Pushing Farmers From Poverty Fringes Into Abject Poverty through the Dimwitted Presidential Directive Banning Chemical Fertilzer is a crime worse than white vans.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Farmers across this paradise isle are raging against a man-made disaster courtesy of a presidential directive. Holding placards in their starving paddy lands and hollowed out cash crops, they protest against a crippling shortage of fertilizer, the reason for that being a dimwitted presidential order to ban chemical fertilizer. Worst still, the ban was announced out of the blue, taking them by surprise in the height of the corona virus pandemic. Tea smallholders lament their harvest had plummeted to one third – from 900 kg per acre to 300 kg. Subsistent farmers point to emaciated pumpkin.

Their grievances fill the prime time news of television stations, even some, which are staunchly pro-government. They are not just sound bites, nor are personal tragedies. They are the tip of an iceberg of a major national calamity that would come to full force in a couple of months when the country faces a full-blown man-made food crisis for the first time in its history and an unprecedented rise in poverty in farming communities.

Continue reading ‘Pushing Farmers From Poverty Fringes Into Abject Poverty through the Dimwitted Presidential Directive Banning Chemical Fertilzer is a crime worse than white vans.’ »

Last of the TULF Leaders Anandasangaree’s Courageous Historic Role in Defying the LTTE

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) formed on 14 May 1976 contested the 21 July 1977 Parliamentary Elections adopting a secessionist platform. The TULF demanded a separate state for the Sri Lankan Tamils named Tamil Eelam comprising the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the island.

The TULF contesting under the sun symbol sought a mandate for Tamil Eelam at the 1977 Parliamentary poll that was conducted on an electorate basis under the first past the post winner system. The election to the double-member constituency of Pottuvil was not held at the July polls due to a candidate’s death. The postponed Pottuvil poll was held some weeks later.

Veerasingham Anandasangaree

The TULF scored a resounding victory in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province by winning all 14 electorates in the north. In the Tamil majority Eastern Province, the TULF won in four out of the five constituencies where a Tamil MP could be elected. The TULF lost in Kalkudah where the United National Party (UNP) candidate K.W. Devanayayagam won. All the TULF Muslim candidates contesting Kalmunai, Sammanthurai, Mutur and in Puttalam were defeated.

Continue reading ‘Last of the TULF Leaders Anandasangaree’s Courageous Historic Role in Defying the LTTE’ »

The Political Advent of “Thamby” Arumugan Thondaman.

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Life and Times of Dynamic “Thamby” Arumugan Thondaman – 1

“Thamby”in Tamil means younger brother. It is also used widely as a pet name for male kids in many Tamil households.In many instances the pet name Thamby remains in use even after the children mature into adults. In recent times there have been four “Thambys” in Sri Lanka who have been prominent in political and public life. Two of them are no more among the living.

The four Thamby’s according to their ages are Veluppillai Prabhakaran – Ex – supremo of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu – Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Arumugan Thondaman- Former Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC)leader, Cabinet Minister and MP and Gajendrakumar Gangaser Ponnambalam – Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF)chief and Jaffna Dstrict MP.

Arumugan and Rajalakshmi Thondaman with daughters Kothai Nachiar, Vijayalakshmi and son Jeevan

Of these four, the Thamby on whom this column focuses this week is Arumugan Thondaman. I can recall my first converstion with him via telephone over twenty years ago. When I addressed him as “Mr. Thondaman” he simply said “Thambynnae Sollunga” (just say Thamby).

Continue reading ‘The Political Advent of “Thamby” Arumugan Thondaman.’ »

Army Commences Probe Into Incident where Soldiers Assaulted and Publicly Humiliated Muslim Civilians For Reportedly Violating COVID Lockdown Rules in the Eastern Province Town of Eravur.

By

Meera Srinivasan

A widely-shared image on social media, showing a row of men kneeling in front of soldiers for reportedly violating Sri Lanka’s current lockdown, has prompted the Army to probe the incident.

Issuing a media statement on Sunday, the Army said “it immediately removed” the personnel from their duties, “after an alleged improper conduct of a few army personnel” in Eravur, a Muslim-majority town in the eastern Batticaloa district. Initial investigation has begun, the army said, pledging “strictest action”.

Continue reading ‘Army Commences Probe Into Incident where Soldiers Assaulted and Publicly Humiliated Muslim Civilians For Reportedly Violating COVID Lockdown Rules in the Eastern Province Town of Eravur.’ »

Epidemiology Unit Disregarding Recommendation to Vaccinate Persons Over 60 Years Against COVID Caused Hundreds of Avoidable Deaths Charge Reputed Medical Specialists in Letter to Health Ministry

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has come under fire from senior medical specialists who are part of the independent expert panel of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), calling for an immediate probe on major flaws that could have prevented deaths.

The eight professionals are – Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama (physician), Prof. Neelika Malavige (immunologist), Dr. Rajiva de Silva (immunologist), Dr. Kanthi Nanayakkara (virologist), Prof. Channa Ranasinghe (respiratory physician), Prof. A. Pathmeswaran (community medicine physician), Dr. LakKumar Fernando (paediatrician) and Dr. Hasitha Tissera (epidemiologist). Some are also members of the National Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (NACCD) as well as the NMRA board.

In a letter to the Health Ministry Secretary sent on Friday, a copy of which the Sunday Times has seen, they said that during the past six months they had provided expert advice to the NMRA after carefully reviewing and evaluating scientific evidence on vaccines, while closely studying on-going vaccination programmes against COVID-19, both in Sri Lanka and overseas.

Continue reading ‘Epidemiology Unit Disregarding Recommendation to Vaccinate Persons Over 60 Years Against COVID Caused Hundreds of Avoidable Deaths Charge Reputed Medical Specialists in Letter to Health Ministry’ »

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka Urges using the GSP+ as a leverage to push for advancement on Sri Lanka’s human rights obligations and assess whether there is sufficient reason to initiate a procedure for the temporary withdrawal of Sri Lanka’s GSP+ status

Text of European Parliament resolution of 10 June 2021 on the situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2021/2748(RSP))


The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Sri Lanka,

– having regard to the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 9 February 2021 entitled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’,

– having regard to the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 23 March 2021 entitled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’,

– having regard to Regulations No. 01 of 2021 published on 12 March 2021 under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act,

– having regard to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism of 14 December 2018 entitled ‘Visit to Sri Lanka’,

– having regard to the statement by Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, of 24 February 2021 on Sri Lanka,

– having regard to the final report of January 2020 of the European Union Election Observation Mission to the Sri Lanka Presidential Election of 16 November 2019,

Continue reading ‘European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka Urges using the GSP+ as a leverage to push for advancement on Sri Lanka’s human rights obligations and assess whether there is sufficient reason to initiate a procedure for the temporary withdrawal of Sri Lanka’s GSP+ status’ »

Election Commission gazettes the name of United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the party’s sole National List Member of Parliament


The Election Commission has gazetted the name of United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the party’s one and only National List Member of Parliament.

The extraordinary gazette notification was published today (June 18) by the Chairman of the Election Commission Nimal G. Punchihewa and the members of the election body, S.B. Divaratne, M.M. Mohamed, K.P.P. Pathirana and Jeevan Thiagarajah.

Continue reading ‘Election Commission gazettes the name of United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the party’s sole National List Member of Parliament’ »

Ranil Echoes Rajapaksas in Praising Chinese Communist Party:”Countries like ours have many lessons to learn from the leadership given to China by the Chinese Communist Party”Says UNP Leader

Leader of the United National Party and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says countries like Sri Lanka have much to learn from how China has progressed under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

“We should appreciate the leadership given to China by the Chinese Communist Party. Because it is very important for our countries. Countries like ours have many lessons to learn from this. Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, China has become the most powerful country in the world economy today,” he said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe made these remarks while addressing at the convention to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China, organized by the Embassy of China in Sri Lanka and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka on June 15.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Echoes Rajapaksas in Praising Chinese Communist Party:”Countries like ours have many lessons to learn from the leadership given to China by the Chinese Communist Party”Says UNP Leader’ »

India reiterates support for devolution within a united Sri Lanka on the basis of full implementation of the 13A which would be in line with Tamil aspirations for equality, justice, peace & reconciliation and strengthen Sri Lanka.

(Text of a Press Release issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo)

A five member Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation led by Hon. R. Sampanthan, Member of Parliament called on the High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Gopal Baglay. The prescheduled meeting took place today (17 June 2021) at India House.

Leader of Ilangai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Hon. Maavai Senathirajah and TNA Members of Parliament Hon. Dharmalingam Sithadthan, Hon. Selvam Adaikkalanathan and Hon. MA. Sumanthiran were present during the meeting. High Commissioner was assisted by Deputy High Commissioner Mr Vinod K Jacob and Political Counsellor Mrs Banu Prakash.

Continue reading ‘India reiterates support for devolution within a united Sri Lanka on the basis of full implementation of the 13A which would be in line with Tamil aspirations for equality, justice, peace & reconciliation and strengthen Sri Lanka.’ »

Court of Appeal grants bail to Shani Abeysekara while delivering a stinging rebuke of the Police Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) case against the former CID chief and three other police officers and strongly suggesting that the allegations against Abeysekara were falsified to cause harm to the former CID chief.


The Court of Appeal order granting bail to Shani Abeysekara delivered a stinging rebuke of the Police Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) case against the former CID chief and three other police officers.

In its order, the Court of Appeal noted the six-year delay in making the complaint about the cops who investigated the 2013 contract killing of businessman Mohamed Shiyam, and strongly suggested that the allegations against Abeysekara were falsified to cause harm to the former CID chief.

The Court observed the “extraordinary delay” in the two witnesses in the 2014 murder trial making the complaint against the two cops and said the delay “demonstrates very strongly that the allegations against the suspect Shani Abeysekara are a result of falsification and embellishment and a creature of afterthought.”

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal grants bail to Shani Abeysekara while delivering a stinging rebuke of the Police Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) case against the former CID chief and three other police officers and strongly suggesting that the allegations against Abeysekara were falsified to cause harm to the former CID chief.’ »

Despite Court of Appeal Granting Bail to both, Gampaha Magistrate further remands SSP Abeysekara and SI Mendis until 30 June Because the higher court order is yet to be delivered to the Magistrate and the High Court from the Court of Appeal registrar.

By a Special Correspondent

The Court of Appeal decision to grant bail to former CID Director Shani Abeysekara sparked a torrent of reactions from human rights groups, victims, and opposition activists yesterday, who have long viewed the arrest and incarceration as a reprisal against his investigations into high profile human rights abuses.

Making an order on an application filed by lawyers for Abeysekara and Sub Inspector Sugath Mendis, who was also arrested in connection with the case in July-August 2020, a bench comprising Court of Appeal Justices Bandula Karunaratne and C.D. Gurusinghe released the two police officers on cash bail of Rs. 25,000 and personal bail of Rs. 1 million with two sureties.

The Court Order also tore the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) case against Abeysekara to pieces, observing the “extraordinary delay” in two witnesses in a 2014 murder trial making the complaint against the two cops. The Court of Appeal said the delay “demonstrates very strongly that the allegations against the suspect Shani Abeysekara are a result of falsification and embellishment, and a creature of afterthought.”

The Appeal Court banned foreign travel for both officers and ordered their passports be impounded.

Continue reading ‘Despite Court of Appeal Granting Bail to both, Gampaha Magistrate further remands SSP Abeysekara and SI Mendis until 30 June Because the higher court order is yet to be delivered to the Magistrate and the High Court from the Court of Appeal registrar.’ »

“Speculation is rife that the nationalist forces within and outside the Government disapproval of planned meeting may have resulted in the postponement of the meeting.”-The Morning

(Text of Eitorial Appearing in “The Morning” of June 17th 2021)

The year 2021 was rather special to Sri Lanka as far as its international relations and the international community’s stance on Sri Lanka’s social and political atmospheres were concerned. Dealings with India and China, most of which revolved around Sri Lanka’s Ports, loans and the vaccines for Covid-19, and also what was discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the European Union (EU) Parliament, gave rise to a plethora of concerns, controversies and questions, which Sri Lanka has to address very carefully.

However, what was raised by the UNHRC and the EU Parliament is quite unique and straightforward, and constitutes more or less, warnings for Sri Lanka. They are also opportunities Sri Lanka received to pay more attention to its internal issues; more specifically, they were human rights related matters Sri Lanka should not ignore.

The Morning yesterday (16 June) reported that the first ever meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader and Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan, which was slated to be held yesterday (16), had been cancelled for reasons which remain unknown as of yet.

Continue reading ‘“Speculation is rife that the nationalist forces within and outside the Government disapproval of planned meeting may have resulted in the postponement of the meeting.”-The Morning’ »

Dialogue With Ethnic Minority Parties Is Necessary To Deal With International Pressures – National Peace Council

(Text of Statement Issued by the National Peace Council)

There is increased international scrutiny of Sri Lanka that is critical in nature and foretells sanctions to come. A country that was ahead of almost all others in Asia at the time of independence is almost at the bottom today in terms of economic prospects.

All those who governed the country to date share the responsibility for this failure. Unless there is a strong will and genuine commitment to have a unified country with law that applies to all in equal measure to all we may not see positive development in the country.

The sanctions being planned by sections of the international community cannot be overcome by non-existent strategies as the country moves from one crisis to another.

Continue reading ‘Dialogue With Ethnic Minority Parties Is Necessary To Deal With International Pressures – National Peace Council’ »

India Extends US$ 100 million Line of Credit for Projects in the Solar Energy Sector in Sri Lanka


(Text of Press Release Issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo)

India becomes the first country to partner with Sri Lanka in fulfilling the vision of the President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to ensure that 70% of Sri Lanka’s national power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030, as reiterated during his address at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Investment Forum.

2. In this context, an agreement extending a US$ 100 million Line of Credit (LOC) to Sri Lanka for projects in the Solar Energy Sector, signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Export-Import Bank of India, was exchanged by the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr. Gopal Baglay and the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. S.R. Attygalle, in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, today.

Continue reading ‘India Extends US$ 100 million Line of Credit for Projects in the Solar Energy Sector in Sri Lanka’ »

UNP Formally Submits Letter Nominating Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Member of Parliament on the Bational List to Elections Commission Chairman

The United National Party (UNP) yesterday informed the Election Commission regarding the appointment of Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to the National List seat they secured at the general elections last year.

Earlier this month, Wickremesinghe was selected to the post by the party’s working committee, with the UNP General Secretary and former Parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara telling the Daily FT that the “decision was unanimous”.

Continue reading ‘UNP Formally Submits Letter Nominating Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Member of Parliament on the Bational List to Elections Commission Chairman’ »

30 scientists and agriculture specialists write to President Rajapaksa Warning that sudden and aggressive shift towards 100% organic fertiliser would pose serious issues and challenges with far-reaching economic, social and political implications and ramifications


Thirty scientists and agriculture specialists have written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa warning that a sudden and aggressive shift towards 100% organic fertiliser-based agriculture would pose serious issues and challenges with far-reaching economic, social and political implications and ramifications.

They have submitted their considered opinion, observations and recommendations based on scientific evidence, experience and expertise gained over many years with a view to minimising the potential implications of and deriving the envisaged benefits from the shift.

“Our recommendations, we believe, fully reflect the ecological and other ideals that inspire this policy intervention, but serve as well to minimise the harmful effects of too rapid a departure from the use of agrochemicals which farmers have got used to for a period of over 50 years,” the group has informed the President.

Continue reading ‘30 scientists and agriculture specialists write to President Rajapaksa Warning that sudden and aggressive shift towards 100% organic fertiliser would pose serious issues and challenges with far-reaching economic, social and political implications and ramifications’ »

Envisaged First Meeting Between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Tamil National Alliance to Discuss “Constitutional Reform” Scheduled for June 16th at the Presidential Secretariat is Postponed Suddenly

By

Meera Srinivaasan

A meeting between Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), scheduled to be held on Wednesday, stands postponed, according to the TNA.

Earlier on Tuesday, a statement issued by TNA spokesman and Jaffna legislator M.A. Sumanthiran said the TNA was meeting the President on June 16, to discuss ways of taking forward the process of constitutional reform.

“The TNA sent its proposals for constitutional reform to the experts’ committee appointed by the President last December, and thereafter met the committee at their invitation in February this year,” it said.

Continue reading ‘Envisaged First Meeting Between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Tamil National Alliance to Discuss “Constitutional Reform” Scheduled for June 16th at the Presidential Secretariat is Postponed Suddenly’ »

Special Economic Zone in Colombo Port City can Enable China to eavesdrop Indian communication, track warship movements, enhance cyber threat/satellite tracking and could be a useful take-off point for infiltrating agents acting against Indian interests

By Col R Hariharan

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(The writer is a former MI specialist on South Asia. He served as head of Intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990)

The enactment of the Colombo Port City Commission Act in Sri Lanka last month has created a lot of disquiet and dismay among the people on both sides of the Palk Strait. There has been much hype in the media about increased threat to south India as a result of China gaining control of the special economic zone coming up in the Colombo Port City (CPC), overlooking Colombo port.

In the next two decades, the CPC is poised to grow into an international financial hub like Dubai and Singapore. The only difference is, the state-owned China Harbour Engineering Co (CHEC), a subsidiary of the China Communications Construction Company, holding a 99-year lease on 85% of land, will be calling the shots.

Apprehension about CPC is real, not merely for south India, but India as a whole. Commercially Colombo port is important because nearly 70% of India’s container traffic passes through it. In strategic situations, Chinese presence close to it would make a difference. But, more than that, the CPC legitimises the huge presence of multifaceted Chinese interests —trade and commerce, logistics, communication, finance and infrastructure.

This gives China a big advantage in challenging India’s domination of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It will also enhance China’s ability to use its unmatched money power, to progress its influence in India’s neighbourhood in the name of development aid.

Continue reading ‘Special Economic Zone in Colombo Port City can Enable China to eavesdrop Indian communication, track warship movements, enhance cyber threat/satellite tracking and could be a useful take-off point for infiltrating agents acting against Indian interests’ »

First Sinhala Talkie “Broken Promise” was Made by Tamil Film Producer S.M. Nayagam.

by
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“It is with pride and pleasure, Chitrakala presents to the four million Sinhalese of Ceylon, a picture in their own language for the first time.” was the special message issued by Chitrakala Movietone Ltd the producers of of “Kadawunu Poronduwa” when it was first screened on January 21st 1947. ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ meaning Broken Promise in English was no ordinary film. It was the first-ever Sinhala “talkie” meaning a film where the characters on screen spoke and sang in the Sinhala language. Until then films shown in the island were in languages like English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil or Telugu but not in Sinhala.

“Kadawunu Poronduwa” @74

The evolution and growth of cinema had seen frozen images becoming soundless moving images and then having sound added. Initially films with moving images were called silent films. Western nations particularly the USA focused more on the moving images. Therefore films were generally called movies in those countries. In the Asian region particularly South Asia, the emphasis was more on sound, songs and conversation. Thus films with sound tracks were referred to as talkies. It was against this backdrop that ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ was welcomed and hailed as the first Sinhala talkie. The message issued by the movie producers at the first screening highlighted this aspect effectively.

S. M. Nayagam

The livewire of “Kadawunu Poronduwa” was BAW Jayamanne who had written the story, screenplay and dialogues for the talkie. BAW Jayamanne known popularly as Aloy Jayamanne also played the lead male role in the film. Among those who acted in the film were Rukmani Devi, Eddie Jayamanne, Gemini Kantha, Rupa Devi, Peter Peiris, Miriam Jayamanne, Hugo Fernando and Stanley Mallawarachchi. While the cast was Sri Lankan, the film making crew was Indian.

Continue reading ‘First Sinhala Talkie “Broken Promise” was Made by Tamil Film Producer S.M. Nayagam.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tries to Justify Fuel Price Increase by Saying it strengthens country’s banking system, maintains low interest rates, reduces foreign exchange spending, strengthens the exchange rate and safeguards the health and welfare of the people

Under fire for imposing additional burden on the masses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday justified the sharp hike in fuel prices, saying the move was warranted and also helps to achieve other beneficial broader socio-economic goals.

In a statement, the President said the price increase is only one key factor in a common strategy that strengthens the local economy.

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tries to Justify Fuel Price Increase by Saying it strengthens country’s banking system, maintains low interest rates, reduces foreign exchange spending, strengthens the exchange rate and safeguards the health and welfare of the people’ »

Energy Minister Gammanpila Wants SLPP Gen Secy Kariyawasam to Resign for Statement Criticising him Saying Fuel Price Increase was Collective Decision of President, Prime Minister and Cabinet


Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday said the increase of fuel prices was a collective decision by the President, Prime Minister and the entire Government while calling for the resignation of the ruling party’s General Secretary, who, on Saturday, wanted the former to quit.

“Fuel price revision is determined by the global prices and the exchange, and not by the Energy Minister,” Gammanpila told a hurriedly convened media briefing to respond to the charges levelled by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam, who called for the resignation of the Energy Minister following the decision to hike fuel prices.

Gammanpila said from November 2020, in tandem with a spike in global prices, as the Energy Minister, he was involved in negotiations to reduce taxes and levies on local fuel thrice.

Continue reading ‘Energy Minister Gammanpila Wants SLPP Gen Secy Kariyawasam to Resign for Statement Criticising him Saying Fuel Price Increase was Collective Decision of President, Prime Minister and Cabinet’ »

“A senior official of the Attorney General’s Department, with a vested political interest has ordered that Mr. Shani Abeysekara and his colleagues be held in remand for as long as possible” Says Former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale

(Text of Statement Issued by Former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale on 14 June 2021)

Last week, we learned that the European Parliament has taken note of the politically motivated imprisonment of the highly respected former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara. This undemocratic and autocratic conduct has helped to place Sri Lanka’s GSP+ import duty concessions, which make our exports to the European Union competitive, at grave risk.

Similarly, the UN Human Rights Council has also raised the issue of Mr. Abeysekara’s political imprisonment as an example of the precarious law and order situation in Sri Lanka. If the countries that purchase most of our exports start to see Sri Lanka as a lawless and undemocratic country that arbitrarily punishes professional public servants for doing their job, we will face an economic catastrophe.

Continue reading ‘“A senior official of the Attorney General’s Department, with a vested political interest has ordered that Mr. Shani Abeysekara and his colleagues be held in remand for as long as possible” Says Former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale’ »

If the GSP+ concession given by the European Union is lost the rupee will depreciate further and be around 300 rupees per dollar ad also lead to the loss of thousands of jobs Wrns UNP Leader and Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

(Text of Statement by Former Prime Minister and Leader of the UNP, Hon. Ranil Wickremesingh regarding the risk of Sri Lanka losing the GSP+ concession given by the European Union)

“Our government took action to regain the GSP+ from the European Union to assist in developing the country’s economy in 2017. This facility provides Sri Lanka with permission to export goods to Europe without taxation, which led to a boom in the garment and fishing industries.

An issue has arisen in the European Parliament this week regarding the GSP+ tax concession. We have been warned that this concession will be revoked.

Continue reading ‘If the GSP+ concession given by the European Union is lost the rupee will depreciate further and be around 300 rupees per dollar ad also lead to the loss of thousands of jobs Wrns UNP Leader and Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam Issues Statement Calling For the resignation of Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila over his failure to prevent fuel price increases

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has called for the resignation of Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila over his failure to prevent yesterday’s fuel price increase.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam Issues Statement Calling For the resignation of Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila over his failure to prevent fuel price increases’ »

Social Media Firestorm Caused by Influencer Piyumi Hansamali’s Rants Have Helped Govt by Diverting Focus Away from Environmental Disaster Created by “X-Press Pearl”Container Ship -The Economist


For two weeks an inferno blazed on the X-Press Pearl, a container ship, off Sri Lanka’s western coast. Its cargo—everything from frozen fish to hazardous chemicals and tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles—burned up or spilled into the ocean. Eventually, on June 2nd, the ship sank. Nurdles and other debris are washing up on beaches. Hard questions have been asked about why the vessel, which was known to have a leaky container of acid, was allowed to enter Sri Lankan waters.

So naturally all that many Sri Lankans have discussed for the past week is Piumi Hansamali, a 28-year-old model and actress. On the same day that the ship sank, police in the capital, Colombo, bundled Ms Hansamali and more than a dozen other people into an old bus and drove them to Passara, a distant village, for a compulsory two-week quarantine. Ms Hansamali had earlier been arrested and released on bail for attending a birthday party on May 30th for Chandimal Jayasinghe, a beautician and beauty-pageant impresario, in a five-star hotel, in violation of a lockdown that started in the middle of May.

Continue reading ‘Social Media Firestorm Caused by Influencer Piyumi Hansamali’s Rants Have Helped Govt by Diverting Focus Away from Environmental Disaster Created by “X-Press Pearl”Container Ship -The Economist’ »

Lawyers for two Uyghur groups Trying to get International Criminal Court Prosecutor to open an Investigation into Human Rights Abuses by Chinese officials Against Uyghurs in Tajikistan

WHEN SALIH HUDAYAR visited Tajikistan in 2014, he remembers there being “thousands” of fellow Uyghurs in Dushanbe, the capital. Many of them came from the same city as him, Artush, in western Xinjiang. But since then the number of Uyghurs in the country has dwindled.

Mr Hudayar is now an American citizen and the head of a group called the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), founded in Washington in 2004, claiming to represent the interests of Uyghurs in Xinjiang (or East Turkistan, as some Uyghurs call the region). According to evidence submitted on June 10th to the International Criminal Court (ICC), on behalf of the ETGE and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, another Washington-based group, China has been working with Tajikistan to round up and deport Uyghurs since at least 2016.

The Chinese Public Security Bureau worked with the Tajikistan police to identify any Uyghurs, and then “directly intervened” to deport them back to China. “I knew central Asia wasn’t safe,” Mr Hudayar remembers. “No matter where you go, you have to be careful.”

The lawyers for the two Uyghur groups are asking the ICC’s prosecutor to open an investigation into Chinese officials. They allege that through threats, intimidation and physical force, nearly 3,000 Uyghurs—85-90% of the total population in Tajikistan—have been compelled to return to China, where they are likely to end up in detention camps.

Continue reading ‘Lawyers for two Uyghur groups Trying to get International Criminal Court Prosecutor to open an Investigation into Human Rights Abuses by Chinese officials Against Uyghurs in Tajikistan’ »

Person or Persons Posting or Sharing “FAKE NEWS” on Social Media in Sri Lanka Can be Arrested Without without Warrant by Police


Sri Lankans posting/sharing falsehoods on social media face arrest without warrant, police said.

In a statement issued June 08, police said anyone creating, publishing, sharing, forwarding, or aiding and abetting the spread of fake news on social media will be considered to have committed an offence under provisions in the police ordinance, the penal code, the prevention of terrorism act (PTA), the computer crimes act and other laws.

Continue reading ‘Person or Persons Posting or Sharing “FAKE NEWS” on Social Media in Sri Lanka Can be Arrested Without without Warrant by Police’ »

The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences.

By
Sulmaan Wasif Khan

(Sulmaan Wasif Khan is the Denison chair of international history and diplomacy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He is the author of Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy From Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping.)

Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy. Until then, Beijing’s diplomatic, military, and economic efforts were all directed toward national security. Learned observers could quibble about whether Beijing saw security as inseparable from hegemony; they could debate how productive China’s policies were. But the consistency of purpose underpinning China’s behavior was hard to miss.

Of late, however, China has lost that purposefulness—one of the hallmarks of grand strategy. The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences.

Just why that breakdown has occurred is uncertain, but it is clear that the change has put both China and the world in jeopardy. China risks undoing all it has gained—at considerable cost—since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power. And the rest of the world, particularly the United States, finds itself confronted not with the hard task of managing a rising, reasonably predictable power but the infinitely harder job of managing a flailing one.

Grand strategy is the integration of different kinds of power to achieve an overarching objective. How a state defines its objective and how it weaves together diplomacy, military power, and economic policy to pursue it will vary, but certain features are usually clear.

First, grand strategies are long-term. The idea is to be safe not just now or tomorrow but a decade or so down the line.

Second, they are all-encompassing. Be it Iran or environmental change, the cost of potatoes or military modernization, grand strategies consider these items as they relate to an overarching objective, not in isolation.

Third, they have flexibility. The grand strategist is capable of shifting tacks: This particular path isn’t getting me where I want to go; therefore, I must try another way.

In China’s case, a grand strategy has defined the Communist Party’s conduct for most of its time in power. From Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, China has sought to secure the state by weaving together diplomatic, economic, and military power.

Continue reading ‘The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences.’ »

The Rajapaksas don’t Dismantle the Chicken Coop. They merely make the Foxes the Guardians and Protectors of the Chickens.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Over the weekend, the vultures got into the presidential palace…”
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘The Autumn of the Patriarch’

It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie or a glimpse of the end times. A leaden beach; figures in head-to-toe protective gear shovelling tiny plastic pellets into sacks. A labour of Sisyphus, for as they clean one mound, waves heap more on the shore. Carcasses of fish, sea birds, turtles and dolphins pile up on other shores, the first victims of a cataclysm that could have been prevented but wasn’t.

A few miles, and a universe, away, it is business as usual for the Rajapaksas. President Gotabaya presents nephew Namal with a spanking new State ministry. Prime Minister Mahinda inaugurates six road construction projects – five overhead bridges and one expressway. It is as if the worst marine environmental disaster in the history of Sri Lanka is a thing happening to other people.

The multiverse is here.

The Rajapaksas rule in one universe and we live in another.

In their universe Sri Lanka is a world-leader in fighting the pandemic, has a vaccine rollout that is a shining example of efficacy and fairness, possesses enough money for everything health, and is lending dollars to Bangladesh in millions.

In our universe, everything is otherwise.

Continue reading ‘The Rajapaksas don’t Dismantle the Chicken Coop. They merely make the Foxes the Guardians and Protectors of the Chickens.’ »

Two Teachers at Al-Zuhriya Arabic College who did not even know Hejaz Hizbullah Personally were Forced by CID Officers to Falsely Implicate the Prominent Lawyer in Fabricated Statements and were Promised “Leniency” in Return.


Two Fundamental Rights petitions filed on behalf of two teachers of the Al- Zuhriya Arabic College said that two teachers were forced by the Criminal Investigations Department to implicate Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.

The two petitions were filed by lawyer Erik Balasooriya was supported before the Supreme Court yesterday.

M.A. Sumanthiran PC told the court that the two teachers had told their lawyer Balasooriya during a consultation held in the presence of two CID officers who had an audio recording device, that the officers had promised “leniency” if they implicate Hizbullah.

“They were forced to implicate Hizbullah and were promised leniency and they don’t even know who Hejaaz Hizbullah is,” he told court.

Continue reading ‘Two Teachers at Al-Zuhriya Arabic College who did not even know Hejaz Hizbullah Personally were Forced by CID Officers to Falsely Implicate the Prominent Lawyer in Fabricated Statements and were Promised “Leniency” in Return.’ »

Vijitha Yapa the Founding Editor of “Sunday Times” Writes About Qadri Ismail’s Journalistic Stint at the Newspaper Three Decades Ago

By

Vijitha Yapa

Three graduates from Peradeniya University applied for the posts of journalists at the Sunday Times in 1987. We wanted fresh blood and these three outclassed the others who responded to our advertisement. All three, Qadri Ismail, Romesh Fernando and J.F. Tissanayagam were recruited.

Qadri was an English Honours graduate and began to show his skills in word craft and presentation of facts early. But soon he was embroiled in controversy on English with his mentor, Professor Ashley Halpe of the Department of English, through the pages of Mervyn de Silva’s The Lanka Guardian. Mervyn asked Ashley to bring the argument to a halt and Ashley sent a two-liner to conclude the confrontation. He said ‘all this time we were taught English in the schools through W.H. Samaranayake’s English with a smile but now there is a modern version, English with an Ismail’.

Nov. 8, 1987: Qadri wrote the near-death experience he faced while reporting the IPKF’s war against the LTTE\\

The decision to give Lasantha Wickramatunga and Qadri space to write two weekly columns saw the birth of a controversial adventure. While Lasantha wrote the inside stories on politics and gave intricate details including the menus partaken at meals by politicians, Qadri was adept at writing on any subject under the sun. But unlike Lasantha, Qadri’s comments on politics meant he was immersed in controversy.

Continue reading ‘Vijitha Yapa the Founding Editor of “Sunday Times” Writes About Qadri Ismail’s Journalistic Stint at the Newspaper Three Decades Ago’ »

Why is Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa Playing a Prominent Role in Govt Activity Relating to the COVID Threat while there are one cabinet minister and three State ministers in charge of functions Concerning Health Sector asks ex -JVP Parliamentarian Dr.Jayatissa

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says the government owes an explanation as regards the role played by Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa in the ongoing efforts to bring the rampaging Covid-19 epidemic under control.

Dr. Jayatissa, who represented the Kalutara District in Parliament during 2015-2020 period, failed to retain his seat at the last general election, conducted in August 2020.

The JVPer asked whether the government had created a special position for Minister Rajapaksa in the apparatus tasked with battling the epidemic.

Referring to a spate of press releases issued by the Sports Ministry in the past two weeks, Dr. Jayatissa questioned the rationale behind Minister Namal Rajapaksa chairing a meeting of State Ministers at Temple Trees where the focus was on the ongoing national inoculation project.

Continue reading ‘Why is Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa Playing a Prominent Role in Govt Activity Relating to the COVID Threat while there are one cabinet minister and three State ministers in charge of functions Concerning Health Sector asks ex -JVP Parliamentarian Dr.Jayatissa’ »

Why has the China-backed Colombo Port City project come under attack from the Opposition and citizens?

By

Meera Srinivasan

Last month, Sri Lanka passed the controversial Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, which governs the China-backed Colombo Port City project worth $1.4 billion, amid wide opposition to the creation of a “Chinese enclave” in the island nation.

Why is the project surrounded by controversies?

The Colombo Port City has grabbed headlines in Sri Lanka in recent months even as the relentless third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the country. Almost an artificial island, the territory coming up on 2.69 square kilometres of land reclaimed from Colombo’s seafront has stirred controversy since its inception. Those backing it see in that patch of land their dream of an international financial hub — a “Singapore or Dubai” in the Indian Ocean. But sceptics claim that it could well become a “Chinese colony”, with the Bill, which is now an Act, providing the Port City and the powerful Commission that will run it substantial “immunity” from Sri Lankan laws, besides huge tax exemptions and other incentives for investors.

Pitched as a “world-class city for South Asia”, the development is envisioned under five distinct “precincts” — the Financial District, the Central Park Living and the Island Living to come up as residential areas, The Marina, which is planned as a leisure destination, and the International Island, which would include educational institutions and convention centres. The Port City project is scheduled for completion by 2041.

Continue reading ‘Why has the China-backed Colombo Port City project come under attack from the Opposition and citizens?’ »

” People have a right to know how the ship caught fire and why it could not be extinguished. Also, the people have a right to know what steps we will take next regarding the ship. We urge the government to expedite this” -UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on X-Press Pearl Disaster


UNP leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into the fire on the X-Press Pearl.

“The ship arrived in the outer harbor of Colombo on the night of May 19. On the 20th of May our crew entered the ship. There they learned that there was a fire in the container boxes containing the chemicals stored on the ship. By May 25, the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) had informed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that this area was in danger,” Wickremesinghe said.

“If the explosion had taken place when the X-Press Pearl had entered the port of Colombo, the damage would have been worse. It could have destroyed all the buildings from the Colombo port to the Shangri-La Hotel,” the UNP Leader stressed.

Continue reading ‘” People have a right to know how the ship caught fire and why it could not be extinguished. Also, the people have a right to know what steps we will take next regarding the ship. We urge the government to expedite this” -UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on X-Press Pearl Disaster’ »

Qadri Ismail discursively envisioned a Sri Lanka “that has never existed” – one that can only experientially evolve and not be built by brick and mortar.

by Rajan Philips

Qadri Ismail, Professor of English, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, passed away recently. His death was sudden and shocking. Yet another Sri Lankan scholar, writer and activist has been prematurely snatched away.

Qadri Ismail

Everyone who reads Sri Lankan politics in English knows of Qadri Ismail. I hardly knew Qadri apart from his writings.

I have met him only once, and that was in Minneapolis, in 2007. The backdrop to our meeting was the rather long review article I had written on Qadri’s (thesis) book: “Abiding by Sri Lanka: On Peace, Place and Post-coloniality.” The article was published in 2006, in The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities.

I owe a debt of intellectual gratitude to Dr. Senath Walter Perera, now Emeritus Professor of English and the Journal Editor at that time, who invited me to review the book and then introduced me to Qadri. In keeping with the many themes that Qadri touched in his book, and following up on my recent articles on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1971 insurrection, it is appropriate that I write this sequel on the limitations of Sri Lanka’s three nationalisms as a homage to the memory of Professor Qadri Ismail.

Continue reading ‘Qadri Ismail discursively envisioned a Sri Lanka “that has never existed” – one that can only experientially evolve and not be built by brick and mortar.’ »

Urgent Priority now is to Remove 300 Tons of Bunker Oil from MV X– Press Pearl to Prevent Ecological Damage and Move the wreck of the vessel from its current position because it is in the middle of busy shipping lanes and an obstruction can have a heavy financial cost


By Sarasi Wijeratne

The decision to tow away the MV X– Press Pearl to deeper waters could result in further and unprecedented damage to the environment and marine life unless the bunker oil is taken out.

The ship was carrying more than 300 tons of bunker oil for its use and there are likely to be several bunkers with oil in them.

‘There are experienced divers who can be deployed for this’, said Dr. Dan Malika Gunasekara an expert in national maritime and logistics. ‘It should be done under the guidance of maritime experts and a captain’.

The second priority is to move the wreck of the vessel from its current position because it is in the middle of busy shipping lanes and an obstruction can have a heavy financial cost.

Continue reading ‘Urgent Priority now is to Remove 300 Tons of Bunker Oil from MV X– Press Pearl to Prevent Ecological Damage and Move the wreck of the vessel from its current position because it is in the middle of busy shipping lanes and an obstruction can have a heavy financial cost’ »

If Acid Leak Detected by MV X-Press Pearl Crew After Ship Left Jebel Ali in Dubai where it had loaded cargo had been Fixed at Hamad in Qatar or Hazaril in India the Fire on Board the Vessel Off Colombo Could Have Been Averted.

By Sarasi Wijeratne

The fire on board the MV X-Press Pearl could have been averted if the acid leak that wasdetected was fixed before it sailed to Colombo.

The ship’s crew had detected the leak after it left Jebel Ali in Dubai where it had loaded cargo and was enroute to Hamad in Qatar. The leak was allegedly not fixed here and nor was it fixed in Hazari in India which was its next stop. The ship, which was on a fixed port rotation between these ports was a regular and the next port of call was Colombo.

‘In addition to responsibilities under the fixed port rotation system we have a Port of Refuge and support services obligation and we could not have turned the ship away,’ said a high–level source at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority(SLPA). ‘It could have resulted in a criminal prosecution’.

Denying the ship had not been allowed entry to Hamad and Hazari the source clarified that it was allowed entry into these ports to offload and reload cargo but the leak allegedly was not fixed. According to the source the prevailing ground conditions were instrumental. ‘The ship was in Hamad during the Ramadan season andin Hazari it could not get help because of Covid’.

Continue reading ‘If Acid Leak Detected by MV X-Press Pearl Crew After Ship Left Jebel Ali in Dubai where it had loaded cargo had been Fixed at Hamad in Qatar or Hazaril in India the Fire on Board the Vessel Off Colombo Could Have Been Averted.’ »

“We elected a leader who we thought was capable to govern the country through politics. If he is not, we won’t place our confidence in him.”- Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Lashes Out at Media Conference.

(Excerpts from the “Sunday Times”Political Column of June 6th 2021)

This week, the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, who appeared to lean in favour of Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the presidential election, came out fiercely at a news conference. He criticised bitterly the ruling alliance and charged that there was a conspiracy to save those responsible for the Easter Sunday massacres in 2019.


Here are edited excerpts of what he said:

“We are deeply sorry about the current situation. There are several factors that contribute. In general, we are unsure whether there is any rule of law in the country, The trajectory the country is headed is also questionable. Sri Lanka is a country which is situated in an incredibly special geographic location in the world, Those who pledged to protect the country and came to power are dragging the country towards a path of destruction. It is very saddening to talk about this.

“Expectations in our hearts and minds are shattered. Who is ruling the country? Who takes decisions? Our country has become a place where we are uncertain about these matters. We as people of this country, and not only as Catholics, what we can say is ‘please stop moving forward like this’. Development is not selling the country’s resources. It must be easy to sell all the resources. Yet we have something called self-esteem and confidence. The politicians are responsible for protecting the country. Please do not offer our land to different countries.

“Government politicians, who supported us earlier when we were protesting against the MCC agreement with the US, are now doing the same thing in a worse manner. We are terribly sad about it. The former Attorney General has said that a huge conspiracy is taking place in this country. That means there is huge conspiracy behind the Easter Sunday attacks. We should know what that conspiracy is? If the former Attorney General said it, he should have investigated it.

Continue reading ‘“We elected a leader who we thought was capable to govern the country through politics. If he is not, we won’t place our confidence in him.”- Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Lashes Out at Media Conference.’ »

“President Xi Jinping has pursued a combative, unpredictable and often emotional foreign policy. Now Chinese diplomats embrace conflict and hurl insults in what is known as “wolf warrior” diplomacy.”

Columnist Fareed Zakaria says in an opinion piece in The Washington Post dated May 28 that in a country that is divided on almost everything, one area of bipartisanship in the United States is alive and growing — fear of China.

“The Chinese are eating our lunch,” says President Biden. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri says they “are well on their way” to achieving their goal of world “domination.” Experts warn that China’s Belt and Road Initiative and vaccine diplomacy are bolstering its soft power, Zakaria points out.

“Let’s look at what is actually happening on the ground. China’s secrecy and deception about the origins of covid-19 have spurred increasing calls for thorough investigations, including now from Biden. Instead of being transparent and welcoming international efforts to figure out what went wrong, Beijing’s attitude has been defensive and obstructionist — fueling suspicions and conspiracy theories.”

Continue reading ‘“President Xi Jinping has pursued a combative, unpredictable and often emotional foreign policy. Now Chinese diplomats embrace conflict and hurl insults in what is known as “wolf warrior” diplomacy.”’ »

Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara Instructs IGP and Senior DIG to Divert Bus Transporting 14 Persons Including Model Piumi Hansalimali for COVID Quarantine in Passara to Talangama Police Station and Provide Clothes and Welfare Items as Requested by them


Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara today denied reports that he ordered the bus transporting 14 persons including model Piumi Hansamali who had attended a party at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo to return when it was travelling to a quarantine centre in Passara.

In a statement, the ministry said that an Attorney-at-Law has called Minister Sarath Weerasekera on June 2 and told him that his clients were being taken to a quarantine center in Badulla and that they did not even have basic necessities.

Continue reading ‘Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara Instructs IGP and Senior DIG to Divert Bus Transporting 14 Persons Including Model Piumi Hansalimali for COVID Quarantine in Passara to Talangama Police Station and Provide Clothes and Welfare Items as Requested by them’ »

21 Persons Including Jackson Anthony’s Daughter Madhavee Wathsala and Actress Anarkali Akarsha Arrested for Attending Birthday Event Organized by Chandimal Jayasinghe and model Piumi Hansamali at the Colombo Shangri-La Hotel

By

Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya

Six more people including Jackson Anthony’s daughter Madhavee Wathsala Anthony have been arrested for attending the birthday party thrown at Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on May 30 violating quarantine regulations, Police said.

Milan Silva, the husband of Madhavee Wathsala Anthony, Anarkali Akarsha and mother of event organiser Chandimal Jayasinghe were also among the arrested.

Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the police are searching for another person who is evading the arrest.

He said a total of 21 persons have been arrested over the incident so far.

Continue reading ‘21 Persons Including Jackson Anthony’s Daughter Madhavee Wathsala and Actress Anarkali Akarsha Arrested for Attending Birthday Event Organized by Chandimal Jayasinghe and model Piumi Hansamali at the Colombo Shangri-La Hotel’ »

China should stop telling its citizens how many children to have;it’s none of the Communist Party’s business;Every other country grants its people the basic freedom over whether or not to have children. Why not China?

“BOTH HUSBAND and wife have the duty to practise family planning.” In China these words are a threat, enshrined in the constitution. Failure to abide by the ruling party’s notion of the correct family size can result in punishment, with a large fine or the loss of a job.

Among the mainly Muslim ethnic minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang, women who exceed their allotted quota of children have been subjected to forced sterilisation and sent to detention camps.

Some Chinese may be relieved, then, that the Communist Party will relax the rules. Previously, most couples had been kept to two children. On May 31st the Politburo announced that the limit would be raised to three.

Continue reading ‘China should stop telling its citizens how many children to have;it’s none of the Communist Party’s business;Every other country grants its people the basic freedom over whether or not to have children. Why not China?’ »

Sri Lankan authorities bracing for a possible oil spill as fire-damaged cargo vessel “MV X-Press Pearl” carrying chemicals and plastic starts sinking off the island’s main Harbour in Colombo.

By

Meera Srinivsan

Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday said they were bracing for a possible oil spill, as a fire-damaged cargo vessel was sinking off the island’s main port in capital Colombo.

Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying chemicals and plastic, has been in news since a fire incident on May 20 and subsequent explosion aboard, following which tonnes of plastic pellet deposits were found deposited along the country’s beaches.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan authorities bracing for a possible oil spill as fire-damaged cargo vessel “MV X-Press Pearl” carrying chemicals and plastic starts sinking off the island’s main Harbour in Colombo.’ »

One wonders how President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would stick to his assurance to India’s concerns on security, with the Chinese literally breathing down his neck.

By

Col R Hariharan

Many would consider the passing of the controversial Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill by Sri Lanka parliament, with a comfortable margin on May 20, as a victory for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. President Rajapaksa’s personal reputation was at stake, after Supreme Court scrutiny had found both constitutional and procedural anomalies with the draft. In the end, the government accepted all the amendments suggested by the Supreme Court, though it bypassed suggestions for referendum and two thirds majority for certain sections, to rush it through the parliament.

The Act empowers the President to create a commission for the special economic zone to manage the SEZ, accord tax and duty concessions for investors. Concerns of ‘foreigners’, euphemism for Chinese, being inducted into the Commission were assuaged after the President Rajapaksa appointed President’s Counsel Gamini Marpana to head the Port City Commission with six other Sri Lankans including Treasury Secretary SR Attygalle as members.

The Economic Commission, which was mooted as an independent body, will now function under the country’s regulatory authorities and constitutional bodies including the parliament. The companies in CPC will have to operate under Sri Lankan laws and judiciary and conform to financial and customs regulations applicable to elsewhere in the country. This has taken some sheen off the original proposal, depriving the CPC much of the hype to become an international financial hub on the lines of Dubai or Singapore. Reconciling the demands of the SEZ to attract investment with the constraints imposed by the Act, must be worrying the Rajapaksas.

Continue reading ‘One wonders how President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would stick to his assurance to India’s concerns on security, with the Chinese literally breathing down his neck.’ »

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Offers Sensible Advice to Presient Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Govt on How o Deal With the COVID Pandemic Crisis Effectively; Is it a case of Casting Pearls Before Swine?

(Text of Statement Issued by Former Prime Minister and United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urging the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Govt to prepare a draft law to control the pandemic and to sustain the country and the economy)

“First of all, I would like to extend a special thanks to the doctors, nurses, researchers, public health inspectors, junior staff as well as the Grama Niladharis including the Armed Forces and the Police who have dedicated themselves to the people of Sri Lanka since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

We will never forget these people that have worked so hard during the disaster. I urge all citizens to express their gratitude to this group. Our health workers are tired today because they have continually worked for the past year. It is dangerous to continue this way. The Health Sector has reached its tipping point. The only way to protect them is to set a common set of principles that everyone will accept. Only through such a plan can we halt this situation.

First of all, follow the doctor’s instructions. The government still does not accept the medical advice. However, Malaysia decided to close the country for 14 days as soon as it received medical advice.

Also, our country has not yet received the required number of vaccines. As soon as the Minister of Health announced that she would sign an agreement to obtain the vaccine last November, the Pfizer Vaccine Company submitted its proposals. But it did not work. Unfortunately, it was not until seven months later that the government focussed seriously on the vaccination program. This is a great crime.

If we buy the vaccine now, it will have to be done by an authorized representative of the company. Other groups are waiting to earn extra money from the vaccine sales. I urge the Government not to use the vaccination program as an opportunity for middlemen to make money.

Continue reading ‘Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Offers Sensible Advice to Presient Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Govt on How o Deal With the COVID Pandemic Crisis Effectively; Is it a case of Casting Pearls Before Swine?’ »

The Working Committee of the United National Party Unanimously Decides to Nominate party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the UNP National List MP in Parliament.

By

Easwaran Rutnam

The Working Committee (WC) of the United National Party (UNP) has picked party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the UNP nominee for Parliament.

At a meeting held today (Monday) the UNP Working Committee proposed that Wickremesinghe enter Parliament through its only National List seat.

UNP sources told Daily Mirror that the party will now take a final decision on the matter.

Continue reading ‘The Working Committee of the United National Party Unanimously Decides to Nominate party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the UNP National List MP in Parliament.’ »

MA Sumanthiran PC Files Application on Behalf of Two Moulavis Detained Under the PTA who Want to Make Direct Statement to Fort Magistrate Claiming to be under Pressure by Police to Implicate Lawyer Hejaaz Hibullah Falsely in Case Relating to Alleged Extremist Teachings at AlhZuhriya Madrassa

By Easwaran Rutnam

Two Maulavis who have been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), have informed court through their lawyer that they are under pressure to frame human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah.

Attorney-at-law Erick Balasooriya had filed a Fundamental Rights petition alleging that the two Maulavis are being coerced to frame Hizbullah.

In the Petition, Balasooriya said the Moulavis do not know Hizbullah nor did they conduct any extremist teaching at the Al-Zuhriya madrasa.

When the Moulavis were first produced before the Colombo Magistrates court yesterday, Balsooriya informed court that the Moulavis intend making a statements to him. The matter was thereafter transferred to the Fort Magistrates court.

Continue reading ‘MA Sumanthiran PC Files Application on Behalf of Two Moulavis Detained Under the PTA who Want to Make Direct Statement to Fort Magistrate Claiming to be under Pressure by Police to Implicate Lawyer Hejaaz Hibullah Falsely in Case Relating to Alleged Extremist Teachings at AlhZuhriya Madrassa’ »

Is the Proposed Data Protection legislation a cause for concern for journalistic expression?

By

Ashwini Natesan

(The writer is a lecturer, legal researcher and consultant specialising in Technology, Media and Communications Law.)

At the outset it should be said that there is no question as to the need or importance of a data protection legislation. Sri Lanka has long needed a comprehensive legislation to protect individuals’ personal data from breach and unauthorised use. However, a reading of the Personal Data Protection 2021, draft in its present form, (Draft 7 published in February 2021 in ICTA’s official website, hereinafter ‘Proposed Data Protection’) raises certain potential concerns that require attention.

Continue reading ‘Is the Proposed Data Protection legislation a cause for concern for journalistic expression?’ »

Sri Lanka Invites International Investment into the Colombo Port City while New Delhi Officials say they are “keeping a close eye” on the project and its “security implications”.

By

Suhasini Haidar and Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka on Friday invited international investment into the Colombo Port City that it described as a “fully Sri Lankan project”, while official sources in New Delhi said they were “keeping a close eye” on the project and its “security implications”.

“If it is only a commercial venture then that is their [Sri Lanka’s] choice… We will continue to engage Sri Lanka, while watching our national interest,” said a government source in New Delhi, awaiting the final version of the Bill whose blueprint the Sri Lankan Parliament’s Speaker signed on Thursday. The ‘Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act’ is yet to be made public.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Invites International Investment into the Colombo Port City while New Delhi Officials say they are “keeping a close eye” on the project and its “security implications”.’ »

Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE, One-eyed Sivarasan and the Indo-Lanka Accord

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(This is an enhanced version of an article appearing in the “Daily Mirror” of May 22nd 2021)

Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated 30 years ago by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) at a place called Sriperumbhudur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on May 21st 1991. Rajiv Ratna Gandhi who was India’s Prime minister from 31st October 1984 to December 2nd 1989 was not serving as premier at the time of his demise.. An election campaign was underway then to elect a new Lok Sabha or Parliament. The Congress led by Rajiv was the front runner in that race at that time.

Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE, One-eyed Sivarasan and the Indo-Lanka Accord-by D.B.S.JEYARAJ

Rajiv as he was generally known was in Sriperumbudur to address a propaganda meeting in support of Congress party candidate Ms. Maragatham Chandrasekhar. The 46 year old Indian ex – premier was then immersed in a hectic political campaign to win the Indian Parliamentary elections.

It was then that a Sri lankan Tamil girl known by the name of “Dhanu” got close to Rajiv Gandhi and tried to give him a sandalwood garland. When a Policewoman tried to shoo her off, Rajic restrained her and told the cop to let the girl come near. The be – spectacled girl in an orange and green churidar then came near and bent down respectfully to touch Rajiv’s feet. She set off a concealed explosive device that was strapped to her body. Rajiv Gandhi, the assailant Dhanu and at least 18 others were killed in the blast instantly. 42 were seriously injured.
Continue reading ‘Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE, One-eyed Sivarasan and the Indo-Lanka Accord’ »

The Downfall of the LTTE Led by Prabhakaran at Mullivaaikkaal

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Rise and Fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -Part 2

Mullivaaikkal-2009

“The successful growth of the LTTE came at huge cost to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Vertically the LTTE ascended, but horizontally the Sri Lankan Tamils descended. This was the unpleasant and inconvenient truth that the LTTE and acolytes often denied and did not like to hear it being said in the past” was the final paragraph of the first part of this article published last week. The intention was to draw attention to the pathetic plight of the Tamil people of the north and east due to the long war.

World War I was only four years long – from 1914 to 1918. World War II was six years – from 1939 to 1945. This war for Tamil Eelam went on and on for more than 25 years with an intensity and ferocity that debilitated the Tamil people immensely. The Tamil-majority areas experienced a staggered ‘scorched earth policy,’ cunningly implemented in phases by different regimes. Death, injury, destruction, displacement, etc., were part of daily life.

Continue reading ‘The Downfall of the LTTE Led by Prabhakaran at Mullivaaikkaal’ »

The Rise and Fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Forty-five years ago on 5 May 1976, a section of militant Tamil youths in northern Sri Lanka re-grouped themselves into an organisation called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

An LTTE homage site

The LTTE, which became popularly known as the Tiger organisation, had as its fundamental objective the setting up of a separate Tamil state on the island through armed struggle. Thereafter the Tigers engaged in armed confrontation against the Sri Lankan State for several decades. The LTTE developed into a powerful militia that adopted positional warfare and was capable of capturing, retaining and defending extensive territory. The Tigers were also perceived as the determining force in Sri Lankan politics for many years.

Continue reading ‘The Rise and Fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’ »

President Rajapaksa Appoints Seven Members to the Colombo Port City Economic Commission; Gamini Marapana PC will be Chairman while Other Six comprise Treasury Secretary S R. Attygalle, Water Supply Ministry Secretary Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama,Saliya Wickramasuriya, Kushan Kodituwakku, Rohan de Silva and Gerard Ondaatjie.


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed seven members to the Colombo Port City Economic Commission, including three young leaders from the private sector.

The Commission, which will be chaired by Gamini Marapana PC, has a three-year term of office and could be re-appointed.

The Commission will act as a single window investor facilitator for all the investments and projects in the Colombo Port City. Land within the Port City vests with the Commission and any lease of land for a project will have to be executed with the Commission.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Appoints Seven Members to the Colombo Port City Economic Commission; Gamini Marapana PC will be Chairman while Other Six comprise Treasury Secretary S R. Attygalle, Water Supply Ministry Secretary Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama,Saliya Wickramasuriya, Kushan Kodituwakku, Rohan de Silva and Gerard Ondaatjie.’ »

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi’s policy on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue was “refined and nuanced” and “statesman-like” Argues A.S.Panneerselvan in his New Biography “Karunanidhi: A Life”

By

P.K.Balachandran

In contrast to iconic Tamil Nadu leaders like K.Kamaraj or M.G.Ramachandran (MGR), who were invariably portrayed glowingly, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and many times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was dogged by negative portrayals.

To his adoring followers, he was the quintessential Tamil icon and a relentless crusader for the Tamils’ rights and a promoter of social justice. But to his opponents, he had institutionalized corruption and was a radical Tamil nationalist who, at times, betrayed secessionist ideas.

A.S.Panneerselvan’s just released biography of Karunanidhi entitled: “Karunanidhi: A Life” (Penguin/Viking 2021), shows the Tamil leader in a very favorable light. Rich in detail, it cites context after context in which Karunanidhi was deliberately wronged by interested parties.

Continue reading ‘Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi’s policy on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue was “refined and nuanced” and “statesman-like” Argues A.S.Panneerselvan in his New Biography “Karunanidhi: A Life”’ »

Open criticism is taboo of China’s all-powerful leader Xi Jinping known as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”


On may 6th Wang Xing, a Chinese tech tycoon, posted a classical ninth-century poem on Fanfou, a social-media platform. The poem mocked an ancient Chinese emperor who tried to quell unrest by burning books. “The ashes of burnt books had not yet faded away but the Qin dynasty was already weak,” read the poem. For some reason, cynics suggested that the dynasty Mr Wang had in mind was not an ancient one at all, and the “emperor” he was mocking was Xi Jinping.

Mr Wang swiftly deleted the post, and censors wiped all comments. But the share price of Mr Wang’s firm, Meituan, a popular online platform for shopping and delivery services, promptly collapsed. In four days it declined in value by $26bn, wiping $2.5bn from Mr Wang’s personal fortune. He insisted that he had been referring to competition within the e-commerce industry. His firm is one of several that have come under recent close scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

Continue reading ‘Open criticism is taboo of China’s all-powerful leader Xi Jinping known as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”’ »

I May be a Doctor Fighting COVID-19 But Now I am Only a Daughter Crying in Isolation For Her Departed Father!

By
Dr. Nachiar Thondaman

(Today May 26th 2021 is the first death anniversary of Former CWC leader, Cabinet Minister and NuwaraEliya district MP Mr. Arumugan Thondaman. This tribute written by his eldest daughter Dr.Nachiar last year is re-posted here without any changes to commemorate the death anniversary)

(Dr. Nachiar Thondaman working in a middle-eastern country is the eldest daughter of CWC Leader and Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister Arumugan Thondaman who passed away on May 26th 2020. She arrived in Colombo days ago but is undergoing quarantine isolation in accordance with anti-COVID health procedures.Unable to participate in her Father’s funeral proceedings, Dr. Nachiar took to the pen and wrote down her random thoughts as a letter to him in a bid to cope with her personal tragedy. By doing so, she has revealed the softer side of Arumugan who has a tough strong man image due to his style of politics. A part of this letter was read out by her brother Jeevan at Thondaman’s funeral. The Daughter’s letter to her Father is published here in full)

“Appah” Arumugan with Children Nachi, Viji &Jeevan

Dear Father,

How are you doing? It has been days since I got that dreaded call and found out that you had left us. After hours of travel and endless tears, I eagerly reached home only to be quarantined. Every day I see what this disease can do, and how many lives it has taken, however my irrational anger is deafened by my duty as a doctor.

Arumugan With Eldest Daughter and Son in Law on Wedding Day

Continue reading ‘I May be a Doctor Fighting COVID-19 But Now I am Only a Daughter Crying in Isolation For Her Departed Father!’ »

Tamil Nadu Polls Turn “Ulaga Nayagan” (Global Hero) Kamal Haasan Into a Political Zero

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Srinivasan Kamal Haasan known populrly as Kamal Haasan and Kamal is arguably the finest actor in Tamil cinema today. He is also acknowledged as being one of India’s foremost thespians.The multi-faceted artiste is a film director, producer, screenwriter, film lyricist, poet, dancer, choreographer and playback singer. The 66 year old actor whose screen debut was in 1960 as a child artiste has acted in about 230 films and won many awards and laurels. His adulatory fans hail their idol as “Ulaga Naayagan” or global hero.

Leader of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM)

The recently concluded elections to the Southern state of Tamil Nadu in India has dented the larger than life image of Kamal Haasan. The Political party launched by Kamal in 2018 – “Makkal Needhi Maiam” (Centre for Justice) – together with a few smaller parties contested all 234 seats in the Legislative Assembly at the 2021 polls in Tamil Nadu. The Kamal Haasan led alliance failed to win a single seat. The party leader Kamal lost by a narrow margin in the Coimbatore South constituency.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Polls Turn “Ulaga Nayagan” (Global Hero) Kamal Haasan Into a Political Zero’ »

“எங்கள் பொறுமைக்கும் ஒரு எல்லை உண்டு. இந்நிலை தொடருமானால், இலங்கை-சீன அரசுகளுக்கு எதிராக நாம் மொழி போராட்டத்தை ஆரம்பிக்க வேண்டி வரும். இந்நாட்டு அரசியலமைப்பில் உள்ள அரச கரும மொழி சட்டத்தை மீறும் பெயர் பலகைகளில் கறுப்பு வண்ண தாரை பூசும் போராட்டத்தை நானே தலைமை தாங்கி நடத்தவேண்டிவரும்.”- தமிழ் முற்போக்கு கூட்டணி தலைவர் மனோ கணேசன் எம்பி

மனோ கணேசன்

தற்போது சமூக ஊடகங்களில் உலாவும் தமிழ் இல்லாத, சிங்களம், சீனம், ஆங்கிலம் ஆகிய மொழிகள் மட்டும் கொண்ட ஒரு பெயர் பலகை படம், ஒரு வருடத்துக்கு முன்பே அகற்றப்பட்டு விட்டது என சீன தூதரகம் எனக்கு தெரிவித்துள்ளது. எனினும் இதுபற்றி யோசித்து பார்த்தால், தமிழ் மொழியை புறக்கணிக்க சீனர்கள், இலங்கை அரசிடம்தான் பாடம் படித்துள்ளனர் போல் தெரிகிறது.

சட்டத்துக்கு வரைவிலக்கணம் தரும் பொறுப்பை கொண்டிருக்கும் சட்டமா அதிபர் திணைக்களத்தில், மொழி சட்டத்தை மீறும் வகையில், தமிழுக்கு பதில் சீன மொழியை எழுதி, திறன் நூலகத்தை சட்டமா அதிபரே திறந்து வைக்கிறார். இப்போது, எமது எதிர்ப்புகளின் பின் அது மாற்றப்படுவதாக சொல்லப்படுகிறது. ஆனால், நடந்த “சட்டமா” குளறுபடிக்கு காரணம் யார்? சட்டமா அதிபர் திணைக்களமா? சீன தூதரகமா? இலங்கை அரசா?

எங்கள் பொறுமைக்கும் ஒரு எல்லை உண்டு. இந்நிலை தொடருமானால், இலங்கை-சீன அரசுகளுக்கு எதிராக நாம் மொழி போராட்டத்தை கொழும்பு தெருக்களில், துறைமுக நகருக்குள்ளேயே சென்று ஆரம்பிக்க வேண்டி வரும் கூறி வைக்க விரும்புகிறேன் என தமிழ் முற்போக்கு கூட்டணி தலைவர் மனோ கணேசன் எம்பி கூறியுள்ளார்.

சீன நிறுவன பெயர் பலகைகளில் தமிழ் மொழி தவிர்க்கப்படுவது பற்றி தனது டுவீடர் தளத்தில் பதிவு செய்துள்ள மனோ எம்பி மேலும் கூறியுள்ளதாவது,

Continue reading ‘“எங்கள் பொறுமைக்கும் ஒரு எல்லை உண்டு. இந்நிலை தொடருமானால், இலங்கை-சீன அரசுகளுக்கு எதிராக நாம் மொழி போராட்டத்தை ஆரம்பிக்க வேண்டி வரும். இந்நாட்டு அரசியலமைப்பில் உள்ள அரச கரும மொழி சட்டத்தை மீறும் பெயர் பலகைகளில் கறுப்பு வண்ண தாரை பூசும் போராட்டத்தை நானே தலைமை தாங்கி நடத்தவேண்டிவரும்.”- தமிழ் முற்போக்கு கூட்டணி தலைவர் மனோ கணேசன் எம்பி’ »

Though an Official Language Tamil is Often Omitted in Official Name Boards While Mandarin Chinese is Being Included with Sinhala and English Replacing Tamil in some Sign Boards

By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General’s Department on Saturday removed a plaque at a recently opened library on its premises following social media uproar over the omission of Tamil, an official language, while including Mandarin in the text

.
“The plaque made to declare open the Smart Library of the AG’s Department, by an inadvertent omission did not contain the script in Tamil language, has been removed now and is being replaced with a new plaque,” the public prosecutor’s spokesperson said.

The development comes following considerable twitter backlash from users who shared the picture of the Attorney General — along with the Chinese Ambassador — unveiling the plaque, with text in Sinhala, English, and Mandarin. They questioned the exclusion of Tamil. Prominent Tamil legislators too raised the issue on social media.

Continue reading ‘Though an Official Language Tamil is Often Omitted in Official Name Boards While Mandarin Chinese is Being Included with Sinhala and English Replacing Tamil in some Sign Boards’ »

‘Enjoy Enjaami’ song with 200 million Tou tube views in two months could lead to greater awareness of Sri Lanka’s Long Ignored Malaiahath Thamil community’s struggles


By

Meera Srinivasan

When ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ fame Arivu from Chennai recently joined a virtual discussion with a group of activists and youth from Sri Lanka’s Malaiyaha or hill country Tamil community, there was one person binding them and their histories — Valliamma, Arivu’s grandmother.

She is named in the song that has got over 200 million views since its YouTube launch two months ago. The viral number has intrigued listeners about her story — she was among the Indian-origin Tamils who laboured in Sri Lanka’s tea estates and was later repatriated back to India, with not a patch of land to call her own after years of hard work. Thousands like her returned, and several thousands remained in Sri Lanka, plucking tea every day, building its export-reliant economy.

Continue reading ‘‘Enjoy Enjaami’ song with 200 million Tou tube views in two months could lead to greater awareness of Sri Lanka’s Long Ignored Malaiahath Thamil community’s struggles’ »

Pharmaceuticals Corporation Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena says 32 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccines Comprising 13 million doses of Sputnik-V, 5 million doses of Pfizer and 14 million doses of Sinopharm have been Secured for Sri Lanka

By

Sheain Fernandopulle

The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC) has been able to secure 32 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Sri Lanka, SPC Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena said.

He said this during a meeting held with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other officials at the Presidential Secretariat today.

Dr Gunasena said according to the Epidemiology Unit, a total of 29 million doses are required to vaccinate population above 20 years of age.

Continue reading ‘Pharmaceuticals Corporation Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena says 32 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccines Comprising 13 million doses of Sputnik-V, 5 million doses of Pfizer and 14 million doses of Sinopharm have been Secured for Sri Lanka’ »

“You have given away a land mass in your territorial waters to China. You say so much about Eelam; but this is “Cheelam”. This is Cheena, this is “Cheelam”- Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Lambastes Gotabaya Govt in Parliament


(Text of Speech made by TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian. M.A. Sumanthiran in Parliament at the 2nd reading of Colombo Port City Economic Commission draft Bill on May 20th 2021)

Thank you Honorable presiding member, for the opportunity to speak on this Bill.

But before I commence my comments on the Bill itself I must place on record our protest at having this debate at a time like this, when there is a third wave of Covid – 19; when many experts have publicly declared that the alert level should be level – 4 and not level – 3. Prof. Malik Peiris and Prof. Kamini Mendis have jointly issued a statement to the public. The Government has failed to adhere to professional advice on this matter, all for the sake of hurriedly having this Bill enacted in Parliament today.

There is a lot of talk about why this still remains a part of the country. Government speakers have repeatedly asked the question as to why focus is being made on China, when anyone can come and invest in this artificially created land mass that is annexed to the city of Colombo. When I appeared in the determination before the Supreme court, I asked their Lordships the question as to why they were wasting their time trying to determine on a Bill that related to a place which is not part of Sri Lanka. And it is that intrigue with which I speak today as well as to why this house is deliberating on something that doesn’t relate to Sri Lanka. I will tell you the reason why I say that at the end of my speech.

Continue reading ‘“You have given away a land mass in your territorial waters to China. You say so much about Eelam; but this is “Cheelam”. This is Cheena, this is “Cheelam”- Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Lambastes Gotabaya Govt in Parliament’ »

Supreme Court Ruling on Port City Economic Commission Bill States that the reclaimed land that makes up the Colombo Port City is part of the territory of Sri Lanka in terms of the law and that Parliament has legislative power over the area.

By Chandani Kirinde

The Supreme Court in its determination on the Port City Economic Commission Bill has held that the reclaimed land that makes up the Colombo Port City is part of the territory of Sri Lanka in terms of the law and Parliament has legislative power over the area.

In a 63-page ruling, the five-member Bench of the SC also held that several clauses in the Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution, with three of them requiring a two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as an approval by the people at a referendum, and suggested amendments to the Bill to overcome these inconsistencies.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya PC and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare PC, Priyantha Jayawardena PC, Murudu Fernando PC and Janaka De Silva.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Ruling on Port City Economic Commission Bill States that the reclaimed land that makes up the Colombo Port City is part of the territory of Sri Lanka in terms of the law and that Parliament has legislative power over the area.’ »

Govt will Amend Port City Economic Commission Bill According to Ruling Given by Supreme Court At Committee Stage to Facilitate Passage in Parliament with a Simple Majority on May 20th after Two Day Debate

The Cabinet of Ministers last evening (18) gave approval to incorporate amendments indicated by the Supreme Court to the Port City Economic Commission Bill.

The agreement was conveyed at a special meeting of the Cabinet.

The two-day debate on the Bill will begin this morning and the Bill will be put to a vote on Thursday evening. The Government will move amendments to the Bill at the Committee Stage debate on the Bill.

Continue reading ‘Govt will Amend Port City Economic Commission Bill According to Ruling Given by Supreme Court At Committee Stage to Facilitate Passage in Parliament with a Simple Majority on May 20th after Two Day Debate’ »

Minister Sarath Weerasekara Says Police Handed over 8 Files Regarding 32 Suspects to Attorney-General Several Months Ago to File Indictments Against Easter Bombing Conspirators and Calls for Report from CID About Attorney -General’s Inability to Prosecute

By Asiri Fernando

Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Retd.) Sarath Weerasekara yesterday called for a report on the status of the Easter Sunday Bombings investigations from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The Minister’s calls for a report follows claims by Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera that he is unable to take action against conspirators of the attacks due to incomplete investigations.

Attorney General de Livera last weekend informed the public that he was not in a position to file charges or indictments against the conspirators of and abettors to the Easter Sunday attacks (April 2019) during his tenure in office, as the CID investigations into the bombings were incomplete.

Continue reading ‘Minister Sarath Weerasekara Says Police Handed over 8 Files Regarding 32 Suspects to Attorney-General Several Months Ago to File Indictments Against Easter Bombing Conspirators and Calls for Report from CID About Attorney -General’s Inability to Prosecute’ »

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Due to Retire on May 24 Tells IGP that AG’s Dept is Unable to File Indictments Against Suspects in Easter Bombings Due to Police Investigations Being Incomplete against 5 Persons and Seeks Clarification on 130 Pieces of evidence Against 42 Suspects

Outgoing Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera says his Department is not in a position to present charges/indictments against the conspirators and abettors of the 2019 Easter Sunday terrorist attacks during his tenure of office as CID investigations in this regard are incomplete.

De Livera, who will retire on 24 May, said the CID is yet to conclude investigations in connection with all suspects linked to the April 2019 attacks despite several communications from the AG to expedite the probe.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Due to Retire on May 24 Tells IGP that AG’s Dept is Unable to File Indictments Against Suspects in Easter Bombings Due to Police Investigations Being Incomplete against 5 Persons and Seeks Clarification on 130 Pieces of evidence Against 42 Suspects’ »

“Thalapathy” (Commander) M. K. Stalin Takes Over in Tamil Nadu as DMK Chief Minister

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“Stalin Thaan Varraaru, Namakku Vidivu Tharraaru”(Stalin is only coming and will give us a Dawn) was the key slogan around which the Indian political party” Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam”(DMK) conducted its election campaign for the Tamil Nadu State Assembly polls held this year. The message conveyed by the slogan was that the DMK led by its leader MK Stalin was definitely winning the elections and that Stalin as chief minister would usher in a new Dawn for all. The first part of the slogan has been proven right. With the DMK winning the recently concluded Tamil Nadu state assembly elections, Stalin has certainly arrived. Now the 72 million population of Tamil Nadu state waits for the new Chief Minister Stalin to usher in a new dawn and make the second part of the campaign slogan come true.

Polls were held under the first past the post winner system to 234 Constituencies of the state legislature in Tamil Nadu on April 6th 2021. One more MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) would be nominated to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The results were declared on May 3rd.

Continue reading ‘“Thalapathy” (Commander) M. K. Stalin Takes Over in Tamil Nadu as DMK Chief Minister’ »

Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) condemns killing of two suspects ‘Uru Juwa’ and ‘Kosgoda Tharaka’in police custody on two consecutive days:”These deaths have all the hallmarks of extra-judicial killings” Notes BASL

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) today condemned the recent killing of two suspects in police custody, namely Melon Mabula alias ‘Uru Juwa’ and Tharaka Perera Wijesekera alias ‘Kosgoda Tharaka’ which has occurred on two consecutive days.

In a statement, the BASL said the State and the Police should have a duty to ensure the safety and security of persons in their custody, irrespective of the character of such persons and the seriousness of the nature of the allegations against such person.

The full statement is as follows,

Continue reading ‘Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) condemns killing of two suspects ‘Uru Juwa’ and ‘Kosgoda Tharaka’in police custody on two consecutive days:”These deaths have all the hallmarks of extra-judicial killings” Notes BASL’ »

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake dismisses the SJB’s call for an all party conference to discuss possible solutions to the prevailing pandemic situation as a Political Comedy

By Saman Indrajith

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday dismissed the SJB’s call for an all party conference to discuss possible solutions to the prevailing pandemic situation.

Responding to media queries on his party’s position with regard to the proposal of setting up of an APRC, during a press conference held at the party headquarters in Pelawatte on Tuesday, Dissanayake said that all-party representative committee (APRC) meetings were mere political comedies.

Continue reading ‘JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake dismisses the SJB’s call for an all party conference to discuss possible solutions to the prevailing pandemic situation as a Political Comedy’ »

Sri Lanka’s Kanya D’Almeida is Asia Winner of 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her story titled -‘I Cleaned The—’‘dirty work,’ which talks of “domestic labour, but also love among the rambutan and clove trees of Sri Lanka”

The Commonwealth Foundation on Wednesday announced the regional winners of the world’s most global literary prize, with Sri Lankan author Kanya D’Almeida winning the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Asia) for her story, ‘I Cleaned The—’

The 35-year-old author from Sri Lanka fought off competition from a strong field of shortlisted entrants including Indian authors Aravind Jayan, Riddhi Dastidar, Ling Low from Malaysia and Nur Khan from Pakistan to become the Asia winner. She will go through to the final round of judging and the overall winner will be announced on 30 June.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Kanya D’Almeida is Asia Winner of 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her story titled -‘I Cleaned The—’‘dirty work,’ which talks of “domestic labour, but also love among the rambutan and clove trees of Sri Lanka”’ »

Sri Lanka Seeks immediate intervention of the Canadian government to stop Royal Assent by Lt. Governor of Ontario to the Private Member Bill 104 on ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ Passed by the Ontario Legislative Assembly on 06 May 2021

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday (10) conveyed Sri Lanka’s deep concern over the adoption of Private Member Bill 104 on ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ by the Ontario Legislative Assembly on 06 May 2021 to Canadian High Commissioner David McKinnon.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Seeks immediate intervention of the Canadian government to stop Royal Assent by Lt. Governor of Ontario to the Private Member Bill 104 on ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ Passed by the Ontario Legislative Assembly on 06 May 2021’ »

Sri Lanka Signs $ 500 million loan agreement with the EXIM Bank of South Korea to finance development projects at Low Interest Rates of 0.15-0.20% Repayable in 40 Years With Grace Period of 10 Years


Sri Lanka has entered into a $ 500 million loan agreement with the EXIM Bank of Korea to finance development projects, the Finance Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

In order to further strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, the Government of the Republic of Korea has agreed to provide concessional loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Export Import Bank of Korea (KEximbank).

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Signs $ 500 million loan agreement with the EXIM Bank of South Korea to finance development projects at Low Interest Rates of 0.15-0.20% Repayable in 40 Years With Grace Period of 10 Years’ »

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Implores President and Cabinet to Take Full Control pf The Situation to Stop Worsening Spread of COVID and Save Lives; Points out that Committees(And Task Forces) Appointed to Check Pandemic Have Failed


Former Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, making a special statement on the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the country, urged the President and the Cabinet of ministers to take control of the worsening situation in the country.

Pointing out that the committees appointed to control the pandemic have failed, the former Premier called on the President and the Cabinet to take full powers to protect the people from this pandemic.

Following is the statement made by the UNP leader:

Continue reading ‘Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Implores President and Cabinet to Take Full Control pf The Situation to Stop Worsening Spread of COVID and Save Lives; Points out that Committees(And Task Forces) Appointed to Check Pandemic Have Failed’ »

Lester James Peries the Emancipator of Sinhala Cinema

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Renowned Sri Lankan Film Maker Lester James Peries passed away three years ago at the age of 99. Among the many who paid homage to the Maestro at that time was Asoka Handagama who is one of the two brightest directorial stars in the Sinhala film firmament of today.(the other is Prasanaa Vithanage). Asoka used a reference by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky to highlight an interesting comparison between Gogol and Peries.

Asoka Handagama was quoted then in a news story on Lester James Peries in “The Hindu” written by its Colombo correspondent Meera Srinivasan: “They say that Dostoevsky once said ‘we all come out of Gogol’s Overcoat’. The same way, we all came out of Peiris’s ‘Rekava,’” Handagama told The Hindu.

Lester James Peries (5 April 1919 – 29 April 2018)

The impact and influence of Nikolai Gogol on the “golden age” generation of Russian writers was immense and that is what Dostoevsky’s oft-quoted remark meant. Likewise well-known director Asoka Handagama’s allusion was to emphasise the sea change brought about in Sinhala cinema by the advent of Lester James Peries and the influence of the pioneering director on future Sri Lankan filmmakers.

Continue reading ‘Lester James Peries the Emancipator of Sinhala Cinema’ »

Arbitrary Arrest and Prolonged Detention of Teacher-Poet Ahnaf Jazeem and Lawyer Hejaz Hizbullah Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act Strengthens the Case for Repealing Draconian Law Modelled on South Africa’s Apartheid Legislation

By

Meera Srinivasan

Daily-wage agricultural labourer Abdul Ghafoor Muhammadhu Jazeem, in Sri Lanka’s northern Mannar district, had one life goal. To ensure his children have a good education. Despite toiling for years to realise the dream, he could not be more dejected today.

On May 16, 2020, the police arrested his eldest son, Ahnaf Jazeem, a 26-year-old teacher and Tamil poet, based on allegations that his poetry collection, promoting “religious extremism”, was circulated among his students in Puttalam in the North Western Province, where he was employed.

Mr. Ahnaf Jazeem was arrested under the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) — that rights groups deem draconian and want replaced — and has been in custody for a year now. His case, like that of prominent Muslim lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah — also in detention for a year — has brought to focus growing fears over minority rights in Sri Lanka, and old concerns about the 40-year-old anti-terrorism law.

Continue reading ‘Arbitrary Arrest and Prolonged Detention of Teacher-Poet Ahnaf Jazeem and Lawyer Hejaz Hizbullah Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act Strengthens the Case for Repealing Draconian Law Modelled on South Africa’s Apartheid Legislation’ »

New Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin Begins Implementation of Election Promises by Ordering Grant of Rs 4000 to Each Family, Free Bus Travel in Cities to Working Women and Girls Pursuing Higher Studies, Lowering of Milk Price and Extension of Chief Ministers Health Insurance Scheme for COVID Patients

Soon after being sworn-in, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, on Friday, signed five files to implement major promises made in the DMK Assembly election manifesto, including offering ₹4,000 as COVID-19 relief to family cardholders, free travel in city buses (ordinary) for women and reducing the retail price of Aavin milk by ₹3 per litre from May 16.

An official release said, Mr. Stalin, who reached his office in the Secretariat at Fort St George, ordered the implementation of financial assistance of ₹4,000 to each of the 2.07 crore rice ration card holders across the State, in view of the hardships they face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading ‘New Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin Begins Implementation of Election Promises by Ordering Grant of Rs 4000 to Each Family, Free Bus Travel in Cities to Working Women and Girls Pursuing Higher Studies, Lowering of Milk Price and Extension of Chief Ministers Health Insurance Scheme for COVID Patients’ »

Names of Ministers in New Tamil Nadu DMK Cabinet and Their Portfolios.

DMK president M K Stalin was sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Friday, along with 34 ministers in his cabinet. Stalin will hold key portfolios of Police and Home, among others.

The list promises to be a balanced cabinet featuring both the youth and the experienced. Many former ministers have been inducted into the cabinet with some of them being given different portfolios this time around.
Former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian will be the Minister for Medical and Family Welfare while Palanivel Thiagarajan (PTR) will be the Minister for Finance.

Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, one of the youngest MLAs, will be the Minister for School Education. The cabinet will also have two women members — Geetha Jeevan and N Kayalvizhi Selvaraj — who have been appointed as ministers for Social Welfare and Women Empowerment and Adi Dravidar Welfare, respectively.

Interestingly, Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi does not figure in the list.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin’s Cabinet Ministers:

1. M K Stalin – Chief Minister; Public, General Administration, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Other All India Service, District Revenue Officers, Police, Home, Special Initiatives, Special Programme Implementation, Welfare of Differently-abled persons.

2. Duraimurugan – Minister for Water Resources – Irrigation Projects including small Irrigation, Legislative Assembly, Governor and Ministry, Elections and Passports, Minerals and Mines.


3. K N Nehru
– Minister for Municipal Administration – Municipal Administration, Urban and Water Supply.

Continue reading ‘Names of Ministers in New Tamil Nadu DMK Cabinet and Their Portfolios.’ »

New 34 Member Tamil Nadu cabinet has a unique combination of a Stalin, a Gandhi and also a Nehru


DMK president MK Stalin took oath as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu along with 33 other Cabinet ministers. Interestingly, the Tamil Nadu cabinet now has a unique combination of a Stalin, a Gandhi and a Nehru.

MK Stalin, who was named after late Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday after the DMK-led alliance won 159 seats, trumping the long AIADMK rule.

Tiruchirappalli-based DMK strongman and former minister, KN Nehru took oath as the Minister for Municipal Administration, a department that was earlier handled by Stalin in the previous DMK government.

Continue reading ‘New 34 Member Tamil Nadu cabinet has a unique combination of a Stalin, a Gandhi and also a Nehru’ »

68 Year old DMK President Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin Sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by State Governor Banwarilal Purohit in a Simple Ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Guindy


Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, the DMK president who led his party to a huge victory in the Assembly polls was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday. Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 68-year old Stalin, for whom this would be the first stint as CM, in a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.

A total of 33 ministers were also sworn in following Stalin, of whom 15 are first-time ministers. All the 34, including Stalin took the oath as per their conscience and in Tamil, in sync with the decades old tradition of the DMK.Earlier, Stalin, clad in a white shirt and dhoti introduced his Cabinet to Purohit.

Continue reading ‘68 Year old DMK President Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin Sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by State Governor Banwarilal Purohit in a Simple Ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Guindy’ »

Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Criticises Sarath Weerasekara’s Move to Prevent MP’s Detained Under PTA From Attending Parliament and Warns that MP’s could be taken into custody under the PTA and investigations carried out for three months which will automatically cancel their seat in Parliament

By
Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi

Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara yesterday (05) requested the Speaker not to allow MP Rishad Bathiudeen, who is detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to attend Parliament until the investigations relating to his arrest are completed.

Weerasekara stated that any MP who would be detained under the PTA should not be allowed to attend Parliament until the relevant investigations are over.

Continue reading ‘Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Criticises Sarath Weerasekara’s Move to Prevent MP’s Detained Under PTA From Attending Parliament and Warns that MP’s could be taken into custody under the PTA and investigations carried out for three months which will automatically cancel their seat in Parliament’ »

Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Asela Gunawardena’s Directive to Isolate Piliyandala Due to COVID Spread is Flouted by Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge who uses his “Power” to Remove Piliyandala from the to be Isolated Areas List.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Asela Gunawardena, who is the state authority for the national campaign against the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic, has acknowledged that his directive that Piliyandala police area be isolated on May Day was overridden.

Appearing on Hiru TV ‘Salakuna’ programme on Monday (3) night, Dr. Gunawardena admitted that the very basis of the mechanism in place to isolate areas threatened by the Covid-19 epidemic had been violated.

Dr. Gunawardena said so in response to ‘Salakuna’ anchor Chamuditha Samarawickrema repeatedly pressing the DGHS over the removal of the isolation directive issued effective at 6 am on May Day following Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge’s intervention. Samarawickrema sought an explanation as regards the removal of the directive at 5 pm and the subsequent isolation of five Grama Niladhari areas in the Piliyandala police area.

Continue reading ‘Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Asela Gunawardena’s Directive to Isolate Piliyandala Due to COVID Spread is Flouted by Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge who uses his “Power” to Remove Piliyandala from the to be Isolated Areas List.’ »

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Tells CID There is no Legal Impediment for PTA Detained MP Rishd Bathiudeen to Attend Parliament but Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara Tells Speaker not to Allow any one Detained Under PTA to Enter Parliament Until Investigations are Over.

By Asiri Fernando

Parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen’s absence in Parliament yesterday sparked heated debate in the House, with Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara requesting that the Speaker not allow his presence, which was subsequently met with heated arguments from the Opposition.

Public Security Minister Weerasekera asked the Speaker not to allow anyone being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to enter Parliament until relevant investigations had been concluded.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Tells CID There is no Legal Impediment for PTA Detained MP Rishd Bathiudeen to Attend Parliament but Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara Tells Speaker not to Allow any one Detained Under PTA to Enter Parliament Until Investigations are Over.’ »

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Condemns Sri Lankan legislation creating “reintegration centers” Saying it will permit arbitrary detention of Muslims who will be subject to human rights violations without any legal oversight.


The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has condemned Sri Lankan legislation that allows for the creation of “reintegration centers” as part of a campaign against violent extremist religious ideology.

The commission said that the legislation will permit arbitrary detention of Muslims who will be subject to human rights violations without any legal oversight.

It also said that a newly imposed ban on the wearing of the burqa, under the pretext of counterterrorism measures, “squarely violates minorities’ rights to freedom of religion guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Continue reading ‘The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Condemns Sri Lankan legislation creating “reintegration centers” Saying it will permit arbitrary detention of Muslims who will be subject to human rights violations without any legal oversight.’ »

“China today spends more on internal security than on national or external defense. . Since 2012, under Xi Jinping, CCP’s command and control have been tightened with a drastic recentralization”

By P.K.Balachandran

“India and Asian geopolitics: The past, present” by Shivshankar Menon (Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC, 2021) may, at first glance, appear to be primarily on India. But it is about Asia as a whole, its past, present and future in the context of global developments. China’s growth, problems and prospects in a changing world figure prominently in it.

Menon, who was India’s Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor, and envoy in China and Sri Lanka, says that one of the main reasons for the emergence of China as a power was the withdrawal from Asia of an increasingly inward looking United States, and the weakening of Russia’s hold on its former possessions in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. China started filling the vacuum through its infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from 2013 onwards.

China’s new outlook was stated by President Xi Jinping at the 19th Party Congress in October 2017: “Currently, conditions, both domestic and abroad, are undergoing complicated changes. Our country is in an important period of strategic opportunity in its development. The outlook is extremely bright; the challenges are also extremely grim,” Xi said. China has “become a great power in the world” and that it was time China took the center stage in the world and made a greater contribution to humankind.

Continue reading ‘“China today spends more on internal security than on national or external defense. . Since 2012, under Xi Jinping, CCP’s command and control have been tightened with a drastic recentralization”’ »

Sri Lanka’s Face Covering Ban for Muslim Women is a Discriminatory Measure Targeting a Marginalized Population says Human Rights Watch

By Meenakshi Ganguly

Muslims in Sri Lanka already faced a growing list of discriminatory government policies before the cabinet approved plans on April 27 to ban women’s face coverings. If approved by parliament, the measure will outlaw garments worn by some Muslim women such as the niqab or burqa, increasing their social marginalization.

After a similar ban was temporarily imposed following the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka documented numerous cases of Muslim women, including those legally wearing a hijab – a head covering that does not cover the face – being abused in public and denied access to public buildings such as schools, hospitals, and universities.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Face Covering Ban for Muslim Women is a Discriminatory Measure Targeting a Marginalized Population says Human Rights Watch’ »

Former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Spouse Ayesha Rishad Writes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Over the Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of her Husband and his Brother Riyaj Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

(Former Caabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Spouse Ayesha Rishad Writes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Over the Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of her Husband and his Brother Riyaj Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Full text of the letter is Posted Below)


Ayesha Rishad,
Spouse of Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen M.P,
No. 410/16, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo – 07
03rd of May, 2021

H.E, Gotabaya Rajapaksa
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo

Your Excellency,


Arbitrary Arrest of My Husband Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen M.P

I am forwarding this appeal to your Excellency on account of the grave agony and intense drama that had been caused to me and my children by reason of the unlawful and unjustified arrest of my husband Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen M.P.

On 24th of April 2021 that is during the Holy month of Ramadan, at around 3.00 a.m, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) suddenly descended on our house and arrested my husband. At that time no reason for arrest was furnished. On inquiries, we have since become aware that it is alleged that my husband had been privy to telephone calls between the then Additional Secretary (Industrial Development) Mr. Balasubramaniyam of the Ministry, then headed by my husband as the Minister of Industry and Commerce and also in respect of calls said to have been made by Inshaf Ahamed to Mr. Balasubramaniyam.

I wish to bring to Your Excellency’s attention the contents of the Gazette bearing No. 33/24 of 27th of April, 1979 in terms of which the power to issue licenses for the export of scrap metal was vested in the Secretary to the Ministry. This power has been delegated by the Secretary to the Additional Secretary.

A meeting had been held at the Presidential Secretariat on the 27th of March 2019, which had been attended by the Secretary to the Ministry Mr. Ranjith Asoka, Additional Secretary Mr. Balasubramaniyam, and several Exporters. My husband had no information of the meeting and as such he was not present. It had apparently been decided at the meeting to permit the issue of licenses to export scrap metal and as submitted above, the power to grant such licenses was vested exclusively with the Secretary to the Ministry.

Continue reading ‘Former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Spouse Ayesha Rishad Writes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Over the Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of her Husband and his Brother Riyaj Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act’ »

Formalising of QUAD Grouping Comprising US,India,Japan and Australia In Indo-Pacific Seems to Have Triggered China into Action in South Asia.

By

Col.R.Hariharan

The recently held Quad summit, which transformed an informal frame work of the US, India, Japan and Australia, into a formal grouping with a broad range of objectives in the Indo-Pacific seems to have triggered China into action in South Asia.

China’s State Councillor and defence minister Gen Wei Fenghe made a two-day visit to Colombo after making a fleeting visit to Dhaka on May 27.

The Chinese defence minister called upon President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed ways to further cement bilateral ties, including defence cooperation and post pandemic economic recovery. The Chinese minister’s high-level delegation included Deputy Chief of Staff of Joint Staff Department under China’s Central Military Commission Lt General Shao Yuanming and Major General Ci Guowei. This would indicate Indian Ocean strategic security issues, in the wake of the Quad summit, could be one of the topics of discussion.

Continue reading ‘Formalising of QUAD Grouping Comprising US,India,Japan and Australia In Indo-Pacific Seems to Have Triggered China into Action in South Asia.’ »

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Indicts Former Defence Secy Hemasiri Fernando and EX-IGP Pujith Jayasundara at the Colombo High Court on 800 Charges Over Easter Sunday Attacks;Will ace Separate Trials at Bar for Murder and Attempted Murder Says State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne

By A.J.A. Abeynayake

Attorney General Dappula de Livera yesterday indicted, in the Colombo High Court, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara on 800 charges over the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said the charges had been filed in respect of those killed and injured in the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Indicts Former Defence Secy Hemasiri Fernando and EX-IGP Pujith Jayasundara at the Colombo High Court on 800 Charges Over Easter Sunday Attacks;Will ace Separate Trials at Bar for Murder and Attempted Murder Says State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne’ »

DMK Led Alliance in Sweeping Victory with 159 Seats out of 234 in Tamil Nadu State Assembly Elections While AIADML led Alliance gets 75; DMK Ally Congress Gets 18;AIADMK Ally BJP get 04, Parties Led by Actor Kamal Hasan and Director Seeman Fail to get a Single Seat.

By

S.Kumaresan

It was a well-fought battle, defying predictions of a “clean sweep,” springing quite a few surprises in the process.

Out of power for a decade, the DMK finally managed to dethrone its Dravidian rival by a comfortable margin.

MK Stalin, who has been waiting in the sidelines for the last several years, is all set to be sworn-in as the eighth Chief Minister of the State.

At 68, he would be the oldest first-time CM of Tamil Nadu. This is the first time in 25 years that the DMK has secured a majority on its own.

Continue reading ‘DMK Led Alliance in Sweeping Victory with 159 Seats out of 234 in Tamil Nadu State Assembly Elections While AIADML led Alliance gets 75; DMK Ally Congress Gets 18;AIADMK Ally BJP get 04, Parties Led by Actor Kamal Hasan and Director Seeman Fail to get a Single Seat.’ »

D.M.K. Leader MK Stalin to be Sworn in as Chief Minister on May 7th as the Dravidian Party Gets Set to Form a Govt In Tamil Nadu After 10 Years: Who Will Be the Key Member in Stalin’s Cabinet?


By

Priyanka Thirumurthy

The DMK is set to form government in Tamil Nadu after a decade and party chief MK Stalin will be sworn in as Chief MInister on May 7. The DMK’s general secretary Durai Murugan has called for a meeting of elected MLAs on May 4 but this is a mere formality where Stalin will be elected as the legislature party leader.

But the bigger question on everybody’s minds is who will be appointed to key positions in Stalin’s cabinet. Sources in the DMK say that Duraimurugan who won with a slim margin in Katpadi will be the first to choose a portfolio as he is second in command to Stalin.

“He is expected to take either the Public works department or the Finance department,” says a source in the party. Meanwhile PTR Thiyagarajan who retained the Madurai Central with over a margin of 33,000 votes is likely to get the Finance portfolio or Industry if Duraimurugan chooses the former.

Continue reading ‘D.M.K. Leader MK Stalin to be Sworn in as Chief Minister on May 7th as the Dravidian Party Gets Set to Form a Govt In Tamil Nadu After 10 Years: Who Will Be the Key Member in Stalin’s Cabinet?’ »

Cardinal’s Candid Comments and and the Bathiudeen Brothers Brouhaha

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ

All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader and ex-Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen is a prominent Sri Lankan politician who is very often in the news for the wrong reasons. The 48-year-old Bathiudeen hailing from Dharapuram in the Mannar District is an engineer by profession. Known widely as Rishad, he was first elected to Parliament from the Northern Wanni electoral district in December 2001. He has been consistently elected as Wanni MP since then in 2004, 2010 ,2015 and 2020. Rishad has also served continuously from January 2007 to November 2019 as Cabinet Minister in the governments of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena.Currently his party the ACMC has 4 MP’s and 169 Local Authority Members.

Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested by the Police at 3 am on Saturday April 24th 2021. Prior to Rishad Bathiudeen’s arrest at his residence on Bullers Road(Bauddhaloka Mawatte) in Colombo 7, his brother Riyaj Bathiudeen was arrested at his house in Colombo 6 by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police.Shortly before his arrest, the ex-cabinet minister tweeted “ The CID has been standing outside my house in Baudhaloka Mawatha since 1.30 am today attempting to arrest me without a charge. They have already arrested my brother. I have been in Parliament, and have cooperated with all lawful authorities until now. This is unjust.”
Continue reading ‘Cardinal’s Candid Comments and and the Bathiudeen Brothers Brouhaha’ »

Parakramabahu the Sixth was nominated as King of Kotte by Chinese Emperor Yongle and effectively installed on the Throne by Chinese Naval Commander Zheng He After Defeating Vira Alakeshvara Militarily and Taking him Prisoner

by Sasanka Perera
South Asian University

I have a clear recollection of one of my teachers in the Advanced Level Sinhala class narrating the story of how a Sri Lankan ruler was kidnapped by a Chinese naval commander in the Kotte period. It was not part of the subject matter of his class. But as a well-read man he knew the story and wanted to make a point about power and political interference. I cannot now remember what the exact context was.

Over time, I also forgot who the Chinese belligerent was but always remember the local kidnap victim as Alakeshvara. In the annals of Sinhala heroism, Alakeshvara or Vira Alakeshvara comes up as an able military leader who is credited for establishing the fortifications of Kotte, which later became the main kingdom of Lanka and for bringing invading soldiers from the kingdom of Jaffna under control.

He later captured power in Kotte and became the king and ruled for 12 years. But Alakeshvara’s plight at the hands of the Chinese is not part of this heroic discourse. ‘National defeats’ are hardly a part of public national memory anywhere in the world and not simply in Lanka. Moments of ‘shame’ are often forgotten or consciously erased in preference to what can be more easily and happily celebrated.

As such, there is a deafening silence on the Chinese belligerence in the 15th century even though there are adequate references to the incident from records of the time as well as from the work of latter-day scholars such as Edward Dreyer, Louise Levathes, Senarath Paranavitana and others. All these sources collectively offer a reasonable sense of what happened not only in Lanka, but the overall contexts and politics of Chinese naval expansion in the 15th century.

It seems to me an understanding of this past is quite important to the present as well, given the way in which this ancient incident is embroiled in diplomatic, military and commercial interests.

Continue reading ‘Parakramabahu the Sixth was nominated as King of Kotte by Chinese Emperor Yongle and effectively installed on the Throne by Chinese Naval Commander Zheng He After Defeating Vira Alakeshvara Militarily and Taking him Prisoner’ »

Opposition MP Harin Fernando Wont be Arrested over his statement in Parliament that he was aware of the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks Says Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara

by Norman Palihawadana

There’s no move to arrest opposition MP, Harin Fernando over his statement in Parliament that he was aware of the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Public Security Minister, Sarath Weerasekara said.

Continue reading ‘Opposition MP Harin Fernando Wont be Arrested over his statement in Parliament that he was aware of the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks Says Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara’ »

TNA Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Escapes Unhurt after his Vehicle Meets with Hydroplaning Accident on he Colombo -Katunayake Expressway at 3.45 am

Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Jaffna District Parlimentarian MA Sumanthiran escaped unhurt when the vehicle in which he was travelling in met with a hydroplaning accident at 3.45 am on the Colombo – Katunayake Expressway on April 30.

The vehicle had gone out of control after skidding on the wet surface of the highway. It had spun s thrice before crashing against the safety barrier protective railings along the road..

Although the vehicle as well as the safety railings were extensively damage, Sumanthi along with his driver and Police security officer were not injured.

Continue reading ‘TNA Jaffna MP Sumanthiran Escapes Unhurt after his Vehicle Meets with Hydroplaning Accident on he Colombo -Katunayake Expressway at 3.45 am’ »

Is Naufer “Moulavi” the Mastermind Behind the Easter Sunday Bombings?

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Today, 21 April, is the second anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings which rocked and shocked Sri Lanka and the world at large two years ago.

His Eminence paying respect to those who died in the Easter Sunday tragic bomb blast 2019 – pic via St Anthony’s Shrine

2nd Year memorial service – Zion Church, Batticaloa

On the morning of that fateful Easter Sunday, suicide bombers targeted three plush hotels and three churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa; 269 were killed and over 500 injured in the well- coordinated near simultaneous attacks by a group allegedly subscribing to Islamic Jihadist ideology.

Continue reading ‘Is Naufer “Moulavi” the Mastermind Behind the Easter Sunday Bombings?’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Chinse Defence Minister Wei Fenghe tht Sri Lanka Firmly Supports China’s Positions on Issues Concerning Its Core Interests Reports Chinese State Media


By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka has prioritised developing relations with China and “firmly supports” China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe, according to Chinese state media.

The Sri Lankan President said his country “has been pursuing an independent foreign policy and will never bend to pressure from major powers outside the region as well as never forge an alliance with any country,” Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors, “including the military”. While specifics of the enhanced military ties are yet to emerge, Senior Sri Lankan Defence officials and the visiting Chinese delegation signed a ‘Military Assistance Protocol’, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement issued after the top Chinese official’s departure Thursday morning.

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Chinse Defence Minister Wei Fenghe tht Sri Lanka Firmly Supports China’s Positions on Issues Concerning Its Core Interests Reports Chinese State Media’ »

China and Sri Lanka sign ‘Military Assistance Protocol.’in Colombo. Visiting Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe says “We are looking forward to working together with Sri Lanka to enhance practical cooperation and to promote bilateral relations to a greater extent.”

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Defence Secretary retired General Kamal Gunaratne has greatly appreciated the stand taken by China on behalf of Sri Lanka at the recently concluded 46th sessions of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), during talks with the high powered Chinese delegation led by State Councillor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe.

The delegations led by Minister Fenghe and Defence Secretary Gunaratne met at the Shangri-La Hotel, Wednesday (28). Minister Fenghe is the highest foreign dignitary to visit the hotel overlooking the mega China investment Colombo Port City since it was attacked by two suicide bombers on April 21, two years ago.

UN Security Council member China on behalf of Sri Lanka called for a vote on controversial draft resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,’ after the UK led Core Group targeting Sri Lanka insisted on a punitive text and the setting up of a new inquiry at a cost of USD 2.8 mn. The UNHRC adopted the latest resolution on March 23 with 22 countries voting for, 11 including China against and 14 abstaining.

Continue reading ‘China and Sri Lanka sign ‘Military Assistance Protocol.’in Colombo. Visiting Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe says “We are looking forward to working together with Sri Lanka to enhance practical cooperation and to promote bilateral relations to a greater extent.”’ »

CHINA ENTERS INDIA EXITS; China Participates in South Asian Foreign Ministers Video Conference ON COVID Along With Sri Lanka,Pakistan,Nepal, Bangla Desh and Afghanistan While India and Allies Bhutan and Maldives are Conspicuous by their Absence


By P.K.Balachandran

A video conference of the Foreign Ministers of South Asian countries and China on the containment of the raging COVID-19 pandemic in the region was held on Tuesday. However, India and its allies, Bhutan and the Maldives, were conspicuously absent, perhaps due to the participation of China. New Delhi envisages no role for China in South Asia.

Those who participated in the conference were the State Councilor Wang Yi (China), Dinesh Gunawardena (Si Lanka), Mirwais Nab (Afghanistan), A.K Abdul Memon (Bangladesh), Pradeep Kumar Gyawali (Nepal) and Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi (Pakistan).

Apparently, the regional and global health emergency has not mitigated pre-existing conflicts and politico-strategic line-up in the strife-torn South Asian region.

A press release from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the discussions focused on consolidating COVID-19 response cooperation and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery as well as poverty alleviation amidst the recent spike in COVID-19 infections.

Continue reading ‘CHINA ENTERS INDIA EXITS; China Participates in South Asian Foreign Ministers Video Conference ON COVID Along With Sri Lanka,Pakistan,Nepal, Bangla Desh and Afghanistan While India and Allies Bhutan and Maldives are Conspicuous by their Absence’ »

Police CID Obtain 90 Day Detention Order Under 9(1) of Prevention of Terrorism Act to Further Interrogate Rishad and Riyaj Bathiudeen After Arresting and Detaining Both for 72 Hours Under 6(1) of PTA For Allegedly Aiding and Abetting the Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers

By

Mihi Perera

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been granted permission to detain and interrogate MP Rishad Bathiudeen and his brother Riyaj Bathiudeen for 90 days with regard to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, says Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana.

The Bathiudeen brothers were arrested on Saturday (April 24) for allegedly aiding and abetting the suicide bombers who perpetrated the deadly terror attacks on April 21, 2019.

Continue reading ‘Police CID Obtain 90 Day Detention Order Under 9(1) of Prevention of Terrorism Act to Further Interrogate Rishad and Riyaj Bathiudeen After Arresting and Detaining Both for 72 Hours Under 6(1) of PTA For Allegedly Aiding and Abetting the Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers’ »

Indictment Filed at Puttalam High Court by Attorney-General Against Eight Persons Including Two Deceased For Allegedly Collecting and Manufacturing Explosives in Wannaathivillu: Chief Justice Requested to Appoint A Trial -at -bar;Among The accused are Naufer Maulavi, Zahran Hashim and Mohammed Hasthun.

By
Dilshan Tharaka

Attorney General Dappula de Livera filed indictments against eight persons including deceased Zahran Hashim and Mohammed Husthun who carried out the suicide bombs at the Colombo Shangri-La hotel and Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian’s Church, in the Puttalam High Court for collection of explosives and maintaining an explosive manufacturing base in Wannathivullu area in 2019.

Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the Attorney General has also requested the Chief Justice to appoint a Trial-at-Bar to try the case.

Continue reading ‘Indictment Filed at Puttalam High Court by Attorney-General Against Eight Persons Including Two Deceased For Allegedly Collecting and Manufacturing Explosives in Wannaathivillu: Chief Justice Requested to Appoint A Trial -at -bar;Among The accused are Naufer Maulavi, Zahran Hashim and Mohammed Hasthun.’ »

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe’s Visit to Sri Lanka is significant as it indicates Sino-Lankan relations may go beyond economic engagement to acquiring a military dimension.


By P. K. Balachandran

The visit of the Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe to Sri Lanka which begins on Tuesday (27) is significant as it indicates Sino-Lankan relations may go beyond economic engagement to acquiring a military dimension.

A local Sunday paper reported that Wei’s visit will result in China giving Sri Lanka equipment to modernize the army, navy and air force and enhancing the training component. Though independent confirmation of this has not been possible, what is clear is that China is looking beyond infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka. It views the island nation as a strategic asset in the military sense also.

China has been a supplier of military hardware to Sri Lanka during the long drawn out war against Tamil separatists when other countries refused to supply arms on humanitarian grounds or because they were partial to the Tamil movement. China did not have any such considerations. After the war ended in 2009, training of Sri Lankan troops and the supply of new hardware continued, albeit on a limited scale. The focus then shifted to infrastructure development in a significant manner with China building highways, a container terminal, a whole new port and a new airport with amazing speed.

Earlier in April, Sri Lanka inked an agreement with the State-run China Development Bank for a loan of US$ 500 million. A month or so earlier it signed a currency swap deal worth US$ 1.5 billion with China to ensure fiscal stability in the face of the unceasing pandemic. “The US$ 500 million loan was a part of the US$ 1 billion loan (signed before), out of which US$ 500 million was released last year,” the Sri Lankan embassy in China explained. A Sunday paper added that another US$ 700 is being sought.

Continue reading ‘Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe’s Visit to Sri Lanka is significant as it indicates Sino-Lankan relations may go beyond economic engagement to acquiring a military dimension.’ »

The Government will continue to misuse the police and the legal system to hunt its critics. If Harin Fernando’s turn doesn’t come tomorrow, it will come someday.

By

Krishantha Prasad Cooray

When SJB MP Harin Fernando stood up in Parliament, donned a black shawl and made his explosive speech about the Easter Sunday attack, his audience would have reacted along partisan lines. But on one point, his supporters and detractors would have been in agreement. As they listened to him, they would have thought, that chap is definitely going to be arrested any day now.

In Sri Lanka today, whether or not you will be arrested or prosecuted is not a function of whether you have committed a crime, but whether or not you have spoken or acted in a manner offensive to the government.

If you are loyal to the regime, you enjoy virtual impunity to commit a crime of your choosing. But if you cross this government, it is only a matter of time before you find yourself in jail or facing trial.

A fierce fighter with an acute political compass, it was Fernando who debuted and popularised the phrase “Sir Fail”. For his trouble, he was warned that if he did not back down, he would be treated like Prabhakaran.

Today Harin Fernando is being hounded for his explosive revelations about the Easter Sunday attacks. Violating sacred parliamentary privileges, the Government is said to have plans to arrest him under the same Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) that was enacted to destroy Prabhakaran. When it comes to treating Fernando like Prabhakaran, that seems to be the only promise being kept.

Since the majority of the mainstream media are slavishly loyal to the Government, censoring or twisting any news that casts the Government in a poor light, many Sri Lankans are unaware of the degree to which the Police and the justice system are being used as instruments of revenge by the Government.

Continue reading ‘The Government will continue to misuse the police and the legal system to hunt its critics. If Harin Fernando’s turn doesn’t come tomorrow, it will come someday.’ »

Govt Removed STF Security For Sumanthiran Despite Intensified Life Threats Faced by TNA Jaffna MP

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

On April 12th, two days before the advent of the “Pilava” April New Year , Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala released 11 suspects who had been in custody for two years since early 2019. These included well-known underworld figure Sanjeewa Samararatne alias Ganemulla Sanjeewa a.k.a. Malingamuwe Sanjeewa and ten others who were in custody for allegedly plotting to assassinate Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran and several other charges Alongside the plot to assassinate M. A. Sumanthiran MP, investigators had been probing related threads including digging up claymore mines and T- 56 assault rifles supposedly buried in the North by the LTTE, smuggling the same to Colombo and suburbs and trading with underworld figures.

Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala released the 11 suspects due to Police Officers investigating the case declaring to court that the Attorney General had said there was insufficient evidence to proceed further against 11 of the 15 suspects in custody. The AG Dappula de Livera had advised the Police that there was not enough evidence to prosecute this group of 11. The Attorney-General had also advised Police to make preparations for prosecuting the remaining four suspects in the near future.

Continue reading ‘Govt Removed STF Security For Sumanthiran Despite Intensified Life Threats Faced by TNA Jaffna MP’ »

Easter Sunday Commission headed by an Honourable Judge of the present Supreme Court found no evidence of Rishad Bathiudeen or Reyaj Bathiudeen aiding or abetting the suicide bombers in the 21/4 attacks!

( Text of Media statement issued by Attorney at Law Rushdhie Habeeb on behalf of Hon Rishard Bathiudeen MP and Riyaj Bathiudeen)

We have been instructed by the members of the family of Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen MP and his brother Reyaj Bathiudeen and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress to issue this statement to the media conveying their shock and surprise on the sudden and unannounced arrests by officers of the CID, pass midnight on Saturday 24th April 2021 from their homes.

We have noted the statement released to the media by the police spokesman alleging that the two of them were arrested for aiding and abetting Easter Sunday bomb attackers.

At the outset we have been asked to appeal to the members, well- wishers and the island-wide voters of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), a registered political party with four elected Members of Parliament and 169 members of local authorities, to stay calm and continue the fasting in this holy month of Ramazan.

Continue reading ‘Easter Sunday Commission headed by an Honourable Judge of the present Supreme Court found no evidence of Rishad Bathiudeen or Reyaj Bathiudeen aiding or abetting the suicide bombers in the 21/4 attacks!’ »

ACMC Leader and Former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen MP arrested by CID at his Col 7 Residence on April 24 at 3 am;Younger Brother Riyaj Bathiudeen also arrested by Police at his Col 6 Residence.Both Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA)

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Former Cabinet minister and Wanni district MP Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested by the Police at 3 am on Saturday April 24th 2021. The leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) that has four MP’s in the current Parliament from the Wanni, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Amparai districts was arrested in his Bullers Rd (Bauddhaloka Mawatte) residence.

Shortly before his arrest, the ex-cabinet minister tweeted “ The CID has been standing outside my house in Baudhaloka Mawatha since 1.30 am today attempting to arrest me without a charge. They have already arrested my brother. I have been in Parliament, and have cooperated with all lawful authorities until now. This is unjust.”

Continue reading ‘ACMC Leader and Former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen MP arrested by CID at his Col 7 Residence on April 24 at 3 am;Younger Brother Riyaj Bathiudeen also arrested by Police at his Col 6 Residence.Both Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA)’ »

Southern Nightingale S. Janaki and the Story of Her Popular ♫Singaara Velanae Deva♫ Song

By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

( Versatile South Indian Playback singer S.Janaki Celebrates her 83rd Birth Anniversary on April 23rd. This article written 5 Years ago is re-posted here without changes to commemorate the popular artiste on this joyful day)

Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki popularly known as S. Janaki celebrates her 80th birthday on April 23rd 2018. The well known Indian singer of film songs who is praised as the “nightingale of the South” was born on April 23rd 1938 during the British colonial period at Pallapatla in Repalle. The Repalle town is located in the Guntur district of present day Aandhra Pradesh state.

KSSJ042314

Janaki hails from a Telugu Brahmin family. Her father Sishtla Sreeramamurthy was a teacher and native physician. In a splendid career spanning over fifty years Janaki has sung over 20,000 songs for films made in 16 different languages.

The Languages are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malyalam, Tulu, Konkani, Baduga, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Sanskrit, Urdu, English, Japanese, German and Sinhala.
Continue reading ‘Southern Nightingale S. Janaki and the Story of Her Popular ♫Singaara Velanae Deva♫ Song’ »

The Commission of Inquiry into Political Victimization Besides exceeding its mandate has gone against the judiciary of this country, rule of law and has sought to make a mockery of the system of justice in this country States MA Sumanthiran MP in Parliament.

(Text of Speech made in Parliament on 22 April 2021.= by TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran on the Commission of Inquiry into Political Victimization.)

Thank you, deputy chairman of committees for the opportunity to speak on this adjournment debate on the report that has been presented by the Commission of Inquiry into Political Victimization.

Right at the outset, I must say, that when appointing members to committees such as this, customarily, the President of the Republic says, I am reading from the gazette notification by which these three commissioners were appointed (dated 09th January 2020): “Now therefore I, Gotabaya Rajapaksa,Rpresident of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka reposing great trust and confidence in your prudence, ability and fidelity do in pursuance of the provisions of section 2 of Commissions of Inquiry Act by these presence appoint you” and so on … that he has confidence in their “prudence, ability and fidelity” and when you look at the names of the three persons so appointed you wonder why he chose those persons.


A disgraced member of the Judiciary, who was interdicted for misconduct; sent on compulsory transfer… I don’t want to say anything more than what is in the public realm about whom books have been written and published, the famous book “Unfinished struggle” by Victor Ivan, four editions have come out also, for almost one and a half decades those books have been in circulation. Without anybody being able to refute the facts in that book, say much about the Chairman of this Commission. I don’t usually say anything about anyone who’s not able to reply, but these are maters in the public realm.

Continue reading ‘The Commission of Inquiry into Political Victimization Besides exceeding its mandate has gone against the judiciary of this country, rule of law and has sought to make a mockery of the system of justice in this country States MA Sumanthiran MP in Parliament.’ »

“We will continue our struggle until a comprehensive investigation is conducted and those responsible are brought to book. Afterwards we will discuss the need to pardon those who attacked these innocent people” States Cardinal Malcolm Rnjith

By

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith

(Nine suicide bombers affiliated to local Islamist extremist group National Thowheed Jamath targeted three Christian churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, killing 269 people and injuring more than 500.

On the second anniversary of the Easter attacks, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, gave the following speech at a remembrance ceremony at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade:)

April 21, 2019, will enter history as a day that cannot be forgotten. We stress the need not to put under the earth the whole effort to discover who and what were behind these attacks.

We are surprised that even after two years answers to the questions of who, why and what lay behind these attacks have not been found by the relevant authorities.

We have to stress that what is happening at the moment, which is an uncaring attitude where all the factors are not properly investigated or coordinated in an organized pattern from day to day according to each day’s fortunes, is not going to satisfy our questions.

Very often we see that there are political reasons behind some of the investigations stalling.

Continue reading ‘“We will continue our struggle until a comprehensive investigation is conducted and those responsible are brought to book. Afterwards we will discuss the need to pardon those who attacked these innocent people” States Cardinal Malcolm Rnjith’ »

Chinese Embassy in Colombo’s Invitation to Members of Sri Lankan Parliament for a “Study Tour” Of Colombo Port City Instead of the Urban Development Authority Sparks Controversy

Questions were raised in Sri Lanka’s parliament how China’s embassy invited them to a ‘study tour’ of Colombo Port City where a bill to set up a regulatory commission for the reclaimed area is currently challenged at the Supreme Court.

Opposition legislator Harshana Rajakaruna, dressed in black to mark Islamist suicide attacks on Easter Sunday April 21 in 2019 read out a text message from the parliament saying that a visit to Colombo Port City on the invitation of the Chinese embassy in Colombo had been postponed.

“Why is the Chinese embassy directing this study visit?” he questioned. “In the last administration when a tour was arranged, the Urban Development Authority did it.

Continue reading ‘Chinese Embassy in Colombo’s Invitation to Members of Sri Lankan Parliament for a “Study Tour” Of Colombo Port City Instead of the Urban Development Authority Sparks Controversy’ »

The people expect the SJB, as their main opposition party, to take a stance on the issues most critical to the fabric of our democracy like corruption, nepotism and the independence of the judiciary and public service.

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray

Bhagya Abeyratne, a young woman from Godakawela, became a household name overnight when she spoke with passion and sincere devastation about the destruction of the Sinharaja rainforest that she saw with her own eyes. In a matter of minutes, she accomplished something the entire opposition has failed to do for months. She connected with the common citizen, and made people open their eyes and think about the tragedies going on around them. That is traditionally the role of the opposition, but today, in the absence of a strong opposition with a clear vision or message, it is a role being performed by people like young Bhagya.

The government responded to the patriotism of this public-spirited young woman by deploying the police like stormtroopers to raid her house, grill her family and neighbours and attack her in the media. Yet she stood tall, unbowed and unafraid. Her bravery and plight were ignored entirely by virtually all the mainstream media barring Sirasa TV, but her resolve resonated with ordinary people, making her a symbol of resistance against the pillaging of Sri Lanka’s national heritage by a government that swore to defend the country. One thing is clear from the lightning-like solidarity that Sri Lankans showed Bhagya. Our people are fed up and thirsty for a strong resistance movement, for an opposition.

Yes, the government has failed, visibly, and comprehensively, barely a year after coming to power. But the question is – what is the opposition doing about it? Yes, the government is sinking the ship of state. But the SJB, which is supposed to be piloting the rescue boat, is asleep at the wheel. What has the main opposition done other than gloat and wait in the wings? What solutions do they offer to the problems that face us today?

Continue reading ‘The people expect the SJB, as their main opposition party, to take a stance on the issues most critical to the fabric of our democracy like corruption, nepotism and the independence of the judiciary and public service.’ »

Attorney-General Files Indictments in Kegalle High Court Comprising 21 Charges Against Naufer Moulavi and 15 Others Connected to the National Thowheed Jamath Over the Vandalising of Buddha Statues in Mawanella in 2018; A-G Requests Chief Justice to Appoint Trial-at-bar

By
Dilshan Tharaka

Attorney General Dappula de Livera filed indictments against 16 accused in the Kegalle High Court in connection with causing damage to Buddha statues in Mawanella in 2018, as a prelude to the Easter Sunday attacks by the members of the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) Organisation including its leader Mohammed Zahran Hashim, who carried out suicide bomb attacks on April 21, 2019.

Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the Attorney General has also requested the Chief Justice to appoint a Trial-at-Bar to try the case.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Files Indictments in Kegalle High Court Comprising 21 Charges Against Naufer Moulavi and 15 Others Connected to the National Thowheed Jamath Over the Vandalising of Buddha Statues in Mawanella in 2018; A-G Requests Chief Justice to Appoint Trial-at-bar’ »