they would however field a candidate to challenge incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the next Presidential Election, without supporting a common candidate.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Wont get Simple Majority in the First Count at Presidential Poll says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran.’ »

President Rajapaksa Needs the Defence Secretary while Gotabhaya Can Succeed only by Operating Behind the Charismatic Mahinda.

By

Kalana Senaratne

Many of Sri Lanka’s opposition movements that have sprung up in more recent times especially in the South, movements which seek to construct an alternative discourse, appear to be oscillating somewhat ambivalently between the ready desire to affect course-correction and the very reluctant ambition of initiating regime-change. Those which have the greatest potential of affecting regime-change are for course-correction; while those who may have influenced certain movements to adopt a course-correction approach appear less promising about affecting regime-change.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Needs the Defence Secretary while Gotabhaya Can Succeed only by Operating Behind the Charismatic Mahinda.’ »

Deadly Price of Beauty! Tragic Tale of Dr. Priyangi’s Demise at Bambalapitiya Cosmetic Surgery Clinic.

BY MENAKA INDRAKUMAR

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that is the physical aspect of it, while inner beauty shines from within. When a woman’s physical beauty fades, it is said the eyesight of a man of her age too weakens. But, women strongly feel that physical beauty can be revived. Pandering to this belief, we see thousands of beauty parlours springing up in every nook and corner of the country. So, irrespective of status or age, women in the modern world appear to be more conscious about their beauty and run the risk of curtailing their life.

So it was in such backdrop, in an effort to tackle the battle of the bulge that Dr. P. A. Priyangi chose to visit a cosmetic surgery clinic last week to get rid of the fast developing belly-fat, which irritated her even behind the steering-wheel of her car.

Dr. Priyangi (47) attached to the plastic surgery unit of the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital went to a cosmetic surgery clinic in Bambalapitiya to reduce her big belly by way of a plastic surgery, medically known as Liposuction.

Continue reading ‘Deadly Price of Beauty! Tragic Tale of Dr. Priyangi’s Demise at Bambalapitiya Cosmetic Surgery Clinic.’ »

Lively Duel Between Communist MP Sarath Muttetuwegama and UNP Deputy Minister AMRB Attanayake in 1977-1989 Parliament.

By

Prasad Gunewardene

Very few communist comrades possess humour as they are known to be serious politicians. For communist comrades, it’s difficult to add one magical component to their socialist skills to make their contributions more palatable and enjoyable. That magical component is humour, which many comrades lack. However, Parliament had a comrade from the Communist Party during the last quarter of the 20th Century who possessed much wit and humour. He was the amiable Sarath Muttetuwegama, well versed in the cliometrics of communism sporting a mellifluous smile, and representing the Kalawana electorate at that time, he was an ebullient representative of the progressive politics of our time who could sing the ‘Communist Chorus’ to eternity.

He fought for the liberation of mankind and the working class, upholding the doctrine of Nicolai Ostrowsky. Comrade Sarath, hailing from the affluent class, was a humble human being in politics. Today’s neophyte scribes and self-proclaimed political pundits certainly missed the opportunity to listen to him, as he died at a relatively young age in a tragic accident. If the late C.V. Gooneratne and A.H.M. Azwer were the best combination to crack humour in the Parliaments of the last quarter of the past century, they were followed by Sarath Muttetuwegama and former Deputy Minister of Higher Education A.M.R.B. Attanayake during the J.R. Jayewardene Government. In parliamentary debates that turned hot, Sarath proved he was capable enough to take on the 140 UNP members with capitalist views, when the UNP held power with a five-sixth parliamentary majority in the House.

Continue reading ‘Lively Duel Between Communist MP Sarath Muttetuwegama and UNP Deputy Minister AMRB Attanayake in 1977-1989 Parliament.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe to Propose Name of Sajith Premadasa as UNP Deputy Leader at next meeting of Party’s Working Committee

By

Prasad Gunewardene

In a bid to unite and strengthen the United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is to appoint Sajith Premadasa as his deputy very shortly, sources close to the UNP leader revealed yesterday.

This would be the third time Premadasa would occupy that position in the Party.

This follows several rounds of talks between the duo held in the recent past, where the focus was on uniting the UNP and bringing back active members who had left the Party over differences in the past.
Wickremesinghe is to propose the appointment of Premadasa as deputy leader at the next Working Committee meet of the Party, sources said, adding that a confidante of the leader would second the proposal.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe to Propose Name of Sajith Premadasa as UNP Deputy Leader at next meeting of Party’s Working Committee’ »

Five Years After the Capture of Ex-LTTE Chief Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” in Malaysia

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

It was five years ago on August 5th 2009 that Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” the chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was captured in Malaysia and brought to Colombo in a well-planned operation amounting to an “extraordinary rendition”.

Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias "KP"

Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP”

KP who had served for many years as the chief arms procurer of the LTTE heading a tiger department known euphemistically as “overseas purchases” was discontinued from his post in 2002 after the Oslo facilitated ceasefire came into force. Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran re-absorbed him into the movement years later and appointed KP as head of the LTTE’s newly created International relations department in January 2009.

After the Mullivaaikkaal military debacle and Prabhakaran’s demise in May 2009 KP donned the mantle of LTTE leadership abroad as he was the senior most active tiger leader alive . This move was opposed by some sections of the overseas tigers led by Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan.

Continue reading ‘Five Years After the Capture of Ex-LTTE Chief Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” in Malaysia’ »

Pope Francis will Celebrate Mass at Sri Lanka’s Most Historic “Our Lady of Madhu”Catholic Church in Mannar District on January 14th 2015


by

Rex Clementine

Pope Francis would visit the historical Madhu Shrine during his stay in Sri Lanka in January next year, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo announced yesterday. The Cardinal was at the Madhu Shrine to celebrate the Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to heaven that fell yesterday.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu in the district of Mannar is considered the holiest Catholic shrine in Sri Lanka. Madhu is a place of worship for both the Sinhalese and the Tamils and has been considered a symbol of unity between the two communities.

It was announced yesterday that over 400,000 devotees attended the Madhu festival and making a special announcement Cardinal Malcolm reveled the Pope’s visit to the Shrine that has a history of over 400 years.

Continue reading ‘Pope Francis will Celebrate Mass at Sri Lanka’s Most Historic “Our Lady of Madhu”Catholic Church in Mannar District on January 14th 2015’ »

Sri Lanka’s Most Elegant Batsman of his Generation, Mahela Jayawardena Plays his Last Test Match Against Pakistan.

Mahela Jayawardena, arguably Sri Lanka’s most elegant batsman of his generation and second only to Arjuna Ranatunga as a captain, leaves the game’s biggest stage this week, playing his last Test Match against Pakistan at his favourite hunting ground, the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo.

Jayawardena had indicated that he would continue playing in the one-day format of the game until the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. It is the one prize that has eluded him, having been in two World Cup finals and losing both, one of them as captain and after scoring a century in the other.

Jayawardena leaves a plethora of records to savour but he will be best remembered for his batting artistry, combining elegance with efficiency, which is why he has been successful across all versions of the games including the ‘instant’ T-20. He is one of a handful of cricketers to score a century in all three formats of the game.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Most Elegant Batsman of his Generation, Mahela Jayawardena Plays his Last Test Match Against Pakistan.’ »