How The LTTE Assassinated Senior Tamil Leader Amirthalingam In Colombo Thirty Years Ago….

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The cruelly tragic killing of five Tamil Students by suspected members of the Security forces thirteen years ago in Trincomalee town was re-visited in these columns last week. This week’s column seeks to revive memories about a murder most foul perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in Colombo city exactly thirty years ago. It was on the fateful day of July 13th 1989 that foremost Sri Lankan Tamil political leader and former Leader of the opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam along with Ex-Jaffna MP Vettivelu Yogeswaran was gunned down by the LTTE. Ex- Nallur MP Murugesu Sivasithamparam was shot and wounded in the same incident. All three tiger assassins involved were shot dead by Police officers in the ensuing gun battle. I have written extensively about the assassination of Appapillai Amirthalingam on earlier occasions. However I intend re- relating some of the details concerning these killings on the 30th anniversary of the murders relying to a great extent upon my earlier writings.

Appapillai Amirthalingam
(26 August 1927 – 13 July 1989)

Appapillai Amirthalingam hailing from Pannaaham in Jaffna was born on August 26, 1927. He was a charismatic and dynamic politician who served for many years as the chief lieutenant of the respected Tamil leader SJV Chelvanayagam known as the Gandhi of Eelam. Amirthalingam was a lawyer by profession and had been the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK)MP for Vaddukkoddai from 1956 to 1970 and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP for Kankesanthurai from 1977 to 1983. He held office as Leader of the opposition from 1977 to 1983. In 1989 he was appointed MP on the TULF National list.
Continue reading ‘How The LTTE Assassinated Senior Tamil Leader Amirthalingam In Colombo Thirty Years Ago….’ »

What Would a Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency in Sri Lanka Look Like? – An Analysis by “The Economist” Intelligence Unit

In late April, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary and the brother of a past president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, announced that he would contest the presidential election that is due to be held in late 2019.

The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that he is likely to win that contest, and in this article we look at what the political and policy environment would look like under another Rajapaksa presidency.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is well known for defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant group that led a civil war in the country for nearly three decades, with the objective of creating an independent Tamil state. The Rajapaksas are considered to be Sinhalese nationalists who favour populist majoritarianism. We therefore expect the political environment to be characterised by a rise in anti-minority sentiment if Mr Rajapaksa wins the presidency. As was the case under his brother’s administration, relations with China are expected to strengthen. Meanwhile, a general erosion of checks and balances on the security services can be expected, and concerns regarding the health of the country’s democracy are likely to increase.

Continue reading ‘What Would a Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency in Sri Lanka Look Like? – An Analysis by “The Economist” Intelligence Unit’ »

“I filed a Case Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the USA Because he Seems to be Enjoying Unique Impunity in Sri Lankan Courts” – Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa in Interview

In April this year, Ahimsa Wickrematunge filed a lawsuit against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the District Court of Central California, alleging his involvement in her father Lasantha Wickrematunge’s 2009 assassination. In response, on 27 June, a petition was filed on behalf of Rajapaksa before the District Court, requesting a dismissal of Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s civil suit.

In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Daily FT, Ahimsa dispels some of the assumptions about her motive for filing such a case.

Following are excerpts:

Q: What are your reasons for filing this civil action under US law? Why not file a civil suit in Sri Lanka?

A: Gotabaya Rajapaksa seems to enjoy unique impunity in Sri Lankan courts. The local Judiciary broke with over a century of tradition by preventing his arrest and halting his criminal trials in several corruption investigations. I believe hoping for a fair trial involving him in Sri Lanka is futile.

Q: Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party men and loyalists claim this action is politically motivated. Did you time your civil suit to prevent Gotabaya Rajapaksa from becoming president?

Continue reading ‘“I filed a Case Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the USA Because he Seems to be Enjoying Unique Impunity in Sri Lankan Courts” – Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa in Interview’ »

Horrible Killing of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town Thirteen Years Ago

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Five Tamil Students were killed near the beach in Trincomalee town thirteen years ago on January 2nd 2006. Two other students also suffered injuries but survived. The names and the dates of birth of the five victims were: (i) Manoharan Ragihar- 22.09.1985, (ii) Yogarajah Hemachchandra – 04.03.1985, (iii) Logitharajah Rohan – 07.04.1985(iv) Thangathurai Sivanantha – 06.04.1985, and (v) Shanmugarajah Gajendran – 16.09.1985. The two injured youths were Yogarajah Poongulalon and Pararajasingham Kokulraj.

Trincomalee Inner-Harbour ~ pic: Doctorandus Sarajevo

The official version put out first was that all seven were members of the Liberation Tigers of Eelam(LTTE) who had been armed with grenades with the intention of attacking a security forces post. The grenades had exploded accidently killing five and injuring two. But the initial claim was soon proved wrong.The post mortem conducted by Dr.Gamin Gunatunga the Judicial Medical Officer in Trincomalee determined that the five had died from gunshot wounds. Three had been shot in the head at close quarters, while two died from shots to the chest and abdomen. Some had injuries that were not caused by gunshots. . The Trincomalee Magistrate Mr. V. Ramakamalan conducted a magisterial inquiry and recorded an interim verdict of gunshot injuries.
Continue reading ‘Horrible Killing of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town Thirteen Years Ago’ »

“Foreign Policy by Itself Cannot Make Miracles When There is Partisan Bickering on Key Domestic Public Policy Issues in Sri Lanka” – Ex-Foreign Secretary HMGS Palihakkara

(Former Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary H.M. G. S. Palihakkara Delivered the keynote speech at the inauguration of the BCIS Diploma Course on March 9th 2019 on the theme “Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges”. Given the ongoing debate about SOFA,ACSA BRI, India and SL’s foreign policy posture , Relevant excerpts from the keynote speech are published here. Interestingly enough when referring to the need for Sri lanka to maintain a posture of strategic non-alignment in the context of the looming great power jostling in the so called Indo-Pacific, Mr. Palihakkara said ‘ Foreign policy by itself cannot make miracles when there is partisan bickering on key domestic public policy issues in Sri Lanka’)

Excerpts:

Global scene will continue to be marked by change, entailing challenge and risk. That change can be both disruptive and constructive. Equally, progress in some areas is bound to be contrasted by distress in other areas. The much acclaimed trend of integration in Europe is now confronted by an unprecedented contest between interdependence and independence, signified by Brexit and right- wing populism that seems to proliferate. Meanwhile, multilateral system is being weakened in a multitude of areas and ways e.g. from Climate change to Arms Control to Trade. The United States , a prime mover of the post war idea of modern multilateralism , is now seen, under its current Presidency, as a driver of these negative trends. Countries like Sri Lanka that rely on the rules based order of the multilateral system to safeguard their interests, need to redouble efforts to support that system while also keeping their bilateral tracks well and alive.

The task of consolidating the all important bilateral relationship with India in a mutually beneficial manner will continue to be a priority well into the future. The emerging geopolitical landscape of the ‘Indo-pacific’ and the intense strategic focus thereon by the major powers , both regional and extra regional, have added complexity and tension to this task of small countries like Sri Lanka. The much talked about location value of Sri Lanka was described as the nexus of the East-West trade route by a VIP of a major maritime user visiting Sri Lanka recently. Whether this ‘nexus’ will become an economic asset or a geopolitical liability will depend on the prudence of the foreign policy posture we craft for ourselves.

The logic of the Indo Sri Lanka bilateral relationship lies in our history, geography and many cultural affinities we have. However, it has also remained a very turbulent one. Although no interstate armed hostilities have occurred between the two countries in the recent past, mismanagement of relations was a key factor contributing to a long drawn out intra- state conflict in Sri Lanka. A remarkable rebuilding of relations later led to it being described as one of ‘irreversible excellence’ by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. However it again became tense and sore just a few years ago, amid charges of regime change, internationalizing human rights issues etc. Recent times saw yet another restoration effort coupled with a healthy growth in business and people to people contacts. Building on this foundation, the two oldest parliamentary democracies of the region need to further deepen and widen relations.

Continue reading ‘“Foreign Policy by Itself Cannot Make Miracles When There is Partisan Bickering on Key Domestic Public Policy Issues in Sri Lanka” – Ex-Foreign Secretary HMGS Palihakkara’ »

There is a Tragic Disconnect Between what Sri Lanka’s Leaders say to the Public and the Patent Disbelief with Which These words are Received.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is a tragic disconnect between what Sri Lanka’s leaders say to the public and the patent disbelief with which these words are received. This will eventually have dangerous repercussions beyond the electoral defeat of those men, impacting on the nation as a whole as it is pushed in a perilous direction with raw bitterness and biting anger dominating the public mood.

High and awful price of political failure

So even as words pour out of political mouths, often meaning very little, there is a serious question that must surely be asked in all good conscience. Do these politicians not understand or realise that they must speak with greater care about matters concerning the security of the Sri Lankan State? Or is it that we have come to the stage where even the basic minimum cannot be expected any longer from the Government or the Opposition? This is in a context where millions are spent on sittings of Parliament but often, the quorum of members is not present in the House for the sessions to continue, which was the case this week as well.

Take the oft quoted protestations of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Easter Sunday terrorists have all been either killed or put behind bars. As responsible national leaders, making such sweeping assertions amounts to bad politics, let alone indicating a singular lack of commonsense. This is in contrast to, for example, the former Army Commander and now a front ranking member of the Prime Minister’s party, Sarath Fonseka who acknowledges the contrary far more realistically every chance that he gets. As he says, the very nature of the Islamist State beast is that its barbarities may recur at any point.

Continue reading ‘There is a Tragic Disconnect Between what Sri Lanka’s Leaders say to the Public and the Patent Disbelief with Which These words are Received.’ »

Andrew Fidel Fernando’s “Upon a Sleepless Isle” is a Compelling Capture of Sri Lanka’s Irrepressible Character and Atextured Patina of Life, Love and Loss

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

Do not buy ‘Upon a Sleepless Isle’.The author, Andrew Fidel Fernando,is better known for his sporting columns. This is his first book – described as a labour of love–a term usually reserved for how parents think of juvenile delinquents when they were born & still beautiful.The Lonely Planet inspired cover suggests a saccharine capture of Sri Lanka by ‘bus, cycle and trishaw’, the preferred modes of transport for Instagram influencers and their Ludwig or Crema filtered snapshots of a sleeping dog, crowded train or thambili.As reviews go, this is clearly an inauspicious start. But as the author will attest after covering cricket’s vicissitudes as only he does and can, a terrible start doesn’t necessarily mean a calamitous end.

The recommendation to not purchase this book is anchored to personal experience. I read it in about four sittings over two days. In that short span of time, Fernando’s sardonic, salubrious and sharp prose resulted in spilt coffee, tea and water, nearly choking on a lozenge, actually choking on an Afghan chicken kebab, a near miss with a spill on keyboard, slight stainson book, a bigger stain on sweater, many scarred strangers and very scared birds. I suppose a more accurate capture would be to recommend a warning label with this book – abandon decorum, all ye who read. Nearly three decades after I first read Carl Muller’s ‘Jam Fruit Tree’, Andrew Fidel Fernando’s penned a book that, even though an entirely different genre and lens, is as compelling and effortlessly, gloriously witty. Do not buy this book for a quiet read, or to pose at Barefoot or Kiku with. Buy it to engorge the text as one would a biryani from Hotel de Buhari. The meal stains as much as Fernando’s prose sticks, and in both cases, the experience is worth far more than what one paid for and not easily forgotten.

Continue reading ‘Andrew Fidel Fernando’s “Upon a Sleepless Isle” is a Compelling Capture of Sri Lanka’s Irrepressible Character and Atextured Patina of Life, Love and Loss’ »

Provisions allowing the sale of lands to foreigners and foreign companies Under Proposed New Land Laws could be detrimental to the land rights of Sri Lankan citizens especially landholders of farmer settlements

By

Sugeeswara Senadhira

Red Indian Chief, Seattle, in his speech known as ‘letter’ made a ‘powerful, bittersweet plea for the respect of Native American rights and environmental values.’ President Maithripala Sirisena quoted Seattle at the inauguration of the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multi-purpose project and said that the wars since ancient times were for either land or water which would continue forever because of the importance of land and water to human beings.

The proposed amendments to the Land Act were discussed at length by the Cabinet, and President Sirisena made several observations for its inclusion. However, when the Bill was presented later, the President found that some of his observations were not taken into consideration. They include land rights, regulations on selling of land to foreigners and foreign companies, devolution of land powers to Pradeshiya Sabhas and the removal of restrictions on the division of estate lands.

Addressing the officials, the President said that when one surveys the destruction caused by the Pradeshiya Sabhas, land powers should be taken away from them. He said the proposal to give the Pradeshiya Sabhas authority to draft the minimum and maximum limits of all lands except paddy fields and irrigation lands would be disastrous. Minimum divisions mean powers are given to divide lands. This enables the wealthy to purchase land, and thereby destroy the poor community in the country, he said.

Continue reading ‘Provisions allowing the sale of lands to foreigners and foreign companies Under Proposed New Land Laws could be detrimental to the land rights of Sri Lankan citizens especially landholders of farmer settlements’ »

A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka

By

Shamara Wettimuny

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Three weeks after the Easter attacks, mobs looted and burned mosques and madrasas as well as Muslim-owned homes and businesses in more than one district. Despite declaring curfews, the state was unable to prevent large scale violence against members of the Muslim community. Government actors conservatively estimate the damage in May 2019 to include the destruction of 14 mosques, 86 houses, and 96 shops.

Ethno-linguistic violence featuring the state and Tamil separatists has dominated the conflict landscape in Sri Lanka over the last half century. This article discusses a different angle in the complex milieu of ethno-nationalism and violence in the island. Although the Easter attacks were unprecedented, the reprisal violence targeting Muslims was not.

Continue reading ‘A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka’ »

Our democracy of seventy years and more has clearly left this country without political leadership of quality.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

President Sirisena must be enjoying his stay in Britain, watching the campaign for the election of the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, there.

Will he be getting new ideas for an anti-democratic leadership campaign for the SLFP, even the SLPP, and to again be the common candidate at the coming presidential poll?

His thinking on resuming the Death Penalty with four executions has been given a good push back by the Supreme Court, putting off such punishments till end October this year.

Will he be dreaming of another ‘constitutional coup’ come October, and the closer reach of the end of his first only term as Executive President, as promised at his swearing in as president, and in many statements after that?

Let’s put aside those Sirisena troubles, and look at the bigger worries that face the people today, as we see political peraheras being lined up for the presidential poll and the general elections.

Continue reading ‘Our democracy of seventy years and more has clearly left this country without political leadership of quality.’ »

It is Believed that President Sirisena Pardoned and Released Anti- Muslim Monk Gnanasara Thero From Prison Because he Needed a Sinhala Buddhist Rabble Rouser to Counter the Appeal of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Presidential Election.

By P.K.Balachandran

The simultaneous bombing of four posh hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka by a bunch of Islamic radicals on April 21 Easter Sunday, was clearly not aimed at the island’s majority Sinhalese Buddhist community as the targets indicate.

And yet, a noticeable consequence of the terrorist act is the revival of a Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalistic movement, with Buddhist monks spearheading it.

When the bombings took place, the immediate reaction of the population was to ensure that innocent Muslims were not attacked in retribution. But it did not take long for Lanka’s hardboiled politicos to sense the electoral advantages of whipping up communal sentiments, given the fact that the Presidential election was due at the end of the year.

Therefore, in May, there were anti-Muslim riots in the North Western Province obviously instigated by opposition politicians. There were calls for the boycott of Muslim businesses, and for investigations into the alleged nexus between Muslim politicos and the terrorists. The Sinhala-Buddhist agitators were seeking the scalp of cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Provincial Governors Azath Salley and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah.

There was a shrill cry for a probe into the charge that Dr.Shafi Shihabdeen, a Muslim gynecologist at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, had sterilized 8,000 Sinhalese Buddhist women without their permission in a clandestine bid to reduce the proportion of Sinhalese Buddhists vis-à-vis Muslims in the Lankan population.

Continue reading ‘It is Believed that President Sirisena Pardoned and Released Anti- Muslim Monk Gnanasara Thero From Prison Because he Needed a Sinhala Buddhist Rabble Rouser to Counter the Appeal of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Presidential Election.’ »

The Rise of Militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

By Hannah Beech

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot.

But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely
registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in
the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims
were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.

“The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,”
he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had
thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. The abbot flicked his fingers
in the air and shrugged.

His responsibility was to his flock, the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka.
Muslims, who make up less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, were
not his concern.

Incited by a politically powerful network of charismatic monks like
Sumedhananda Thero, Buddhists have entered the era of militant tribalism,
casting themselves as spiritual warriors who must defend their faith against
an outside force.

Continue reading ‘The Rise of Militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.’ »

Travesty of Justice in Kurunegala! Court Denies Bail and Remands Muslim Doctor For Two More Weeks Due to Pressure by Buddhist Monks and Their Lawyers Despite Falsely Accused Surgeon Being Cleared of all Charges by CID and Attorney -General.

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary revoked a three-month detention order against a Muslim doctor incarcerated on a false charge of sterilising Buddhist women, but a court in Kurunegala remanded him after protests by Buddhist monks.

The bizarre turn of events at the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court came despite state attorney Thusith Mudalige acknowledging that there was no evidence to hold Mohamed Shafi on allegations that he sterilized some 4,000 Sinhala Buddhist women against their wishes.

The Criminal Investigations Department in a 210-page report made it clear to the magistrate that investigations concluded that the allegations were false and that there had been police involved in a massive fabrication of evidence to frame Shafi.

Continue reading ‘Travesty of Justice in Kurunegala! Court Denies Bail and Remands Muslim Doctor For Two More Weeks Due to Pressure by Buddhist Monks and Their Lawyers Despite Falsely Accused Surgeon Being Cleared of all Charges by CID and Attorney -General.’ »

Senior Editor’s Comment On Twitter About Colombo Mayor’s “Car Free Day” Proposal Evokes Misogynist Response From Retired Navy Chief and “Viyathmaga” Organization Promoting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy.

Professionals affiliated to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were described as ‘misogynists’ after they denied the existence of sexually harassment of women in public transport and on the streets.

An organisation called the Viyathmaga which promotes Rajapaksa as a presidential candidate rejected remarks of senior editor of the Daily FT, Marianne David, who focused on the sexual harassment women must endure on a daily basis.

David was commenting on twitter that Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake’s proposal for a car-free day was impractical as women could not freely walk without intimidation. The Dutch embassy is pushing the car-free day on Sunday mainly in the Cinnamon Gardens area of Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Senior Editor’s Comment On Twitter About Colombo Mayor’s “Car Free Day” Proposal Evokes Misogynist Response From Retired Navy Chief and “Viyathmaga” Organization Promoting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy.’ »

No Confidence Motion by JVP Against Govt Defeated by 27 Votes with 119 MP”s Including TNA Voting Against and 92 Voting for With 13 MP’s Absent at Voting Time.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The Vote on the No-Confidence Motion presented by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was defeated yesterday in Parliament with a majority of 27 votes, with 119 lawmakers voting against the Motion and 92 votes received in favour.

Thirteen lawmakers including United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs Udaya Gammanpila, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. V. Radhakrishnan, United National Party MPs Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Dunesh Gankanda, S.B. Nawinne, and Ashoka Priyantha were absent for the vote. This meant 211 lawmakers were present during the vote.

Opening the debate, UPFA lawmaker Wimal Weerawansa charged the Government for not being able to protect people against Wahhabism. “Still the Tawheed Jamath office in Maligawatte is operating. But boasts to be the only country in the world to have eliminated Islamic State. People do need a change. We invite all lawmakers to join hands to defeat this irresponsible government,” he said.

Continue reading ‘No Confidence Motion by JVP Against Govt Defeated by 27 Votes with 119 MP”s Including TNA Voting Against and 92 Voting for With 13 MP’s Absent at Voting Time.’ »

Attorney -General Directs Police to Re-commence Investigations Into Killing of Five Students in Trincomalee in 2006 After Acquittal of 13 Accused Due to Lack of Evidence by Trinco Chief Magistrate; Wants Police to Trace Whereabouts of Three Key Witnesses and Send Progress Report to A-G.


By Chandani Kirinde

The Attorney General (AG) yesterday directed police to recommence investigations into the killing of five students in Trincomalee in 2006, after all 13 accused in the case were acquitted last week.

In a letter to the Acting IGP, the AG directed that the police trace and record the evidence of three vital witnesses in the case, including two of the survivors of the attack as well as the father of one of the victims.

The 13 suspects in the case including 12 STF personnel and a policeman were acquitted of all charges and released by the Trincomalee Chief Magistrate M.M. Mohamed due to lack of evidence.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Directs Police to Re-commence Investigations Into Killing of Five Students in Trincomalee in 2006 After Acquittal of 13 Accused Due to Lack of Evidence by Trinco Chief Magistrate; Wants Police to Trace Whereabouts of Three Key Witnesses and Send Progress Report to A-G.’ »

Attorney – General to File Revision Application in Colombo High Court Against Bail Order Given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne in favour of IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex -Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando

By Chandani Kirinde

The Attorney General will file a revision application in the Colombo High Court against the bail order in favour of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday.

AG Department spokesperson State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that revision application would be filed as soon as the AG receives a copy of the MC order.

The two defendants were released on surety bail of Rs 500,000 each, eight days after they were placed under arrest.

Continue reading ‘Attorney – General to File Revision Application in Colombo High Court Against Bail Order Given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne in favour of IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex -Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Releases Remanded IGP and Ex -Def Secy on Bail Saying There was Insufficient Evidence to Substantiate Murder Charges: Asks why No Proper Investigation was Conducted or Statements Obtained From Suspects Before Being Charged with Murder

By Manopriya Gunasekera

Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday granted bail to former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera saying there was not enough grounds to charge them with murder.

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara were remanded on charges of criminal negligence and murder for failing to prevent the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. However, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne stated that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the murder charges presented against them by the Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Releases Remanded IGP and Ex -Def Secy on Bail Saying There was Insufficient Evidence to Substantiate Murder Charges: Asks why No Proper Investigation was Conducted or Statements Obtained From Suspects Before Being Charged with Murder’ »

Ven Ulapane Sumangala Thero Files Petition in Supreme Court Against Proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill; Accuses Govt of Having Intention to Allow Transfer of State Land to Foreigners

A fresh petition has been filed before the Supreme Court against the proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill that was moved in Parliament by the Government recently.

The petition said the proposed bill is against Sri Lanka’s Constitution and seeks a court order calling for a two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as a referendum to pass the bill.

The Petitioner was Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thero, citing the Attorney General as its respondent.

Continue reading ‘Ven Ulapane Sumangala Thero Files Petition in Supreme Court Against Proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill; Accuses Govt of Having Intention to Allow Transfer of State Land to Foreigners’ »

Manohara de Silva Argues in Supreme Court in Support of Petition Filed by Udaya Gammanpila MP Against Lands Special Provisions Bill.

By Chitra Weerarathne

An ordinary farmer who owned about a quarter acre of land, after selling it to a multinational company would be destitute, said President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva in the Supreme Court yesterday when he supported a petition against the Lands (Special Provision) Bill. The petitioner was MP Udaya Gammanpila.

Manohara de Silva told the Court that the new Bill pertaining to agricultural land would enable a poor farmer to sell his land to a multinational company, invest the money and live on the interest. As a result the agricultural economy would fall.

Continue reading ‘Manohara de Silva Argues in Supreme Court in Support of Petition Filed by Udaya Gammanpila MP Against Lands Special Provisions Bill.’ »

Govt Decision to Give Outright Ownership of Land Allotments to Farmers Will Result in their Selling Off the Small Holdings for a Pittance and will Give Rise to a Generation of Poverty Stricken Landless Population in Rural Areas.

By

“A Retired Government Agent”

The government seems to be in a mighty hurry to grant outright ownership to those who have their land holdings under the Land Development Ordinance of 1935.

The introduction and the implementation of the Land Development Ordinance 1935 was one of the most important welfare measures taken before independence. It was a very effective rural development strategy followed during pre and post independent period.

. The initial objectives of the Land Development Ordinance were (a) protecting peasant farmers as a group (b) alleviating land hunger among the poorest of the poor (c) relieving population pressure of the villagers in the wet zone of the country, (d) increasing food production particularly paddy (e) developing the scarcely populated dry zone.

Continue reading ‘Govt Decision to Give Outright Ownership of Land Allotments to Farmers Will Result in their Selling Off the Small Holdings for a Pittance and will Give Rise to a Generation of Poverty Stricken Landless Population in Rural Areas.’ »

“Changing Land Laws Under the Pretext of Giving Ownership to Farmers is only a Ruse to Enable Multi -National Companies to Buy Off Agricultural Lands From Desperate Small -time Farmers Whom They Have Helped to Bankrupt”.- MONLAR

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Ranil Wickremesinghe administration was attempting to create a cheap labour force needed to facilitate the implementation of neoliberal economic policies, by amending` land laws, Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Convener of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) said commenting on the scheme to grant outright ownership of land to one million people.

Continue reading ‘“Changing Land Laws Under the Pretext of Giving Ownership to Farmers is only a Ruse to Enable Multi -National Companies to Buy Off Agricultural Lands From Desperate Small -time Farmers Whom They Have Helped to Bankrupt”.- MONLAR’ »

Comrade DEW Gunasekara is the only Political Leader in Sri Lanka who Openly Advocates Provincial Autonomy and Retention of the 13th Amendment Within the Indo-Lanka Accord, while Rejecting Neoliberalism and Neocolonialist Interference.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

DEW Gunasekara belonged to a great progressive camp and powerful current in world history: that of socialism, tracing its origins back to the October Revolution of 1917 (and intellectually to 1848 and the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx), and led globally and historically by the land of Lenin. In choosing that path, he belonged to a camp with hundreds of millions the world over. He also belonged to a current in Sri Lanka that was strong, influential and numerous. Globally for the most part – with some extraordinary exceptions such as Cuba—and in Sri Lanka, the Communist movement and the Communist Party was the birthplace of all radical efforts that seriously challenged the System.

Today, Comrade DEW stands alone, not in the world, not in Asia, not in the global South, because there are Communists in power in one of the world’s two or three greatest powers—China—and in other important countries such as Cuba, Vietnam and Nepal. But he stands alone in Sri Lanka. That is not his personal tragedy but a tragedy for Sri Lanka.

Why do I say he stands alone, and in what sense does he do so? As a Communist, Comrade DEW stands for an anti-imperialism that is universalist; not one that is neotribal, racist, religious chauvinist and Islamophobic. However, in Sri Lankan there are now two and a half camps. On the one hand the camp of neoliberalism and neocolonialism; of an elite (and its civil society hangers-on) that claims to be anti-racist and anti-xenophobic but actually generates a growing backlash of xenophobia, racism and religious chauvinism by its very policies and existence. There are a few in this camp who are anti-racist but also patriotic, but they are marginalized, dormant, or silent.

On the other hand, there is a camp that is superficially anti-imperialist and anti-neocolonialist but is ethnocentric and ethnoreligious chauvinist; a camp which precisely by being neotribalist and divisive, places us in the minefield of interventionism laid by neocolonialism. There are a few in this camp who are anti-imperialist but also anti-racist, but they too are marginalized, dormant, or silent.

The ‘half a camp’ is that of those who claim to be on the Left and indeed of radical, revolutionary lineage but they have openly propped up the neoliberal, neocolonial establishment and thereby discredited themselves and what they stand for, opening the space for their ethnoreligious, chauvinist, neotribalist critics whose anti-imperialism is corrupted by xenophobia.

Continue reading ‘Comrade DEW Gunasekara is the only Political Leader in Sri Lanka who Openly Advocates Provincial Autonomy and Retention of the 13th Amendment Within the Indo-Lanka Accord, while Rejecting Neoliberalism and Neocolonialist Interference.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Declares at “Sivu Hele Maha Samuluwa” Rally in Bogambara Stadium that he Wants to Create a Sinhala Parliament By Mobilising Sinhala Population Into a Single Vote Bloc With the Support of 7000 Out of 10000 Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero yesterday pledged to build a Sinhala Parliament that would enable the Sinhala people to decide policy and laws as they wished, which in his view, is essential to rejuvenate the country.

Speaking in Kandy, the Thero was insistent that hung Parliaments where minority political parties typically have some clout was detrimental to taking forward national plans. He emphasised that with the support of thousands of temples, the Buddhist clergy has the capacity to bring together the Sinhala population into one vote block, to elect a party with a clear majority in Parliament.

“Democracy has not necessarily worked for us. We now have a situation in Sri Lanka where there is no clear demarcation of power. Even if there was a true leader, he would find it difficult to put in place a strong set of policies and laws to build this nation. We have the competence to change that.

We will build a Sinhala Parliament. If we can get 7000 out of the 10,000 temples we have on our side, and they work to gather votes, it will not be as difficult as people imagine.”

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Declares at “Sivu Hele Maha Samuluwa” Rally in Bogambara Stadium that he Wants to Create a Sinhala Parliament By Mobilising Sinhala Population Into a Single Vote Bloc With the Support of 7000 Out of 10000 Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka’ »

The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The orchestrated political campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa -led opposition in association with sections of the Buddhist clergy and mainstream media against three prominent Muslim politicians has ostensibly succeeded. The stated aim of the campaign was to secure the dismissal, resignation and/or arrest of two Provincial Governors and a Cabinet Minister. Eastern province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley have both resigned their posts. Industries and Commerce minister Rishad Bathiudeen has also relinquished his post and made his exit in spectacular mode. All his Muslim colleagues in Government joined Rishad in tendering their joint resignations voluntarily. In an unprecedented mass resignation , nine Muslims from three political parties comprising four cabinet ministers, four state ministes and a deputy minister resigned their portfolios together.

Samurdhi event in Mannar district, June 8, 2019


Continue reading ‘The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target’ »

Blatant US Interference is De-stabilising Sri Lanka Due to India’s Passivity Bordering on Acquiscence; Is it in India’s Long Term Interests to let Sri Lanka be De-stabilised?

By

M.K. Bhadrakumar

The Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on 21st April in which 259 people were killed and over 500 injured were initially attributed to the Islamic State (IS). But no hard evidence is available to substantiate such a reading and it remains an open question as to the perpetrators.

The Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena may have somewhat de-mystified the topic this week. On July 1, Sirisena charged at a public function that drug traffickers are behind the Easter Sunday bomb attacks. The following day he ordered the arrest of former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara for their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks despite prior knowledge of the attacks.

What lends enchantment to the view is that the United States had brilliantly succeeded in deploying to Sri Lanka the personnel of the Indo-Pacific Command within a couple of days of the Easter Sunday attacks on the pretext of investigating and assisting in Colombo’s upcoming fight against the IS.

Historically, Sri Lanka is chary of allowing foreign military presence on its soil, but in this case Washington pressed home the deployment, since the ruling elite in Colombo was on the back foot, incoherent and in disarray in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

In political terms, what Sirisena may have done this week is to reverse the ‘internationalisation’ of Sri Lanka’s terrorism problem. Indeed, for tackling a local drug mafia, Sri Lanka doesn’t need the expertise of the US’ Indo-Pacific Command.

Continue reading ‘Blatant US Interference is De-stabilising Sri Lanka Due to India’s Passivity Bordering on Acquiscence; Is it in India’s Long Term Interests to let Sri Lanka be De-stabilised?’ »

Students and Teachers Using Stationery Products of “Atlas Axillia” Being Targeted in Systematic Boycott Campaign Conducted Through Social Media by Racist Anti-Muslim Elements.

By

Chandeepa Wettasinghe

Students in Sri Lanka’s education system are being ridiculed and are facing ‘punishment’ for using stationery produced by a firm caught in an anti-Muslim boycott, an official said.

Atlas Axillia, a top stationary and publishing company has been targeted by anti-Muslim activists following suicide attacks by an extremist Islamist group, some of whose members had apparently been in the pay of a state agency, in April.

“Some students are being ridiculed and some are being punished for carrying Atlas products to school,” Managing Director Asitha Samaraweera told reporters on Wednesday.

“This hatred is being inculcated in our children’s minds. Young minds are being corrupted.”

Some students have been told they will not be admitted inside the class the following day if they continued to bring Atlas products.

Continue reading ‘Students and Teachers Using Stationery Products of “Atlas Axillia” Being Targeted in Systematic Boycott Campaign Conducted Through Social Media by Racist Anti-Muslim Elements.’ »

Attorney – General Orders Immediate Arrest of Eight Persons Implicated in Avant Garde Floating armoury Case but CID Informs Dappula de Livera that Key Suspects Maj(Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathy and Cmdr(Retd) Nandana Diyabalanage Have Left the Country

By

Maneksha Borham

Two key suspects in the Avant Garde floating armoury case had already left the island shortly before Attorney General Dappula De Livera ordered the CID to arrest eight individuals implicated in the high profile money laundering and illegal weapons smuggling investigation.

The CID had informed the Attorney General that Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services, retired Major Nissanka Senadhipathi and retired commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage had already gone overseas, Coordinating Officer to the AG, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

The CID had learned that Senadhipathi had travelled to Singapore, State Counsel Jayaratne said.

Continue reading ‘Attorney – General Orders Immediate Arrest of Eight Persons Implicated in Avant Garde Floating armoury Case but CID Informs Dappula de Livera that Key Suspects Maj(Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathy and Cmdr(Retd) Nandana Diyabalanage Have Left the Country’ »

The Country’s Worst Racists Never Lose an Opportunity to Publicly Proclaim Their Friends Include Tamils and Muslims Just Before or Immediately After Rabid Commentary Against Them

By Sanjana Hattotuwa

Every year, for close upon two decades, on Christmas Day, I watch ‘Love Actually’. There is a scene in it where Hugh Grant, playing the British PM, takes on the American President, played by Billy Bob Thornton. The trans-Atlantic relationship between the UK and US, in the film, is strained by the American President’s lewd remarks on and sexual harassment of a member of the British PM’s staff. And while today, life not just imitates art, but is stranger and more violent than what the film depicts, the PM’s comments to the press corps sprang to mind over an exchange on Twitter last week.

In it, a tweet of mine calling out the signature chutzpah and hypocrisy of the SLPP was mindlessly responded to by someone associated with and benefitting from the party, very active on social media. The submission that we were friends prefaced the response. Disabusing my interlocutor of this fiction resulted in the mawkish, self-indulgently sentimental response so many on social media project, produce and promote, which is a study in itself.

I did highlight the fact that one didn’t need to be a friend, or my friend, in order to engage or debate in a civil, principled manner around matters of mutual interest. This fiction of friendship prefacing the most insulting innuendo, insipid insinuation, vapid or violent commentary isn’t unique to Sri Lanka’s social media sphere, but is interesting to flag, nevertheless.

I wonder, but do not know for certain, if there’s a link between this loose, self-serving definition of friendship and the increasing use of Facebook, with its capture and presentation of ‘friends’ and the transactional, virtually mediated values of friendship in ways very different to what I grew up with, and still treasure. But this is not a rant against the dilution of human relationships because of technology.

I am sure that for billions on social media, and especially for those separated by geography, key traits of friendships including love, caring, trust, empathy, confidentiality, respect and support, are present and as authentic as what I hold as markers of a deep friendship. What I am more interested is in the display or manufacture of friendship, unilaterally expressed, which serves to preface much of what one would not say to friends, in the manner expressed and with the language used.

Continue reading ‘The Country’s Worst Racists Never Lose an Opportunity to Publicly Proclaim Their Friends Include Tamils and Muslims Just Before or Immediately After Rabid Commentary Against Them’ »

Has the Attorney -General “Erred in Law and Fact” by Describing the Alleged Offences of IGP Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Fernando Under Our Criminal Laws as Being ” Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law?

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is palpable confusion in the air. Is Sri Lanka’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujitha Jayasundara, arrested this week along with former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando on a range of offences under the Penal Code, including murder and causing death by negligence, still holding the position of head of the police force, albeit being put on compulsory leave? The arrests of these two men are grounded in their failure to respond to previous warnings by foreign and local intelligence sources regarding planned attacks by Islamist jihadists on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

A political charade that mocks the public

So a Government which is at sixes and sevens as a result of a squabbling President and Prime Minister as well as an Opposition which is greedily salivating to grab power at the upcoming elections still cannot muster the combined political will to put the mandated parliamentary procedure under the Removal of Officers (Procedure) Act (2002) into action in order to deal with an IGP who refuses to leave his position? And providing the icing on this very strange cake, that very same IGP has now been arrested. Are we living in a Kafka-like nightmare that such blatant Rule of Law contradictions have become a normal feature of the political landscape, tolerated with a sigh and a shrug?

Continue reading ‘Has the Attorney -General “Erred in Law and Fact” by Describing the Alleged Offences of IGP Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Fernando Under Our Criminal Laws as Being ” Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law?’ »

A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners convicted on drug trafficking offences.

By Anurangi Singh

A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard lengthy submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners condemned to death, having been convicted on drug trafficking offences.

All last week, the CA bench led by President of the Court of Appeal Justice Yasantha Kodagoda, Justice Janak de Silva, Justice Arjuna Obeysekara, Justice Deepani Wijesekara and Justice Achala Wengappuli sat through lengthy submissions on behalf of the petitioner as well as the State.

The Court reserved the order till July 17 to decide whether leave should be granted.

Continue reading ‘A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners convicted on drug trafficking offences.’ »

The 43 Year Moratorium on Executions in Sri Lanka Has Instilled Into the Minds of Judges That the Death Sentences They Issue Will Not Be Carried Out

By

Dharisha Bastians and Anurangi Singh

A 43-year moratorium on executing the death sentence has become entrenched in the law and in the mind of every High Court judge that hands down the death sentence, Counsel for a prisoner condemned to death and challenging the decision to resume judicial hangings told the Supreme Court on Friday.

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, who appeared for the death row prisoner M.H.P. Nawas, whose petition was filed through attorney at law Kavindu Hewa Geeganage, told the Supreme Court that the moratorium on judicial hangings had been in effect for not just a year or two, but for nearly half a century.

In the meantime, Governments and Presidents had changed, but the policy had remained in place, he argued, adding that as a result, the prospect that a death sentence could be carried out was not in the minds of any High Court judge.

“43 years of non-implementation of the death sentence has instilled into the minds of our judges that this will not be carried out. They hand out death sentences knowing the sentences will not be executed,” said Sumanthiran PC, as he made submissions in SC FR 272/2019 before a three judge bench of the Supreme Court.

Citing the Bachchan Singh Vs the State of Punjab (1980) determination in India, in which judges ruled that capital punishment may only be imposed in the ‘rarest of rare’ cases, it was Sumanthiran PC’s contention that High Court judges in Sri Lanka would be more circumspect in handing down sentences of death, if they knew the executions could actually take place.

Continue reading ‘The 43 Year Moratorium on Executions in Sri Lanka Has Instilled Into the Minds of Judges That the Death Sentences They Issue Will Not Be Carried Out’ »

“Ellungas Sira” Who Has Little “Maithriya” Sees the Gallows and Scaffold as his Theatre of Deadly Political Hangman’s Delight

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

There is a political dancer of much experience giving a display of performing skills.

“Ellungas Sira” who has little if any of maithriya associated with his performances today, sees the gallows and scaffold as his theatre of deadly political delight.

It was not a very difficult move from being the Common Candidate in support of Democracy and Human Rights, to that of the Hangman of Democracy and all the humane values the Common Candidate supposedly stood for. What we see today is a contortionist with skills drawn from the many decades in Sri Lankan politics, where the play of the crooked is the path to success.

As he performs at the scaffold, with glad announcements that he has signed the gallows warrant to four persons in the line room of the condemned to life imprisonment, ‘Gus Sira” as many call him today, has discovered a new threat to his own life. It is the stuff of corrupt politics and governance that gives one frequent warnings of death threats. The earlier warning came from that Namal, a deserter from the armed forces, and an alleged leader of a fight against corruption, who kept on telling stories of threats to Sira and Gota.

Continue reading ‘“Ellungas Sira” Who Has Little “Maithriya” Sees the Gallows and Scaffold as his Theatre of Deadly Political Hangman’s Delight’ »

President Sirisena Who Admires Duterte’s way of Dealing with Drug Offenders seems Unaware of the Pariah Status that the Philippines President has Earned for Himself Within the International Community.

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama

When President Sirisena announced his intention to hang the convicted drug offenders lingering in the death cells of the Welikada prison, he was congratulated by President Duterte of the Philippines.When he returned from a recent visit to the Philippines, President Sirisena publicly expressed his admiration of the manner in which President Duterte was dealing with drug offenders in that country. Sirisena and Duterte appear to have misunderstood each other. The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 1987, and Duterte’s method of dealing with the drug problem has been to order the police to kill suspected drug dealers and drug users.Thousands are reported to have been murdered in their homes and on the streets.Duterte once claimed with pride that he himself had killed one or two. Sirisena does not appear to be aware of the pariah status that Duterte has earned for himself within the international community.

President Sirisena has reportedly signed four death warrants requiring the prison authorities to kill one woman and three menby hanging them by their necks until they are dead. It is not known how these four persons were singled out, and by whom. It was earlier reported that the President had identified 19 prisoners from among those convicted and sentenced to death as those who had been indulging in the drug trade from within the prison premises.That, of course, cannot be the basis for signing a death warrant. None of them have yet been indicted or convicted of the offence of drug trafficking from within prison premises. A prisoner has first to be charged with that offence, convicted and sentenced to death by a court, had his appeal dismissed, and then been recommended for execution by the Minister of Justice before the President can sign his or her death warrant. Any other course of action will constitute extra-judicial murder.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Who Admires Duterte’s way of Dealing with Drug Offenders seems Unaware of the Pariah Status that the Philippines President has Earned for Himself Within the International Community.’ »

Supreme Court Issues Interim Orders Until October 30 Preventing Implementation of Death Penalty and Suspending Operation of Any and All Death Warrants Signed by President .

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing implementation of the death penalty till 30 October.

The Supreme Court granted Interim Relief directing the Commissioner General of Prisons and the Welikada Prison Superintendent to immediately desist from executing any prisoner consequent to a death warrant signed by the President.

The Bench comprising Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara, Prasanna S. Jayawardena and Gamini Amarasekera also granted another Interim Relief suspending the operation of any and all death warrants signed by the President.

Both Interim Reliefs were granted until 30 October. The matter is fixed for support on 29 October for granting of Leave to Proceed.

Registrar is directed to communicate to the Prison Superintendent. Notices are to be issued to the Respondents within three weeks through the Registrar. A Fundamental Rights Petition was filed impugning the decisions for revival of execution complaining that they are shrouded in secrecy, with utter lack of transparency and accountability, and are arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution. Lawyer Kavindu Hewa Geeganage filed a Fundamental Rights Petition on behalf of condemned prisoner Mohammad Haniffa Praeem Nawas currently detained at Welikada Prison.

The Petitioner cited the Attorney General, Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale, Prisons Commissioner General T.M.J.W. Thennakoon, Welikada Prison Superintendent T.G. Uduwara, Secretary to the President Udaya Ranjith Seneviratne, the Human Rights Commission and Bar Association President Kalinga Indatissa as respondents.

Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran with Pulasthi Hewamanna instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha appeared for the Petitioner. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Issues Interim Orders Until October 30 Preventing Implementation of Death Penalty and Suspending Operation of Any and All Death Warrants Signed by President .’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: The Wartime Strongman who Wants to run Sri Lanka

By Anbarasan EthirajanBBC

At a funeral for one of the victims of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings, a grief-stricken relative wailed and shouted: “We need Gota, We need Gota.”

She was referring to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the wartime defence chief who played a leading role in crushing Tamil rebels in a bloody civil war which ended 10 years ago. Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils loathe Mr Rajapaksa but he’s celebrated as a hero by many in the majority Sinhalese population, particularly hardliners.

Mr Rajapaksa served as defence secretary from 2005 to 2015, when his brother Mahinda was president. But his tenure was marred by allegations of crimes against humanity, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
Amid the chaos and confusion that followed the suicide attacks in April this year, many Sri Lankans said a perceived strongman like Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could stamp out Islamist extremism in the country.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: The Wartime Strongman who Wants to run Sri Lanka’ »

13 STF and Police Personnel Chrged with Killing of Five Youths Including Two Undergrads and Attempting to Kill Two Others in Trincomalee Town Acquitted of all Charges and Released


By
A. T. M. Gunananda

The STF and Police personnel accused of killing five students in Trincomalee were acquitted yesterday after a lengthy trial.

Thirteen suspects including 12 STF personnel and a policeman held in connection with the killing of five persons including two undergraduates and injuring two others by shooting near the Gandhi roundabout in Trincomalee in 2006 were acquitted of all charges and released by the Trincomalee Chief Magistrate M.M.Mohamed yesterday.

Continue reading ‘13 STF and Police Personnel Chrged with Killing of Five Youths Including Two Undergrads and Attempting to Kill Two Others in Trincomalee Town Acquitted of all Charges and Released’ »

12 Special Task Force Personnel and One Policeman Charged with Murder of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town on Jan 2nd 2006 Acquitted of all Charges by Trinco Chief Magistrate M.M. Mohammed Hamza.

By

Amadoru Amarajeewa

Twelve STF personnel and one police officer who were charged for killing five people including two university students at the Gandhi Roundabout in Trincomalee on January 2, 2006 were acquitted from all charges today after lengthy hearing by Trincomalee Chief Magistrate M.M. Mohammed Hamza.

The CID had filed charges against them under the penal code.

Continue reading ‘12 Special Task Force Personnel and One Policeman Charged with Murder of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town on Jan 2nd 2006 Acquitted of all Charges by Trinco Chief Magistrate M.M. Mohammed Hamza.’ »

Sri Lanka Signing the SOFA with the USA Could Make the Island the “Happy Hunting Grounds” of Millions of US Servicemen, Defence Dept Personnel and Defence Dept Contractors.

By P.K.Balachandran

Sri Lanka is on the verge of signing the highly controversial Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States, which, according to strategic experts, could theoretically make the island nation a happy hunting ground of “millions” of US servicemen, Defense Department personnel and Defense Department contractors.

On the anvil is another controversial agreement on the US$ 480 million fund from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which, if approved by the US Congress and the Lankan cabinet, will include a number of infrastructure projects, but principally the 200 km Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor (CTEC), connecting the West coast with the East coast.

According to Sri Lanka’s former Foreign Secretary, Dr. Palitha Kohona, the MCC requires the government to change land laws to enable peasants to alienate lands given to them by the State. The buyers could be foreign entities. He pointed out that the CTEC will also be violating the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 which forbids the Lankan government from giving over any harbor or airport in the island to a foreign power to be used for a military purpose inimical to India. The US does intend to develop Trincomalee as a logistics base, Dr. Kohona said.

President Maithripala Sirisenahas said time and again that he is opposed to SOFA as it seriously erodes the sovereignty of the country. He even instructed Foreign Minister Tilak Maraponato tell the US State Department that SOFA cannot be accepted in the present form. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is generally pro-US, also has reservations, for without his consent, the Foreign Minister Marapona, who belongs to his party, United National Party (UNP), would not have told the Americans that SOFA has flaws.

Only Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera is all for SOFA and MCC.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Signing the SOFA with the USA Could Make the Island the “Happy Hunting Grounds” of Millions of US Servicemen, Defence Dept Personnel and Defence Dept Contractors.’ »

Popular “Pathikada” Talk Show Over Sirasa Television on Week-day Mornings from 6 to 6.30 am Entered Its Fifth Year on July 1st 2019

By

Bandula Jayasekara

Sirisa Pathikada programme stepped into its fifth year on 1 July 2019, celebrating summers, winters, autumns and springs. We had Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff as our special guest on the programme and shared our happiness and joy with traditional kiribath. Pathikada is aired on Sirasa Television on weekdays from 6.00 to 6.30 am. The programme was presented to the viewers based on a concept by the Chairman of Capital Maharajah Group Mr R. Rajamahendran.

I had only heard of him and I met him thanks to the introduction given to me by his nephew Shivaji Sri Ramanathan, who became friends with me in Sydney. I met Shivaji thanks to Dr Lakshman Jayaweera

After a few pleasant emails, I got the opportunity to meet Mr Rajamahendran in person . He welcomed me very warmly. That warmth I would never forget. He remains the same even today. Kind, sincere and straight-talking and understanding. It is well-known that he doesn’t like the limelight or any praise. He might even get offended that I have written these few lines. I am sorry Sir. I had to.

I also have the pleasure in working with his young Group Director Chevaan Daniel. I knew of Chevaan because he has been in the news and his grandmother, the very charming Mrs Daniel, taught us at Trinity. Typical Sri Lankan connections.

Together with our team, we are proud to say that we have cut across the language barrier unlike any other programme in the country because of the use of simple language. No jargon. Language which everyone understand and speak. We are proud to say that all five communities in Sri Lanka watch Pathikada. They encourage us to do better. We have been successful in educating and empowering the public. We will continue to do so. Incidentally, the first guest on Pathikada was my friend and Associate Editor of The Island Shamindra Ferdinando.

Continue reading ‘Popular “Pathikada” Talk Show Over Sirasa Television on Week-day Mornings from 6 to 6.30 am Entered Its Fifth Year on July 1st 2019’ »

Simultaneously “Hospitalised” IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Sect Hemantha Fernando Arrested by CID on Orders of Attorney -General on Charges  Relating to Negligence of Duties;Colombo Chief Magistrates “Visits”  Hospitals and  Places  Both  Under Remand

By Chathuri Dissanayake 

The Colombo Magistrate yesterday remanded both IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernando until today, for neglecting their duty to prevent the terror attacks on Easter Sunday, which killed over 250 people.

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne placed the two top officials in remand custody, after the Criminal Department (CID) of the Police presented the reports to the Court. Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige, presenting a report, informed the Judge that investigations carried out revealed that both officials had prior knowledge of the attacks, but failed to carry out their duty and prevent the attacks, which caused loss of life and damage to property.

The CID arrested both Inspector General of Police Pujitha Jayasundara and former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernando, following instructions given by the Attorney General Dappula de Livera, Police Spokesman SSP Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Continue reading ‘Simultaneously “Hospitalised” IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Sect Hemantha Fernando Arrested by CID on Orders of Attorney -General on Charges  Relating to Negligence of Duties;Colombo Chief Magistrates “Visits”  Hospitals and  Places  Both  Under Remand’ »

Attorney -General Dappula de Livera Wants Acting IGP Chandra Wickramaratne to Submit Written Explanation For Not Complying With His Order to Arrest IGP Putjitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando and Produce Them in Court on Charges of “Grave Crimes Against Humanity” and Gross Negligence of Duties

By Chandani Kirinde

Attorney General Dappula De Livera yesterday directed the Acting IGP to produce IGP Pujith Jayasundera and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando in court saying the two stand accused of “grave crimes against humanity” for gross negligence of their duties which led to the 21 April terror attacks.

In a hard-hitting letter sent to Acting IGP Chandana Wickremaratne yesterday, the AG also reprimanded the acting Police Chief of not acting on his directive given in a letter dated 27 June to name the two men as suspects and produce them in court.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Dappula de Livera Wants Acting IGP Chandra Wickramaratne to Submit Written Explanation For Not Complying With His Order to Arrest IGP Putjitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando and Produce Them in Court on Charges of “Grave Crimes Against Humanity” and Gross Negligence of Duties’ »

Attorney -General Dappula de Livera Opines IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando’s Alleged Negligence of Duties Amounts to Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law.

Sri Lanka’s police chief and a top defence official should be tried for “grave crimes against humanity” over failure to prevent Easter bombings that killed 258, the state prosecutor said Monday.

Dappula de Livera said Inspector-General of Police Pujith Jayasundara and Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando failed to act on advance warnings of the deadly April 21 suicide attacks.

“The two officials should be brought before a magistrate for their criminal negligence to prevent the April 21 attacks,” de Livera said in a letter to the acting police chief.

“Their negligence amounts to what is known under international law to be grave crimes against humanity.”

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Dappula de Livera Opines IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando’s Alleged Negligence of Duties Amounts to Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law.’ »

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila Accuses Army Commander Lt. Gen Mahesh Senanayake of LYing on the Ex- Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Telephone Call Issue.

By

Lahiru Pothmulla

The Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) today said Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake has lied with regard to a call made by former minister Rishad Bathiudeen asking him about an arrested suspect in the Army custody.

Addressing a news conference, PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila said Army Commander Senanayake has said in an interview with the state-owned ‘Silumina’ Newspaper on May 5 that there was undue influence from a powerful minister from Mannar to get an arrested suspect released.

Continue reading ‘Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila Accuses Army Commander Lt. Gen Mahesh Senanayake of LYing on the Ex- Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Telephone Call Issue.’ »

“If President Sirisena Being a Buddhist Goes Ahead with the Executions He would Never be able to Sleep Peacefully as the Ghosts of the Four Hanged Convicts will Haunt him Forever” – Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne MP


If President Sirisena went ahead with the executions, he, as a Buddhist, would never be able to sleep peacefully as the ghosts of the four hanged convicts would haunt him forever, national list United National Party (UNP) MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said yesterday.

“President Sirisena has on more than one occasion gone back on promises and commitments, the latest being his outburst against the 19th Amendment which he himself spearheaded, now calling it a curse. I will not be surprised if he goes ahead with the executions and claim a few years later that he had made a mistake,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“If President Sirisena Being a Buddhist Goes Ahead with the Executions He would Never be able to Sleep Peacefully as the Ghosts of the Four Hanged Convicts will Haunt him Forever” – Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne MP’ »

UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres Telephones President Sirisena and Asks him to Re-consider Death Penalty Issue but Maithripala Rebuffs him saying “I want to save my country from Drugs”.

The President said Monday(july 1) he had rejected a telephone appeal by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to reconsider his push to reintroduce the death penalty after 43 years.

“I told the Secretary General that I want to save my country from drugs,” Maithripala Sirisena told a meeting in Colombo to mark his anti-narcotics drive.

“He telephoned me last week shortly after I signed four death warrants. I told him to please allow me to stamp out the drug menace,” Sirisena said.

Continue reading ‘UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres Telephones President Sirisena and Asks him to Re-consider Death Penalty Issue but Maithripala Rebuffs him saying “I want to save my country from Drugs”.’ »

Supreme Court Bombarded with Fundamental Rights Petitions From Death row Prisoners, Academics, Religious Leaders and Rights groups Seeking to Restrain Authorities From Going Ahead With Capital Punishment

By S.S. Selvanayagam

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to resume judicial hangings in Sri Lanka after 43 years has continued to run into a storm of opposition, as a spate of petitioners filed fundamental rights cases in the Supreme Court yesterday, seeking to stay the executions.

Four prisoners condemned to death are among those who have petitioned the highest court of the land against the resumption of hangings.

Other petitioners include an array of religious leaders, including the former Bishop of Colombo Reverend Duleep De Chickera and Ven. Galkande Dhammaloka, a Buddhist monk well known for his moderate positions. Academics Professor Carmena Guneratne and Dr. Kalana Senaratne also filed fundamental rights petitions challenging the President’s decision to hang drug convicts. The Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director Paikiyasothy Saravanamuttu also filed a separate fundamental rights petition, challenging the presidential decision to resume executions in Sri Lanka. The execution of the death sentences on any prisoner would amount to torture, cruel and inhuman treatment and punishment, the petitioners told the Court.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Bombarded with Fundamental Rights Petitions From Death row Prisoners, Academics, Religious Leaders and Rights groups Seeking to Restrain Authorities From Going Ahead With Capital Punishment’ »

Janaposha Foundation Suspends Distribution of 1300 -1400 Free meals On Week-days to Colombo, Kalubowila and Maharagama Hospitals After Sinhala Newspaper Published Report Quoting UPFA Parliamentarian Gamini Lokuge’s Allegations Against the Muslim Run Charity.

By

Aanya Wipulasena

R. Parameshwari smiles humbly as she walks into the premises of 150A, Vipulasena Mawatha, Colombo 10. Escorted by a female companion she approaches a small group gathered at the entrance to a hall that could comfortably accommodate at least 100 people.

Clad in a pink t-shirt and a long white skirt with pink coloured patterns and carrying a plastic bag, Parameshwari is tired, her greying hair in disarray after her long day. This is her visit to the place but she does not feel like an alien. As her companion spoke to an employee, Parameshwari slowly absorbed her surroundings.

In a corner of the open hall were chairs, tables and red table cloths stacked over each other. Towards the far end, are more tables along with a plastic basin, an aluminium jug and a tap with a sink.Fans and light bulbs hung from the metal roof. On another side of the hall were a line of more taps, adjoining an office room, and a toilet with running water.Most noticeable is the overall cleanliness of the place.

However, that day (June 25, a Tuesday) Parameshwari’s companion, 56-year-old S. S. Bagam from Grandpass, knew that there was something terribly amiss. Where there usually were at least 40-50 people enjoying a decent meal, on that day there were only about eight, gathered in a group in deep conversation. More came in and left on being told that the place was closed- indefinitely.

Continue reading ‘Janaposha Foundation Suspends Distribution of 1300 -1400 Free meals On Week-days to Colombo, Kalubowila and Maharagama Hospitals After Sinhala Newspaper Published Report Quoting UPFA Parliamentarian Gamini Lokuge’s Allegations Against the Muslim Run Charity.’ »

Statistics Available from 1948 to 2010 Prove Logically the Argument that There is no Direct Relationship Between Imposing the Death Penalty and a Reduction of Crime.

By

Anurangi Singh

“Then I awake and look around me
At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize: Yes, I was only dreaming
For there’s a guard
And there’s a sad old padre
Arm in arm we’ll walk at daybreak
Again, I’ll touch
The green, green grass of home”

The famous ballad Green, Green, Grass of Home, tells of a youth who leaves home for distant parts only to fall into wrong-doing and facing the death sentence, dreams of being buried in his home town under the ‘old Oak tree’ he once played on.

On Friday, June 28, the Court of Appeal considered a writ petition that came before it seeking an interim order to stay any decision to execute the death penalty on any person until the matter was heard and concluded.

The Petitioner, Malinda Seneviratne, in his application, states that the action was filed in response to the revelation made by the executive that four individuals have been selected to be executed on a date that falls within the drug prevention week.

When the matter was taken up before the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Yasantha Kodagoda and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara, the court inquired from Commissioner General of Prisons Jagath W. Tennakoon, who was named as first respondent, if he can give the court an undertaking that no executions will take place till the end of next week till the matter is supported.

Responding positively the Commissioner gave the court an undertaking to that affect. This temporarily halts any possibility of an execution soon.

Continue reading ‘Statistics Available from 1948 to 2010 Prove Logically the Argument that There is no Direct Relationship Between Imposing the Death Penalty and a Reduction of Crime.’ »

457 Houses, 198 Business Establishments and 70 Vehicles Belonging to Muslims Were Destroyed in 36 Hours in Kuliyapitiya, Nikaweratiya, Bingiriya, Panduwasnuwara, Wariyapola, Chilaw and Minuwangoda States Ex-Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Before Parliamentary Select Committee

By

Uditha Kumarasinghe

Former Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen testifying before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks, said on Friday (28) that the allegations being made by some opposition lawmakers linking him to the extremist terrorist group that carried out the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks, emerged from the fact that he refused to support the October political coup.

Bathiudeen giving evidence before the PSC said two Opposition MPs S.B. Dissanayake and Wimal Weerawansa attempted to brand him as a terrorist as he refused to support the 52-day illegal government formed in October last year.

The former Minister said these two Opposition MPs who were making baseless allegations against him were the ones who pleaded with him to join the illegal Government they set up in October.

Former Minister Bathiudeen told the Committee that he had lodged a complaint against MPs S.B. Dissanayake and Wimal Weerawansa with the Police regarding the allegations made against him. He said he has asked the two MPs to complain to the Police if they had any evidence to prove that he had links to any terrorist group.

“Therefore, I lodged a complaint against them, and the Police have asked me to come to record a statement.”

Continue reading ‘457 Houses, 198 Business Establishments and 70 Vehicles Belonging to Muslims Were Destroyed in 36 Hours in Kuliyapitiya, Nikaweratiya, Bingiriya, Panduwasnuwara, Wariyapola, Chilaw and Minuwangoda States Ex-Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Before Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Sri Lanka is a Country where Crime/Drug Kingpins are Situated at the Highest Levels of the Political and Law Enforcement Machinery. They are the ‘Untouchables’ Immune to the Reach of the Law.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

For good reason and going by past bitter experience, Sri Lankans have learnt to distrust wildly acrimonious statements by their two quarrelling ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) leaders, President Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe as a doomed political entanglement unravels amidst mutual personal distaste.

But with acrimony between the two men deepening each day, anti-progressive and in some instances, raw communal and chauvinistic forces are emerging more strongly in the guise of populistic drivers of inflammatory public opinion, trapping the gullible and the angry alike.

In some respects, we have regressed to a breakdown of social cohesion that is worse than what prevailed during the conflict. Visceral expressions of hate by one community towards another are becoming commonplace amongst the educated and not-so-educated.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is a Country where Crime/Drug Kingpins are Situated at the Highest Levels of the Political and Law Enforcement Machinery. They are the ‘Untouchables’ Immune to the Reach of the Law.’ »

“Us vs Them” Syndrome in South Asia Enables Politicians to Conveniently Divide Voters by Race,Religion and Caste – “The Economist”.

“THEY,” LIKE its cousin “them,” sounds an innocent word. Given the wrong context, though, even a simple pronoun can turn insidious. Since a pack of suicide-bombers, claiming to act in the name of Islam, killed 261 people on Easter morning, Sri Lanka’s 2m Muslims have collectively felt that turn. After a thousand peaceful years as a minority in the island country “they” have quite suddenly become aliens, perhaps to be tolerated, but not to be trusted.

The signs of rejection can be stark, such as when rioters have torched Muslim property. But mostly they appear by whisper and insinuation. Lists ripple across Facebook, detailing shops and businesses to avoid because they are Muslim-owned; rumours circulate that the free meals served by a Muslim-run charity at public hospitals are doctored to make non-Muslims infertile.

On June 24th officials in the small town of Wennappuwa barred Muslims from trading at its weekly market because citizens objected to their presence.

Lending sanction to the mood, a Buddhist monk noted on YouTube how some devotees had suggested that a Muslim obstetrician accused of secretly sterilising patients should be stoned to death. “Now I am not saying that that is what we should do,” the Most Venerable Sri Gnanarathana Thero Mahanayake cautioned, “but I say that is the punishment they deserve.”

Continue reading ‘“Us vs Them” Syndrome in South Asia Enables Politicians to Conveniently Divide Voters by Race,Religion and Caste – “The Economist”.’ »

Fundamental Rights Petition Filed in Supreme Court by Dr.Shafi Shihabdeen Provides Shocking Details of an Elaborate Conspiracy Spearheaded by a Top Polce Official To Frame the Kurunegala Medical Officer on False Charges.

By Anurangi Singh and Aanya Wipulasena

A Fundamental Rights petition filed in the Supreme Court by Dr Shafi Shihabdeen details a stunning and elaborate plot to frame the medical officer of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, spearheaded by a top cop of the area, which culminated in the ‘sterilisation scare’ that took the country by storm after it was sensationally reported in a Sinhalese newspaper on May 23.

The senior police officer launched an apparent ‘investigation’ against Dr Shihabdeen in late April, nearly a month before he was arrested on suspicious accumulation of assets and subsequently investigated for an entirely different charge, according to details in the petition.

Dr Shihabdeen’s right to be presumed innocent has been vitiated by inviting the public to prefer complaints consequent to his unlawful arrest, the petition stated.

Continue reading ‘Fundamental Rights Petition Filed in Supreme Court by Dr.Shafi Shihabdeen Provides Shocking Details of an Elaborate Conspiracy Spearheaded by a Top Polce Official To Frame the Kurunegala Medical Officer on False Charges.’ »

CID Submits a 200 Plus Page Report to Court Saying There is No Evidence to Link Dr.Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi With Alleged Forced Sterilization and that Case Against the Senior House Surgeon was Fabricated.

By

Aanya Wipulasena

Forty days after Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), evidence gathered by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) showed that the allegations of forcible sterilization by the senior medical officer were based on speculation fuelled by media reports.

This week, the Kurunegala Magistrate was told that there was no proof to link Dr. Shafi to the criminal activities he was famously accused of.

In a damning revelation the CID, presenting its over 200-page report, implied that the case against the Senior House Officer (SHO) was in fact fabricated.

Continue reading ‘CID Submits a 200 Plus Page Report to Court Saying There is No Evidence to Link Dr.Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi With Alleged Forced Sterilization and that Case Against the Senior House Surgeon was Fabricated.’ »

Is Maithripala Sirisena Mentally Stable Or Suitable to Hold the High Office of Being Head of State and Govt and Commander -in – chief of the Armed Forces?

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Is the Head of State and Government, the Commander-in-Chief of forces one who is mentally suitable to hold such office?

Recent statements by President Sirisena have raised major questions about the status of mind of the person, and his commitment to both the process and the principles that saw his election as President of this country. The most striking of these is his call to remove both the 18th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution.

Let us be kind, and consider him as a forgetful person, on his call to remove the 18th Amendment. It has been repealed, and was so done under his leadership in adopting the 19th Amendment, and that was passed in Parliament on May 15, 2015. Does he not remember the statement he made to the nation on his own role in getting this adopted with a huge majority in Parliament? Such forgetfulness could be one of political expediency and not that of mental unsuitability.

Has he also forgotten what the 18A was and why it had to be removed? Has he completely forgotten what the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera had said of the need to remove 18A? Does he not know that 18A was how Mahinda Rajapaksa abolished the two term limit on the presidency, making it possible for him to hold office as long as possible or needed (by him) till his son Namal was groomed for the Office?

Continue reading ‘Is Maithripala Sirisena Mentally Stable Or Suitable to Hold the High Office of Being Head of State and Govt and Commander -in – chief of the Armed Forces?’ »

Rishad Bathiudeen Tells PSC that Yusuf Mohammed Ibrahim was Known to Mahinda Rajapaksa,Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Piyasena Gamage and GL Peiris and Submits Photos of all four with the Father of Two Suicide Bombers.

By Saman Indrajith

Former Minister of Industry Rishad Bathiudeen told Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage yesterday that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, former Minister of Industry Piyasena Gamage and former Minister Prof GL Peiris had known Yusuf Mohamed Ibrahim, the father of two suicide bombers who carried out attacks. Ibrahim is currently in custody.

To prove his claim Bathiudeen submitted to the PSC pictures of Ibrahim with Rajapaksa, Wicramanayake, Gamage and Prof Peiris. Testifying before the PSC, Bathiudeen said that he had called Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake following a request from the father of a person named Ishan Ahmed to make sure that Ahmed had been arrested by the Police or the Army, not by an unidentified group.

The PSC yesterday comprised Chairman Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri, Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Ravi Karunanayake, MPs Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Rauff Hakeem and Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. MPs M.A. Sumanthiran and Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratna did not participate in the PSC sitting.

Continue reading ‘Rishad Bathiudeen Tells PSC that Yusuf Mohammed Ibrahim was Known to Mahinda Rajapaksa,Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Piyasena Gamage and GL Peiris and Submits Photos of all four with the Father of Two Suicide Bombers.’ »

Attorney -General Files Indictment with 23 Charges at Permanent High Court Trial at Bar Against Ten Persons Including Ex -Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his Son in Law Arjun Aloysius Regardng Treasury Bond Transactions.

By Manopriya Gunasekera

The Attorney General (AG) yesterday filed indictments against former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Maahendran, his son-in-law Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius and eight others before the three-member Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.

Co-ordinating Officer to the AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, stated that the Special High Court has summoned the accused to appear before the court on 19 July. The Attorney General has presented 23 charges under the Public Property Act and Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance for causing losses to the State with questionable bond transactions. The AG’s Department has said they will summon 115 people to give evidence and will present 236 documents to court to prove the charges.

Earlier this month, the Attorney General had requested permission from the Chief Justice to file indictments against the 10 defendants over the Central Bank bond scam before the Permanent High Court-at-Bar.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Files Indictment with 23 Charges at Permanent High Court Trial at Bar Against Ten Persons Including Ex -Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his Son in Law Arjun Aloysius Regardng Treasury Bond Transactions.’ »

Journalist Malinda Seneviratne Files Petition Seeking Writ of Prohibition Against Execution Of Death Sentence: Prisons Commissioner -General Assures Court of Appeal That No One Would Be Hanged During the Next Seven Days.

By S. S. Selvanayagam

The Commissioner General of Prisons yesterday undertook to the Court of Appeal that no prisoner would be executed within the next seven days from Friday.

He gave this undertaking when the Writ Petition against the implementation of the death sentence came up before the Court of Appeal before the Bench comprising Justices Yasantha Kodagoda (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeyesekere.

On this basis the Counsel for the petitioner moved to support the Writ Petition next week.Court fixed the petition to be supported next Tuesday (2 July). Petitioner Malinda Seneviratne, a senior journalist, cited the Commissioner General of Prisons, Welikada Prisons Superintendent, Welikada Prison Executioner and the Attorney General as Respondents.

Continue reading ‘Journalist Malinda Seneviratne Files Petition Seeking Writ of Prohibition Against Execution Of Death Sentence: Prisons Commissioner -General Assures Court of Appeal That No One Would Be Hanged During the Next Seven Days.’ »

“SB Dissanayake and Wimal Weerawansa Who Pleaded With Me Last October to Join New Govt Are Now Alleging That I have Links to Terrorist Group Because I Refused Their Offer” Reveals Rishad Bathiudeen to Parliamentary Select Committee

By Chandani Kirinde

Former Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen told a Parliamentary Committee yesterday that the allegations being made by Opposition MPs linking him to the terrorist group that carried out the Easter day attacks have to do with his refusal to support the October political coup.

“The attacks against me are politically motivated because I refused to support the illegal government that was set up in October. Two of the MPs, S.B. Dissanayake and Wimal Weerawansa, who are making serious allegations against me, are the ones who pleaded with me to join the Government they set up last October with the other five MPs from my party, but I refused,” Bathiudeen told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Day attacks.

Continue reading ‘“SB Dissanayake and Wimal Weerawansa Who Pleaded With Me Last October to Join New Govt Are Now Alleging That I have Links to Terrorist Group Because I Refused Their Offer” Reveals Rishad Bathiudeen to Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Centre for Policy Alternatives Writes to Acting IGP, A-G, President and Prime Minister Urging Action Under 291 A of Penal Code and Sec 3 of ICCPR Against Asgiriya Prelate Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera for Statement Advocating National, Racial and Religious Hatred.

By

Aanya Wipulasena

The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has written to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chandana Depal Wickramaratne on Friday (21) calling for a probe into the recent statements made by the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera, and saying the remarks advocated national, racial and religious hatred.

The letter, also sent to the President, Prime Minister and the Attorney General is in reference to a sermon by Gnanarathana Thera in mid-June saying, people should abstain from consuming food and drink at restaurants owned by the Muslim community and said he agreed with devotees that a Muslim doctor accused of sterilising Sinhalese women – a charge yet to be proved – should be stoned to death

Continue reading ‘Centre for Policy Alternatives Writes to Acting IGP, A-G, President and Prime Minister Urging Action Under 291 A of Penal Code and Sec 3 of ICCPR Against Asgiriya Prelate Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera for Statement Advocating National, Racial and Religious Hatred.’ »

Acting IGP Wickramaratne Informs Parliamentary Select Committee That Investigations Into Complaints Made Against Rishad Badiutheen Have Failed So Far to Uncover Any Evidence of the Ex-Minister’s Alleged Involvement in Easter Attacks or any Terrorist Activity.

By

Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera

Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne has informed the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe Easter Sunday attack that according to the investigations carried out into the complaints against former minister Rishad Bathiudeen so far, there is no evidence to show that the minister was involved in the Easter Sunday attack or any terrorist activity, PSC Chairman Ananda Kumarasiri said today.

Continue reading ‘Acting IGP Wickramaratne Informs Parliamentary Select Committee That Investigations Into Complaints Made Against Rishad Badiutheen Have Failed So Far to Uncover Any Evidence of the Ex-Minister’s Alleged Involvement in Easter Attacks or any Terrorist Activity.’ »

Ten New Claims For Damages Filed by Eight Tamils and Two Sinhalese Including Three Women In US California District Court Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa for Alleged Torture Inflicted On Them While he was the Secretary of Defence in Sri Lanka.

(Text of a Media Release Issued by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) in Washington and Johannesburg on June 27th 2019)

Sri Lanka’s presidential hopeful, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, faces ten new claims for damages in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California from victims of torture inflicted while he was secretary of defense.

In court documents filed on June 26, the new plaintiffs, who remain anonymous in order to secure their safety, describe horrific violations they suffered in police stations and army camps under the ultimate control of Mr. Rajapaksa. They were branded with hot metal rods, whipped with cables, asphyxiated by plastic bags soaked in petrol put over their heads, and six of them were repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted. The ten plaintiffs include three women; eight are Tamil and two Sinhalese.

The case is the product of a six year-long investigation by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), in partnership with the international law firm Hausfeld, which represents the victims in the proceedings. The plaintiffs join an earlier complaint, originally filed on April 5 on behalf of Canadian Roy Samathanam.

Continue reading ‘Ten New Claims For Damages Filed by Eight Tamils and Two Sinhalese Including Three Women In US California District Court Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa for Alleged Torture Inflicted On Them While he was the Secretary of Defence in Sri Lanka.’ »

NTJ Leader Zahran Hashim’s Key Associate Ahamed Milhan Who was Extradited From Saudi Arabia Leads Police to Huge Explosives Cache of Gelignite, Detonators and Rounds of T -56 Ammunition Concealed in Ollikkulam in Kattankudi Police Division.

The interrogation of a hardcore National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader recently extradited from Saudi Arabia has led to the single biggest detection of explosives belonging to the now proscribed organisation.

The police identified the suspect as Hayathu Mohammadu Ahamed Milhan, a close associate of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of Easter Sunday bombing campaign. Zahran triggered a suicide blast at luxury Shangri-la hotel.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday recovered 1,000 detonators, over 300 gelignite sticks, eight liters of liquid gelignite, detonator code and nearly 500 rounds of T-56 ammunition buried at Ollikulam in the Kattankudy police area.

Police headquarters spokesperson attorney-at-law Ruwan Gunasekera told The Island last night that the CID had taken Milhan to Ollikulam, where the suspect revealed the buried items.

Milhan was among five terrorist suspects deported from Saudi Arabia on June 14 following negotiations between the two governments.

They have left the country before the Easter Sunday attacks.

Continue reading ‘NTJ Leader Zahran Hashim’s Key Associate Ahamed Milhan Who was Extradited From Saudi Arabia Leads Police to Huge Explosives Cache of Gelignite, Detonators and Rounds of T -56 Ammunition Concealed in Ollikkulam in Kattankudi Police Division.’ »

President Sirisena Says the 19th Constitutional Amendment He Helped to Pass in Parliament was Drafted to “Please NGO’s” by “Political Ignoramuses” and Refers to MP’s Jayampathy Wickramaratne and MA Sumanthiran by Name.

By Uditha Jayasinghe

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday expressed stern views regarding the 19th Amendment, describing it as a “curse” on the country and insisting abolishing it should be done before the Presidential elections or that must be the first task undertaken by the new President.

President Sirisena, addressing media heads in Colombo, was repentant of his role in getting Parliamentary approval for both the 18th and 19th Amendments.

He was, however, more critical of the 19th Amendment, and claimed he was not aware of the full legal complications it could create when it was passed. He argued that the 19th Amendment reduced the power of the Executive and severely reduced the capacity to create cohesive and long-term policies.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Says the 19th Constitutional Amendment He Helped to Pass in Parliament was Drafted to “Please NGO’s” by “Political Ignoramuses” and Refers to MP’s Jayampathy Wickramaratne and MA Sumanthiran by Name.’ »

Controversial Govt Circular On Dress Code for State Sector Women Stipulating Only Saree or Osari to be worn to work Amended by Cabinet to Include Appropriate Attire That is “decent and upholds the respectability of the public service”.

By Chandani Kirinde

A controversial circular that made it mandatory for women in the State sector to wear either the saree or osari to work will be amended to include appropriate attire that is “decent and upholds the respectability of the public service”. The draft circular got approval of Cabinet on Tuesday.

The circular adds that in addition to the dress code stipulated for women workers in Ministries, Provincial Government offices and departments, those whose are required to wear certain clothing in keeping with their religious requirements can do so. However, it states that at all times the full face of the wearer must be visible and the dress must comply with the new regulations put in place to ensure security in work places.

Continue reading ‘Controversial Govt Circular On Dress Code for State Sector Women Stipulating Only Saree or Osari to be worn to work Amended by Cabinet to Include Appropriate Attire That is “decent and upholds the respectability of the public service”.’ »

Army Commander Lt.Gen Mahesh Senanayake Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Ex-Minister Rishad Badiutheen had only Telephoned him to Ask Whether a Person Named Ishan Ahmed was Arrested and That He was Never Pressured to Release any one From Army Custody.

By Chandani Kirinde

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake yesterday told a Parliamentary committee that there is no “imminent” threat of another terrorist attack but it is also not practical to say this problem is completely over.

“We cannot give a percentage and say that the problem has been solved by this percent but given the number of arrests we have made since the attacks and the explosives we have recovered, I can say there is no imminent threat,” the Army Commander told the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Commander also said it is not realistic to put a timeframe and say the terrorists can be defeated with a certain period of time. “We are still vigilant about the remnants of the LTTE 10 years after their defeat. Similarly, we have to be alert about this group as well,” he said.

The Commander said “lone wolf attacks” which have taken place in several countries cannot be ruled out from happening here.

Continue reading ‘Army Commander Lt.Gen Mahesh Senanayake Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Ex-Minister Rishad Badiutheen had only Telephoned him to Ask Whether a Person Named Ishan Ahmed was Arrested and That He was Never Pressured to Release any one From Army Custody.’ »

Parliamentary Select Committee Told That the President’s Office and Defence Ministry Functioning Under President Sirisena Enabled Factory Owned by Yusuf Ibrahim the Father of Two Suicide Bombers Procure Used Brass Artillery Shells from Defence Sector Authorities.

By Saman Indrajith

Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks was told, yesterday, that the President’s Office and the Defence Ministry functioning under President Maithripala Sirisena had helped Colossus (Pvt) Ltd. a factory owned by Yusuf Mohamed Ibrahim, the father of two the suicide bombers who carried out Sunday attacks, for manufacturing non-ferrous metal products such as pipes, profiles, and different types of sections out of copper, brass, and other copper alloys. Ibrahim is currently in custody.

Chairman of the Industrial Development Board P.M.U. Rathnayake, testifying before the committee, said that they had obtained empty brass artillery shells from defence authorities and processed them before releasing them to copper and brass handicraft manufacturers.

Continue reading ‘Parliamentary Select Committee Told That the President’s Office and Defence Ministry Functioning Under President Sirisena Enabled Factory Owned by Yusuf Ibrahim the Father of Two Suicide Bombers Procure Used Brass Artillery Shells from Defence Sector Authorities.’ »

Police Obtain Court Order Against Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman’s” Islamophobic ” Ruling That Prohibited the Muslim Vendors from Selling Their Wares at the Dankotuwa Market.

Sri Lanka’s police Tuesday stepped in to prevent a local council from banning Muslim traders from a weekly fair in another backlash from the devastating Easter attacks blamed on Islamic extremists.

The local government body had ordered minority Muslims not to participate in the farmer’s market in the town of Dankotuwa, 47 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital.

“We got a court order against the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Saba (council) because we can’t allow this Islamophobia,” local police Superintendent K. A. B. Kumarapeli told AFP by telephone.

Continue reading ‘Police Obtain Court Order Against Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman’s” Islamophobic ” Ruling That Prohibited the Muslim Vendors from Selling Their Wares at the Dankotuwa Market.’ »

Growing Global Consensus on Terrorism, Hybrid Threats and National Security.


By

Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka

On Easter Sunday this year, Sri Lankan people came face to face with international terrorism for the first time. At several international security conferences held in the Russian Federation over the last three months, the theme of international terrorism forming a part of ‘hybrid threats’ was discussed at length, with solutions yet to be found. Many countries attending were seriously concerned about several new forms of security threats which in combination were defined as Hybrid Threats; threats that use military and non-military methods, including radicalization through social media, cyber attacks, fake news, so-called Color revolutions, external efforts at regime change and terrorism. The consensus among more than a hundred countries that participated in these conferences was that only with joint action and information sharing could they mitigate the risks.

At the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) held in April 2019 organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and attended by more than 1000 delegates from 111 states, with 55 states headed by Defense ministers, heads of military and chiefs of general staff, the problem of ‘International Terrorism and Hybrid Threats’ was one of the topics of discussion. Sri Lanka participated at the level of Defense officials, while the Sri Lankan Ambassador was invited to be a speaker at the Special Session at the MCIS on ‘Color Revolutions & Hybrid Warfare’. The large numbers in attendance was a testament to the sense of urgency felt by the global community to find solutions collectively to threats, including non-traditional threats, which could no longer be combated individually.

Delegates to the Moscow Conference on International Security proposed that non-traditional threats require reconfiguration of the conventional responses. There was agreement that regional and multilateral approaches were needed to find solutions. Some delegations warned that great power rivalry on the brink of transition from open competition to open contestation if not conflict could see risks spill over into other countries. At a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the MCIS with General Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China, General Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation said that “Relations between Russia and China reach a new, unprecedented high level to become a key factor in ensuring peace and international security thanks to leaders of both countries”. He added that “It is a key factor in ensuring peace and international security”. Many delegations mentioned the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Growing Global Consensus on Terrorism, Hybrid Threats and National Security.’ »

Why has Former SLFP and Current UNP Parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake Who was in the Company of the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thero Not said a Single word Against or Distanced Himself from the Prelate’s Incendiary Sermon?

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

“Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What’s the point of senators making laws now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating”

Waiting for the Barbarians, C P Cavafy

To condone the stoning of Muslims. To boycott their shops and businesses. To say that eating from Muslim shops poisons Sinhala Buddhists and makes them sterile. To say that a Muslim doctor had destroyed thousands of Sinhalese children. To say that the Rule of Law doesn’t work. This is no longer the domain of fringe lunacy, or a renegade monk. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero is the Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. He said all this and in public. To my mind, this is by order of magnitude worse than and indeed, going by statements made after Rathana Thero’s farcical fast, entirely counter to more conciliatory sentiments expressed by Gnanasara Thero, who isn’t known for his pacifism or love towards Muslims. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero’s statement – because of his seniority – take on added significance.

In 2017, the Asgiriya Prelate, following a meeting of the senior most prelates in the ‘Karaka Sangha Sabha’, condoned Gnanasara Thero’s virulent words and violent actions, despite the awful harm informed, influenced or inspired by the BBS against the Muslims for years and a campaign of vicious hate directed against Sandya Eknaligoda. After Easter Sunday, the racism of the Sri Lankan astate is in full view and indubitable. And every day brings its further entrenchment or, for the more cynical, evidence around how much and to what degree, Sinhala Buddhist majoritarianism is and will forever be what animates policies and politics.

Take for example, the President’s sentiments as reported in the media, a few days after the Asgiriya Prelate’s incitement to violence and hate. In Hanguranketha, opening – as one must– a new temple, the President noted in the presence of the Asgiriya Prelate that “the country will never head in the wrong direction if… leaders act on the advice and guidance of the Mahasangha”. That the highest political office has not a word to say against the racism and hate sown by one of the highest Prelate’s in the country comes as little surprise, given the Presidential pardon to Gnanasara Thero last month. At the time of writing, Mangala Samaraweera is the only MP to condemn the Asgiriya Prelate’s speech publicly. Samaraweera is on record question why the SLPP and factions of the SLFP are silent. This is pertinent since the Prelate noted the Sangha’s joy around the news that, apparently, Chamal Rajapaksa would be the next President, just before his homily of hate.

Continue reading ‘Why has Former SLFP and Current UNP Parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake Who was in the Company of the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thero Not said a Single word Against or Distanced Himself from the Prelate’s Incendiary Sermon?’ »

“The most venerable chief prelate of Asgiriya is unlikely to be held accountable for uttering words which are in gross violation of both the Buddha’s teachings and the country’s laws”


By

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Muslim people don’t love us… I say don’t go to those shops. Don’t eat or drink from those shops…. It is clear that they are a group who gave poison to our people, who tried to destroy our people… I think that the younger generation who eats (from them) will not have children in the future…. Also everyone knows what a doctor-gentleman did in Matale. Lakhs of our children were destroyed. These traitors should not be allowed to live free. Some upasakammas said they must be stoned to death (gal gahala maranna ona). I don’t say that. But that is what should be done… Laws and regulations won’t work.”

The Most Venerable Maha Nayake of the Asgiriya Chapter (https://youtu.be/P7AVLSm2I_Aset – Translation mine)

Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, evil fundamentalists devised a vile plot to tarnish the pristine image of venerable monks by infecting them with HIV. “I got information that fundamentalists at a meeting in Kurunegala had decided to eliminate Buddhism from this country,” Ellawala Medhananda thero, leader of the JHU claimed. “Part of their plan is to infect the monks with the HIV virus” (The Sunday Times – 19.8.2007).

This was 2007; and the fundamentalist enemy plotting and planning to ‘eliminate Buddhism from this country’ was not Muslim but Christian. Their chosen weapon against Sinhala-Buddhists was conversion, supplemented by vilification and murder. “Fundamentalist groups had made videos showing young men dressed in yellow robes of a Buddhist monk in intimacy with women,” Ellawala Medhananda Thero claimed (The Sunday Times – 19.8. 2007).

When Gangodawila Soma Thero joined the ranks of those felled by the Russian Winter (including the great Napoleon’s army), his death was called murder, and Christians, his murderers. Just days after his demise, the Sasana Sevaka Sangamaya, a lay organization formed by Soma Thero claimed that Christian fundamentalists who killed him are also planning to kill Ellawala Medananda Thero, and have paid US $24,000 to achieve this aim.

As late as in December 2009, Christian fundamentalists were accused of murdering a monk who was endeavouring to stop a wave of Christianisation in Anuradhapura. A video claiming that Ratmalane Seelavansa Thero, the head of Soma Himi Chinthana Padanama (Soma Thero Thinking Foundation), was murdered by the modern day crusaders is still available on the internet. The Videos is tellingly titled, This is how Christian fundamentalists kill Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka.

Gangodawila Soma Thero was the godfather of that wave of anti-Christianity. It reached the zenith of insanity in the months after his death. At his funeral, several monks called for a holy war. Two months later, at a gathering of the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya, Omalpe Sobhita thero identified Tiger terrorism and missionary terrorism as the two main and coeval challenges facing Sri Lanka. He also claimed that the LTTE was a Christian movement. Soon afterwards, Lakshman Kadirgamar felt compelled to issue a public statement denying a rumour that he was a Jehovah’s Witness, a grim warning about the degree to which the germs of religious hysteria and intolerance had permeated the country.

This relentless fear mongering about Christians caused a spike in attacks on churches in late 2003 and early 2004. A report on the fate of an old established Catholic Church in Pannipitiya, a few miles away from Colombo, makes chilling reading. A mob, including two monks, descended on Our Lady of Lourdes Church on December 28th morning. They “broke in through the doors by force and demolished our crosses, the crucifix, lamp shades, roof, organ stand and the pews” (UCA News – 1.2.2004). The mob, which also dismembered statues of the Virgin Mary in the church’s grotto, reportedly assembled at a nearby Buddhist temple earlier that morning. That same modus operandi would be used a decade later against Muslim businesses and religious establishments.

This is not ancient history, but vignettes from the very recent past. Just 12 years ago, Christian fundamentalist doctors were accused of planning to infect monks with HIV. The accusation might seem laughable now, but then it was no laughing matter. The accusation wasn’t backed by even an iota of evidence, but that lack didn’t bother the true believers. They were willing to believe anything about Christians then, just as they are willing to believe anything about the Muslims now.

Continue reading ‘“The most venerable chief prelate of Asgiriya is unlikely to be held accountable for uttering words which are in gross violation of both the Buddha’s teachings and the country’s laws”’ »

What we Hear From Senior Buddhist Priests Indicate that Overtly Racist Sentiments are not Confined to the ‘lunatic fringe’ of the Clergy alone as some Mistakenly Believed.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

This week, a small child died of malnutrition in Tissamaharama at the same time that Sri Lanka’s Parliament debated the passing of millions of public funds to purchase luxury vehicles for Ministers as well as former President and current Opposition Leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Laid out in her white coffin, dark and pitifully small, her mother and father could only weep that they tried to provide for their family as best they could. Another child, when asked what he had for food that day, said ‘boiled rice,’ smiling all the while in contrast to the agony of his spoken words.

Sri Lanka resembles this wretched child, cut down scarcely before the country was able to grow to full strength from its immediate post-independence promise. Make no mistake about this. The skeletal remains of our so-called two thousand five hundred year old civilization are already being laid out in the coffin. Bereft of enlightened political and religious leadership, menacingly dark tides of venom and hatred are being indulged to the point of insanity as its poor is pushed to the edge of existence.

The skeletal remains of our nation

There is a palpable irony at play. Those who were killed in the Easter attacks by jihadists in April this year were predominantly Catholic and Christian. To their credit and despite other misjudgements, (political or otherwise as the case may be), the head of the Catholic Church and his priests moved swiftly to console their flock, urging calmness and restraint. A few days ago, Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, addressing the media in Rome, faltered as he spoke of Sri Lanka’s ‘empty houses’ of death in Katuwapitiya and elsewhere. But are the dead not being mocked now as senior Buddhist priests act in supreme defiance of the compassionate teachings of the Gautama Buddha, quite apart from politicians quarrelling as to who will next steal from the public purse?

Continue reading ‘What we Hear From Senior Buddhist Priests Indicate that Overtly Racist Sentiments are not Confined to the ‘lunatic fringe’ of the Clergy alone as some Mistakenly Believed.’ »

“Lack of action against Warakagoda Sri Gnanrathana Thero’s Hateful and Harmful Speech Reflects the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemonic Majoritarianism that Prevails in the Country” Says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran

Muslims in Sri Lanka say they fear new attacks after a top Buddhist monk called for violence against members of the religious minority, claiming a Muslim doctor had sterilised thousands of Buddhist women.

Activists, politicians and members of the Muslim minority said Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero’s speech last week was likely to fan communal tensions, weeks after Buddhist mobs attacked scores of Muslim homes and businesses.

The riots were an apparent response to deadly bombings on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 people and were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) group. Sri Lankan authorities blamed the attacks on two small Muslim groups.

Continue reading ‘“Lack of action against Warakagoda Sri Gnanrathana Thero’s Hateful and Harmful Speech Reflects the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemonic Majoritarianism that Prevails in the Country” Says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran’ »

In Tenuous Times: Mervyn de Silva’s Progressive Liberalism From the South

by

Jayantha Somasundaram

Mervyn de Silva 20TH Death Anniversary: June 22nd


“Wandering between two worlds, one dead/The other powerless to be born”

– Matthew Arnold

On June 22 1999, as the twentieth century drew to an end, Mervyn de Silva left us. At that time, one could sense that with his passing, an era in the literary history of Sri Lanka had ended. Because he was the last of a glorious age of journalism. He belonged to an illustrious tradition of English journalism in Sri Lanka that gave us H. A. J. Hulugalle, Jayantha Padmanabha, Tarzie Vittachi and Denzil Peiris. They were brilliant editors who provided us with not just world-class newspapers; they were also erudite men who helped build a Ceylonese literati that any society can be proud of.

Today, three years after his departure, it is time for considered reflection on Mervyn, his life and his contribution. His literary pilgrimage took him through three stages. The first began with the liberal education that he received at Royal and Peradeniya. Here he acquired and imbibed all that was admirable in Western culture, literature and thought. And he was able to transform these literary skills into a career in journalism at Lake House that climaxed in the early seventies with him becoming Editor of the Daily News and the Sunday Observer.

By then he was Sri Lanka’s best-known journalist. He would cover and report on the country for the most prestigious international journals: The Economist, Newsweek and The Financial Times (London). He also reported for the BBC. As a foreign correspondent he was the driving force behind the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, serving as its president. He left an indelible mark on journalism in this country.

But he went beyond being just another literary dilettante. The rise of nationalism that came with the post-colonial years interacted with and impacted on his Western sophistication to give this country, for the first time, an editor who was liberal in the most profound sense of the word, in that he was sensitive to the aspirations of the emerging Sinhala and Tamil speaking world. History provided us at this critical juncture in time, with someone who was not just adrift between two worlds but a link between two dimensions of Ceylonese life.

Continue reading ‘In Tenuous Times: Mervyn de Silva’s Progressive Liberalism From the South’ »

How Credible, Unprejudiced and Impartial Can the Committee of Inquiry Appointed by President Sirisena be When It Consists of Ex- IGP N.K.Illangakoon and former Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Pathmasiri Jayamanne?

By

S.Sandarage

I observed the news item in relation to the order issued by the Attorney General Dappula de Livera to Acting Inspector General Chandana Wickramaratne to take disciplinary action against the nine police officers including three DIGs. This order was based on the final report of the three-member presidential committee which investigated lapses that allowed the April 21 suicide bombings.

This news has come as a surprise to everyone because the interim reports of the committee had earlier suggested that former IGP, Pujitha Jayasundera, former Defence Secretary, Hemasiri Fernando and former National Intelligence Chief, Sisira Mendis were responsible for the attack.

All the three appeared before the Parliament Select Committee and gave shocking evidence that surprised the public. Whatever the case may be, the formation of the committee itself has negative impacts on its credibility.

Continue reading ‘How Credible, Unprejudiced and Impartial Can the Committee of Inquiry Appointed by President Sirisena be When It Consists of Ex- IGP N.K.Illangakoon and former Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Pathmasiri Jayamanne?’ »

Sri Lanka’s Eligible Bachelor Namal Rajapaksa MP to Marry the Only daughter of Thilak Weerasinghe and Aruni Wickramarathna on September 17 This Year.

(Excerpted from the “Sunday Times” of Sri Lanka)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, declared India’s cherubic High Commissioner, Taranjit Singh Sandhu at a recent lecture, is “not only the leader of the largest democracy in the world, but also a leader with the largest popular mandate in the world.”

True. There are more attributes to Premier Modi. One that did not go unnoticed during his four-hour visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday is his ability to recognise faces.

The son, Namal Rajapaksa looked very much a replica of his father Mahinda in the traditional, immaculate white national dress and the kurakkan shawl around their necks. The difference, as one Indian close protection group guy said, was the size. One was bigger and the other smaller. “They look like two dolls,” he joked.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Eligible Bachelor Namal Rajapaksa MP to Marry the Only daughter of Thilak Weerasinghe and Aruni Wickramarathna on September 17 This Year.’ »

Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong efficient democratic State.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka faced and fought a terrorist threat for thirty years and prevailed, ten years ago. Just recently, on Easter Sunday, we were confronted by a new terrorist threat.

So, Sri Lanka is not apologetic, when I say that we view all these problems through the prism of the existential threat that terrorism in all its forms poses to Sri Lanka, a small island.

Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong State. By a strong State I do not mean a dictatorial State, a totalitarian State, an authoritarian State. Sri Lanka has never had any of that, we’ve always had a democratic State. But, whatever the form of the State, there has to be a State, which is strong, and which is efficient. There is no other way, in which development and security can be ensured and the threat from terrorism can be met.

We have to ask ourselves: why has there been a proliferation of terrorism in recent decades? Terrorism has existed for a long time, but why has there been a proliferation? Why has there been a proliferation of hybrid warfare? Hybrid warfare itself is perhaps a hundred years old, there were foreign troops on the soil of Russia after the 1917 Revolution, but why has there been a proliferation of hybrid warfare? What is the relationship between the two?

Continue reading ‘Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong efficient democratic State.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Will Contest the Presidential Elections With the Blessings of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Become the Next President Says Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala.

By

Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya

Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said yesterday that Minister Sajith Premadasa will definitely be the next President of the country and that he would get the blessings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard.

She made this prediction on the occasion of the 204th model village, named “Katurodagama,’ that was constructed at Bungiriya in Kahawatta being vested in the public yesterday with the patronage Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Will Contest the Presidential Elections With the Blessings of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Become the Next President Says Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala.’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Catigates Govt for Lack of Responsibility and Blame Passing Over Easter Bombings Saying Even Even President’s “own culpability in the matter might be in question, so they are trying to hide it”

The Head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka on Thursday issued a scathing criticism of the Government over the Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people, decrying a “total lack of interest” in determining why intelligence reports were ignored.

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith spoke of his frustrations just hours before he was due to meet Pope Francis and show the pontiff a video with graphic images of the 21 April attacks on three churches and four hotels. The attacks were claimed by Islamic State militants.

“There was a serious lack of responsibility on the part of the Government,” Cardinal Ranjith told reporters. “Now they have appointed all kinds of committees and commissions, and there is bickering going on between the sides, you know, (about) who is responsible.”

President Maithripala Sirisena had criticised a parliamentary investigation, where some have accused him of mishandling national security.

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Catigates Govt for Lack of Responsibility and Blame Passing Over Easter Bombings Saying Even Even President’s “own culpability in the matter might be in question, so they are trying to hide it”’ »

Attorney -General Orders Acting IGP to Take Disciplinary Action Against Nine Officers Including Three DIG’s For “Lapses” In the April 21 Bombings but No Action Against IGP Jayasundara, SIS Chief Jayawardena or Ex -Def Secy Fernando.

Sri Lanka has initiated criminal investigations against nine officers over lapses leading to the Easter Sunday attacks, but the head of state intelligence Nilantha Jayawardena and IGP Pujith Jauasundara have been spared.

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera in a letter to Acting Inspector General Chandana Wickramaratne ordered that disciplinary action be taken against the nine men, including three DIGs.

De Livera said the final report of the three-member presidential commission which investigated lapses that allowed the April 21 suicide bombings recommended disciplinary and criminal action against the nine men.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Orders Acting IGP to Take Disciplinary Action Against Nine Officers Including Three DIG’s For “Lapses” In the April 21 Bombings but No Action Against IGP Jayasundara, SIS Chief Jayawardena or Ex -Def Secy Fernando.’ »

“Zahran did not say in public that he was with the ISIS, but he preached violence and spoke of setting up the Islamic State here. His dress and style promoted the IS brand” States Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A.K. Hisham Before PSC

By Chandani Kirinde

Intelligence officers were tipped about the possible whereabouts of Zahran Hashim about a month before the 21 April attacks and were also given a telephone number of the terror attack mastermind’s brother in a bid to help track him down, a witness before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) inquiring into the incidents said yesterday.

Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A. K. Hisham said that his group tipped off government intelligence operatives regularly since 2014/2015 about Zahran.

“I provided information about Zahran and his groups to intelligence contacts. When we got information that he was in the Kuliyapitiya area, we gave the tip-off. We also managed to get a telephone number of Zahran’s brother and gave it to Army intelligence so that they could track him by tapping the phone,” Hisham said.

Continue reading ‘“Zahran did not say in public that he was with the ISIS, but he preached violence and spoke of setting up the Islamic State here. His dress and style promoted the IS brand” States Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A.K. Hisham Before PSC’ »

“In his Speeches Terror Group Leader Zahran Hashim “Called to wet the earth of this country from the blood of people of other faiths,” Discloses Sufi Moulavi K. R. M. Sahlan Before Parliamentary Select Committee

By Chandani Kirinde

A representative of the Sufi community told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks that members of his sect were at the receiving end of regular vicious verbal attacks by Zahran Hashim, the leader of the terror group.

Al Haj Abdul Jawadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust Secretary Sufi Moulavi K.R.M. Sahlan told the Committee on Tuesday that Zahran had called members of the Sufi community, who number around 10,000 in the Kattankudy area, non-Muslim and regarded them as converts to another faith.

“Zahran and his group propagated hatred against the Sufis using their meetings to label us as non-Muslims,” an emotional Moulavi Sahlan told the Committee, breaking down in tears as he detailed the insults and intimidation members of his community had to endure over the years.

Continue reading ‘“In his Speeches Terror Group Leader Zahran Hashim “Called to wet the earth of this country from the blood of people of other faiths,” Discloses Sufi Moulavi K. R. M. Sahlan Before Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Directs Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and wife to Give Statements to CID in Connection with Making False Statements to Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Treasury Bond Scam on July 7th

By Manopriya Gunasekera

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday directed Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and his wife to give a statement to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on 7 July in connection with making false statements before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry during an investigation into fraudulent bond transactions.

He and his wife were ordered to be present at the CID at 10 a.m. on 7 July after the duo missed a previous appointment as they were overseas. The Colombo Chief Magistrate said the court understood that given the situation that prevailed in the country after the Easter Sunday attacks, it may have been difficult for the Minister and his wife to make their statements to the CID and told their lawyers to inform the couple of the new date.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Directs Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and wife to Give Statements to CID in Connection with Making False Statements to Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Treasury Bond Scam on July 7th’ »

Indian Intelligence Alert on Islamic State Operatives Forming Three -Member Cell Named “Abu Alqital” to Target Upscale Restaurants, Places of Worship, Shopping Malls and Vital Installations in South India

S. Vijay Kumar

Heightened security arrangements are in place across Tamil Nadu, particularly in the western districts, following intelligence inputs from a central agency on a terror module planning to target vital installations in South India.

Police sources said a three-member cell named ‘Abu Alqital’ was formed to target upscale restaurants, places of worship, shopping malls and vital installations. The suspects, believed to be Islamic State (IS) operatives, were active on internet-enabled voice calls and messaging platforms.

The agency noted increased cyber activity in the name of IS by way of content being posted in various cyber groups, warning of imminent terror attacks in India.

These groups witnessed a steady increase in membership following the dissemination of such information, police sources told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Continue reading ‘Indian Intelligence Alert on Islamic State Operatives Forming Three -Member Cell Named “Abu Alqital” to Target Upscale Restaurants, Places of Worship, Shopping Malls and Vital Installations in South India’ »

Some Individuals condemn the Muslim politicians when they resign from their portfolios and continue to denounce the same ministers when they re-accept their portfolios -Kabir Hashim

UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim yesterday said he had decided to accept his previous Ministry portfolio after giving deep consideration to appeals made by the most Venerable Mahanayake Theras, other religious representatives, his district voters, the Muslim community, the Prime Minister, the President and Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Former ministers Kabir Hashim and M.H.A.Haleem, who resigned from their ministerial portfolios earlier this month, were reappointed to their previous posts on Wednesday.

All Muslim ministers including cabinet, state and deputy ministers in the Government resigned from their ministerial portfolios on June 3 following several violent incidents targeting Muslims following Easter Sunday attacks.

Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Minister Kabir Hashim issuing a statement to explain the reasons behind his decision to step down and re-accept the ministry portfolio said even though no allegations had been made against him personally the decision to step down was necessary to prevent communal violence from engulfing the country.

Continue reading ‘Some Individuals condemn the Muslim politicians when they resign from their portfolios and continue to denounce the same ministers when they re-accept their portfolios -Kabir Hashim’ »

Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. AMS Weerabandara Who Allegedly Conspired with DIG Kithsiri Jayalath to Implicate Dr. Shafi in Sterilisation Charges Refuses to Cooperate in CID Inquiry but Police Get Court Order Ordering him to Cooperate in Proble

The Criminal Investigations Department has secured judicial orders forcing the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital director to cooperate with their investigation into the alleged illegal sterilization of Sinhala Buddhist women.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said the CID which took over the case on May 27 asked and secured an order from the Kurunegala magistrate forcing hospital director A. M. S. Weera Bandara to cooperate with the investigation.

Gunasekera did not give details, but senior police sources said Weera Bandara, after having colluded with the Kurunegala Deputy Inspector General Kithsiri Jayalath to plant the sterilization story in a local Sinhalese language paper, was less than cooperative with the CID.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. AMS Weerabandara Who Allegedly Conspired with DIG Kithsiri Jayalath to Implicate Dr. Shafi in Sterilisation Charges Refuses to Cooperate in CID Inquiry but Police Get Court Order Ordering him to Cooperate in Proble’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Calls Upon “True Buddhists To Unite Against the Talibanisation of our Great Philosophy of Peace and Love” in the Aftermath of Anti-Muslim Statements by Asgiriya Chief Monk.

By
Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Wednesday slammed a Buddhist monk’s controversial comments targeting Muslims and urged “true Buddhists” to unite against the “Talibanisation” of the religion.

In a tweet he posted on Wednesday morning, Mr. Samaraweera said: “True Buddhists must unite NOW against the Talibanization of our great philosophy of peace & love of all beings. No Buddhist can condone a statement to stone another human being to death, even if it emanates from the robed orders. #lka”

His message comes days after a senior monk attached to Asgiriya Chapter — one of the two most influential Buddhist orders in Sri Lanka — accused Muslims of “destroying the country”, and called for a boycott of Muslim-run shops and businesses. “Don’t eat from those (Muslim) shops,” the monk said, at a temple ceremony in the central city of Kandy, near the famous Buddhist temple of the tooth relic.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Calls Upon “True Buddhists To Unite Against the Talibanisation of our Great Philosophy of Peace and Love” in the Aftermath of Anti-Muslim Statements by Asgiriya Chief Monk.’ »

Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera Launches an Irrational Racist Verbal Onslaught Against Muslims Saying Sinhala Buddhists Should not Patronize Muslim Restaurants as those who do so would not Have Children in the Future.

A top Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka has accused minority Muslims of destroying the island’s majority Sinhalese community and called for drastic action, including the boycott of their businesses.

The chief prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of Buddhism launched the tirade against Muslims on Saturday during a ceremony at the Kitsiri Mevan temple near the holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

Monk Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana urged his faithful not to patronize Muslim-owned restaurants saying they were systematically working to reduce the population of Sinhala-Buddhists by making them sterile.

“Don’t eat from those (Muslim) shops,” the monk said. “Those who ate from those shops will not have children in the future. In another 10 to 15 years we will know the consequence.

Continue reading ‘Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera Launches an Irrational Racist Verbal Onslaught Against Muslims Saying Sinhala Buddhists Should not Patronize Muslim Restaurants as those who do so would not Have Children in the Future.’ »

A Rough English Translation of the Anti-Muslim Comments Made in Sinhala Publicly by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero.

(This is a Rough English translation of Irrational, Racist Anti-Muslim comments made publicly in Sinhala by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven.Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero published in srilankabrief.org)

“We got to know some good news. That in the future, Chamal Rajapaksa will become President. This is in fact cause for happiness. We didn’t know this before. I call upon Mayantha Dissanayake as well to join that side to build and protect this country. The Muslims don’t love us. Earlier Mayantha Dissanayake spoke. I also say don’t go to those (Muslim) shops. Don’t eat from those shops. This is well known.

That this is a community who poisoned our people and tried to destroy our people is very clear. It is very clear. Because of this, Buddhists must protect themselves. Don’t go to those shops. Don’t buy from those shops. The young people who ate from those shops, I think, will not be able to have/lose their children. You should know this.

Continue reading ‘A Rough English Translation of the Anti-Muslim Comments Made in Sinhala Publicly by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero.’ »

UNP Parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and MHA Haleem Who Resigned Along with SLMC and ACMC Ministers on June 3rd Take Oaths Again as Cabinet Ministers in Charge of Same Portfolios.


Former Ministers Kabir Hashim and M.H.A. Haleem, who resigned recently, were sworn in again in their previous portfolios before President Maithripala Sirisena a short while ago.

Accordingly, Hashim was sworn in as the Minister of Highways, Road Development & Petroleum Resources Development, while Haleem was sworn in as the Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister.

Continue reading ‘UNP Parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and MHA Haleem Who Resigned Along with SLMC and ACMC Ministers on June 3rd Take Oaths Again as Cabinet Ministers in Charge of Same Portfolios.’ »

Did the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Take Away the Phones and Electronic Devices of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers?; “Unable To Give That Information” Says Lankan Police Spokesman.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

Speculation that Western intelligence agencies had a hand in the well-coordinated, precision-timed Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka arises from a number of sources and circumstances. Analysts are still trying to figure out how the little known group ‘National Thawheed Jamaath’ (NTJ) could have orchestrated such a feat.

The terror group known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Islamic State (IS) or Daesh, claimed responsibility through online videos. ISIS”s enemy is the West, and so Western governments unanimously expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka in its fight against the new terror (in a way they did not, with regard to Sri Lanka’s 30-year war against LTTE terror).

One might recall how US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “This is America’s fight too.” Though IS is fronted for the attacks, answers to more specific questions such as who the handlers of the nine suicide bombers were, remain murky.

Some analysts say that the targeting of Sri Lanka was not surprising. Sri Lanka is among several other Asian countries where ISIS attacks have unexpectedly occurred in recent years, offering an entry-point for Western-sponsored counter-terrorism activity or humanitarian assistance.

Many targets of these latter-day, often inexplicable attacks claimed by IS, or other little-known terror outfits, have been strategically located states benefitting from China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which dispenses multi-billion dollar investments for infrastructure projects like deep water ports, roads, railways and industrial parks. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan and Bangladesh are cases in point.

Continue reading ‘Did the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Take Away the Phones and Electronic Devices of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers?; “Unable To Give That Information” Says Lankan Police Spokesman.’ »

When Zahran Hashim Publicly Called Upon Muslims to Kill People of Other Faiths a Written Complaint Along With Three CD’s of Zahran’s Speeches was Sent By Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan to President Sirisena on March 27th 2017 and Copied to PM and Senior Ministers.

By Saman Indrajith

Zharan Hashim’s call for the Muslims to kill people of other faiths had been brought to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena in March, 2017, but there had been no response, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage was informed yesterday.

Testifying before the committee, Secretary of Al Haj Abdul Jawadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust, Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan said that his organisation had submitted a written complaint against Zahran’s call for the killings of people of other faiths, on March 27, 2017, to the President’s Office. “We also submitted CDs containing three speeches and warned that there would be a disaster if Zahran was allowed to continue in that manner.

Sahlaan said that the copies of the same complaint had been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the then Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake, State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, IGP, Attorney General’s Department, and Director Terrorist Investigation Division DIG Nalaka de Silva.

In his speeches, Zahran had called for spilling the blood of people of other faiths, Sahlan said.

Continue reading ‘When Zahran Hashim Publicly Called Upon Muslims to Kill People of Other Faiths a Written Complaint Along With Three CD’s of Zahran’s Speeches was Sent By Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan to President Sirisena on March 27th 2017 and Copied to PM and Senior Ministers.’ »

Former Kattankudi Police Station OIC Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Zahran Hashim’s Key Aide Called “Army” Mohideen was an Informant of the Sri Lankan Military.

By Saman Indrajith

Easter Sunday carnage mastermind Zahran Hashim’s aide Army Mohideen had been an army informant, Parliament Select committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage was told yesterday. Former OIC of Kattankudy police station Chief Inspector Ariyabandu Welagedera told the PSC that Army Mohideen had maintained links with the army and was known as an informant of the army.

Testifying before the PSC, CI Welagedara said that there were several rival Muslim religious groups in the Kattankudy area. There was an ideological conflict. The majority of them were traditional Muslim religious groups. There had emerged a new radical group led by Zahran Hashim.

PSC members present yesterday were Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister Ravi Karunanayke, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem, M.A. Sumanthiran and Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka.

Dr Senaratne: During your time as the OIC Kattankudy police, Zahran held a meeting at a school and there he promoted IS ideology and fundamentalism. The principal complained of this to the police. Is that right?

CI Welagedara: Yes

Dr Senaratne: So, a wave of extremism and violence was visible. Did you report those incidents and possibilities to your superiors?

CI Welagedara: We have not reported of such a wave of extremism. There was a clash between two religious groups. One of the groups was Zahran’s. I went to the scene and dispersed the mobs. There were around 100-150 involved in the clash. We made arrests on the same day and the following day. Zahran was there. Some escaped. Among those who escaped were Zahran, his brother Rilwan and Army Mohideen. We produced nine others before courts. Since then Zahran had not been sighted in the area.

Continue reading ‘Former Kattankudi Police Station OIC Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Zahran Hashim’s Key Aide Called “Army” Mohideen was an Informant of the Sri Lankan Military.’ »

Intelligence Reports about Anticipated Terrorist Attacks by Kattankudi Born Zahran Hashim’s Group Were Sent to Other Police Divisions but Not to To the Kattankudi Police Division Reveals OIC to PSC

By Saman Indrajith

The Parliament Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage was told yesterday that prior intelligence reports on the terror attacks by Zahran Hazhim’s group had not been provided to the police station in the Kattankudi area, where the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) operated from.

Testifying before the PSC, Kattankudy OIC IP Nishantha Kasturiarachchi said that he had not received any intelligence reports or warnings of the Easter Sunday attacks though such reports had been sent to other police divisions.

IP Kasturiarachchi said that Zahran, his brother Rilwan and another person known as Army Mohideen had been evading arrest. “They had fled the area by the time I assumed duties as the OIC of the Kattankudy police station. There was no information about them.”

The PSC members present yesterday were Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem, M.A. Sumanthiran, and Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka.

Dr Senaratne: What action did you take to trace him? There were complaints against Zahran and his activities from the Muslim people of the area.

IP Kasturiarachchi: By the time that I assumed duties there was no information about his activities in the area. Zahran did not come there. If he had come, the people would have informed the police.

There was a case against 13 other persons and they were on bail. They belonged to Zahran’s group. There were charges against that group for engaging in violent activities and condemning other religious groups. They came to the police on the last day of every month to report there as per a court order.

Continue reading ‘Intelligence Reports about Anticipated Terrorist Attacks by Kattankudi Born Zahran Hashim’s Group Were Sent to Other Police Divisions but Not to To the Kattankudi Police Division Reveals OIC to PSC’ »

CID Investigation Implicates North -Western Province Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara in the Orchestrated Campaign to Incriminate Muslim Surgeon Dr. Mohammed Shafi Through False Allegations of Mass Sterilisation of Sinhala Women.

The senior-most police officer in the North-Western province is under investigation for attempting to cause racial hatred by planting reports of mass sterilization taking place at the Kurunegala teaching hospital, a police official said.

Deputy Inspector-General Kithsiri Jayalath is facing an internal inquiry into his conduct over what has become a deeply divisive issue over the alleged crushing of fallopian tubes of Sinhala Buddhist mothers by a Muslin surgeon at the teaching hospital.

DIG Jayalath whose wife is also a doctor at the same hospital had told the Divaina newspaper that Dr. Mohamed Shafi had crushed the fallopian tubes of 4,000 women thereby rendering them unable to bear any more children.

The Divaina newspaper had not initially named DIG Jayalath as their source but after the Criminal Investigations Department launched an investigation into the supposed “expose” of the same newspaper, the editor and reporter divulged their source.

Continue reading ‘CID Investigation Implicates North -Western Province Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara in the Orchestrated Campaign to Incriminate Muslim Surgeon Dr. Mohammed Shafi Through False Allegations of Mass Sterilisation of Sinhala Women.’ »

Muslims ‘targeted with arbitrary arrests’ After Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka.

by Lisa Fuller & Rukshana Rizwie

Hasalaka, Sri Lanka – On May 17, police in central Sri Lanka arrested Abdul Raheem Mazahina, a soft-spoken 47-year-old grandmother, because of the pattern on her dress.

The dress’s motifs look like ship wheels, but police told Mazahina, a Muslim, they were arresting her because the pattern resembled the dharmachakra, a Buddhist symbol.

Mazahina, who has asthma and hypertension, had worn the dress many times before and no one had taken notice.

“If it was a dharmachakra, someone would have pointed it out to me,” she said.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Buddhist Religious Affairs later told authorities that they were unable to determine whether the symbol on the dress was in fact a dharmachakra.

Continue reading ‘Muslims ‘targeted with arbitrary arrests’ After Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka.’ »

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Wants to Import Cigarettes from China for Chinese Workers in Sri Lanka But Meets With Strong Opposition from Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne Who Threatens to quit Cabinet in Protest.

Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that his colleague Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s argument for importing Chinese cigarettes does not hold water and he is dead against the move.

Finance Minister Samaraweera was planning to allow the importation of Chinese cigarettes on the grounds that the Chinese workers in Sri Lanka found it hard to smoke the brands available in the local market, Dr Senaratne said, addressing a ceremony at Waters Edge at Battaramulla in connection with World No Tobacco Day, organised by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) yesterday.

“There are only 6,000 Chinese workers in Sri Lanka at the moment and there are around 10,000 Indian workers in the country.

Continue reading ‘Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Wants to Import Cigarettes from China for Chinese Workers in Sri Lanka But Meets With Strong Opposition from Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne Who Threatens to quit Cabinet in Protest.’ »

Number of Daily Visitors to Dehiwela Zoo Which Dropped to Single Digits After Easter Sunday Attacks Picks up Slowly to Reach1000 to 1500 Per Day; Used to be 5000 to 6000 daily Prior to April 21st.

By Ifham Nizam

Visitor arrival at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela has increased since the Easter Sunday bomb attacks caused the arrivals to drop to single digits.

Deputy Director of the Zoo Anoma Priyadharshini told The Island that arrivals had increased to between 1,000 and 1,500 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as against the usually between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors prior to the terror attacks.

She said that usually Monday and Tuesday recorded the lowest visitor arrivals between 1,500 and 2,000 and at present it stood around 500 visitors. She said that plans were afoot to add more exotic species shortly to attract more visitors through the Animal Exchange Programme.

Continue reading ‘Number of Daily Visitors to Dehiwela Zoo Which Dropped to Single Digits After Easter Sunday Attacks Picks up Slowly to Reach1000 to 1500 Per Day; Used to be 5000 to 6000 daily Prior to April 21st.’ »

Buddhist Monk’s “Fast Unto Death” Led To Mass Resignation Of Muslim Ministers

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The first few days of this month saw Sri Lanka once again hurtling towards another orgy of anti -Muslim violence. The Buddhist monk Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thero who is also a member of Parliament was on a “fast unto death” in the vicinity of the Kandy “Dalada Maligawa”(Temple of Tooth) hallowed by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and abroad. His demand was that cabinet minister Rishad Bathiudeen , Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley should resign or be dismissed from office . The Thero alleged that the trio – all of them Muslims – had links to the Jihadist terrorist organization that attacked three Churches and three Luxury hotels on Easter Sunday resulting in the deaths of over 250 people. Rathana Thero’s action struck a responsive chord in the minds of many others who too were of the same opinion.

pic via: @basnayakeM

Ven Athurelia Rathana Thero had entered Parliament first as an elected member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).He switched sides from Mahinda Rajapaksa to Maithripala Sirisena in 2014-15. He was later nominated as a JHU national list MP from the UNP list. In recent times he has been chartering an independent course while nominally remaining in the JHU. Rathana Thero’s political image had been somewhat on the decline in recent times prior to the death fast. The sudden decision to embark on a fast provided much publicity to the Bhikku and brought him very much into the limelight again. The allegations against Bathiudeen, Hizbullah and Salley had already been levelled by members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa led opposition. But Ven.Athureliya Rathana Thero stole a march over all others by launching his fast unto death in support of the demands regarding the minister and two Governors.
Continue reading ‘Buddhist Monk’s “Fast Unto Death” Led To Mass Resignation Of Muslim Ministers’ »

President Sirisena Plans to Hold a Non -binding Referendum to Seek Approval to Conduct Parliamentary Elections Before Presidential Polls in a Bid to Sabotage UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

By

The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

President Maithripala Sirisena wants to conduct a parliamentary general election first after seeking approval at a non-binding national referendum.

Towards this end, sources close to the Presidency said, he has sought the opinion of the Attorney General Dappula de Livera. He has concurred that the move was possible but the President’s own legal advisers have differed in their view.

Even if he wishes to go ahead, he has a number of other obstacles to surmount. Main among them is the support of political parties, particularly those in the opposition. The backing of their support base may not be forthcoming.

For weeks now, the matter has been engaging the attention of President Sirisena. So much so, he approached Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting on June 3 in the afternoon. It was the same day Rajapaksa, together with three other MPs from the opposition, met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the morning.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Plans to Hold a Non -binding Referendum to Seek Approval to Conduct Parliamentary Elections Before Presidential Polls in a Bid to Sabotage UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Impact of the April 21 Multiple Bombings in Sri Lanka Has Been Unusually and Extraordinarily Wide in Social, Political, Economic and Constitutional Terms.

By P.K.Balachandran

In most countries, terrorist attacks would have some economic impact, especially on the tourism sector, with little or no impact on society or polity. But in Sri Lanka, the impact of the April 21 multiple bombings has been unusually and extraordinarily wide in social, political , economic and constitutional terms.

Constitutional Impasse or Breakdown

The country appears to be in the cusp of a constitutional breakdown with President Maithripala Sirisena vowing not to hold cabinet meetings till parliament stops the proceedings of its Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday bombings. According to him the public hearings of the PSC are exposing the intelligence agencies and putting the nation in danger.

But Speaker Karu Jayasuriya asserts that the President has no constitutional right to ask for the suspension of a PSC, which is exclusively a preserve of parliament. He has warned that officials not answering the PSC’s summons (at the President’s behest) would be liable to privilege proceedings.

The ruling United National Front (UNF) proposes to move a resolution in parliament requesting the President to hold cabinet meetings. Though it is the President, as the head the cabinet, who calls for cabinet meetings, the constitution is not clear as to who else can, whether, for instance, the Prime Minister can.

The two centers of constitutional power, the President and the Speaker, have stuck to their guns. While President Sirisena did not hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Speaker allowed the PSC to examine witnesses on the same day.

However, it remains to be seen if any military/security/intelligence official will come forward to testify defying the Executive President who had banned these categories from appearing before the PSC.

Continue reading ‘Impact of the April 21 Multiple Bombings in Sri Lanka Has Been Unusually and Extraordinarily Wide in Social, Political, Economic and Constitutional Terms.’ »

The time is not far off where politicians on both sides of the divide may find themselves unable to appear in public without being hooted and jeered at.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The recent statement by former Eastern Province Governor M.L.M. Hizbullah that Muslims are a majority in the world and that Sri Lankan Muslims should not fear even if they are a minority is dangerously inflammatory. It also amounts to an encouragement of the primitive cacophonous yelling on the part of Sinhala extremists that more Sinhalese ought to be born, that forced sterilizations of ‘Sinhala Buddhist mothers’ are being carried out by Muslim doctors (without a shred of tangible evidence, let us add) and that the Sinhala-Buddhist nation-state is in imminent and existential peril.

Ploys to fool the citizenry

It is no excuse therefore, when questioned later by journalists, that the ex-Governor piously explains himself that he had only tried to ‘give strength’ to scared and intimidated Muslims in Sri Lanka or that he spoken not at a public meeting but with a crowd at a mosque. Regardless, these are not sentiments that can be excused. In fact, the full weight of his testimony before the Parliamentary Select Committee this week brought to mind echoes of a grotesque circus of clowns as he protested that he had put signboards in Arabic in Kattankudy to ‘attract tourists’ and that date trees were planted in the middle of the road as it was too hot to expect any other tree to grow. At times, it was hard to distinguish which was more ridiculous; the questions put to him by his interrogators or his abominably slippery answers.

Continue reading ‘The time is not far off where politicians on both sides of the divide may find themselves unable to appear in public without being hooted and jeered at.’ »

Raptors are crowned NBA champions

🍁🏆
By Danesh Thirukumaran
🏀
Mission accomplished. Despite the Raptors inability to display multiple superstars at the forefront similar to many championship teams in the past, they were able to overcome much adversity and were crowned 2018-2019 NBA Champions.

via FB/Raptors

They were able to defeat the star laden Golden State Warriors, although injuries did play a part in the Warriors’ demise. These injuries showcase the difficult, uphill battle that many teams must endure throughout a long and grueling season in order to become NBA champions. The intensity in which practices, workouts, and games are executed with takes a toll on one’s body, and the Raptors ended up surviving all of this to be the last team standing.
Continue reading ‘Raptors are crowned NBA champions’ »

Mohammed Milhan Alias “Abu Seelan” Believed to be Successor of National Thowheed Jamath Leader Zahran Hashim Arrested in Saudi Arabia and Brought to Sri Lanka With Four Others.

By Rukshana Rizwie and Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe

The probe into the Easter Sunday bomb attacks and the extremist terrorist cell behind it receives a fillip with the arrival in Colombo yesterday of five arrested terror suspects including Mohamed Milhan alias Abu Seelan who is believed to be the chosen successor of National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) leader and deceased suicide bomber Zahran Hashim.

These key suspects linked to the NTJ were arrested in the Saudi port city of Jeddah before being deported to Sri Lanka.

Milhan was also wanted in connection with the November 2018 killing of two police constables on duty near Batticaloa. NTJ leader Zahran Hashim’s hometown and main base was Kattankudy, which is a suburb south of Batticaloa.

Continue reading ‘Mohammed Milhan Alias “Abu Seelan” Believed to be Successor of National Thowheed Jamath Leader Zahran Hashim Arrested in Saudi Arabia and Brought to Sri Lanka With Four Others.’ »

Mohammed Zahran’s Key Deputy Hayathu Mohamed Milhan (30) Along with Four Associates Mohamed Marsook (34)Mohideen Sabri(47)Mohammed Ismail(29) and Aboosally Abubakar(37) Arrested and Deported From Jeddah to Colombo


By Shamindra Ferdinando

.

The police have begun questioning five persons, including Hayathu Mohamed Milhan, who had alleged links with the Easter Sunday suicide bombers.

The suspects arrested in the Middle East, following the April 21 attacks, were extradited yesterday.

They were the first Easter Sunday suspects to be extradited since the high profile investigation began. Police headquarters said that all suspects were hardcore members of the group responsible for the Easter attacks.

Continue reading ‘Mohammed Zahran’s Key Deputy Hayathu Mohamed Milhan (30) Along with Four Associates Mohamed Marsook (34)Mohideen Sabri(47)Mohammed Ismail(29) and Aboosally Abubakar(37) Arrested and Deported From Jeddah to Colombo’ »

Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Amidst much snigger raised from the massive political farce taking place in the country today, there is an even more cause for worry and rising fear on the very future of our society.

The politicians, those in government and opposition, are certainly having a great time, calculating the votes they will gain from the increasing divisions in the electorate. The partitioning on ethnicity and religion are vastly spreading, giving increased opportunities for the success of divisive politics.

Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.

The religion of the vast majority, Buddhism, has gained the descriptive Sinhala adjective, rapidly and decidedly moving away from the teachings of Gauthama Buddha, who gave us the philosophy of Buddha Dharma and not a Buddhist Religion.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.’ »

“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” – Ex-Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah Tells Parliamentary Select Committee

By Chandani Kirinde

Former Governor of the Eastern Province M.L.A.M. Hizbullah told a Parliamentary Select Committee yesterday that he lost the 2015 General Election because Mohamed Zahran, who masterminded the Easter Sunday terror attacks, had worked against him.

“In the General Elections, Zahran worked against me. I couldn’t get around 2,000 votes because of him. I lost my chance to enter Parliament by 121 votes. When I was appointed through the National List slot after that, Zahran got his supporters to stage protests against my appointment,” Hizbullah told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) looking into the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

The former Governor denied he had any connection with the terror group leader, and said he never helped him, nor did he get any help from him.

“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” – Ex-Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah Tells Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim Supported and Actively Campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena in the 2015 Presidential Elections States Ex-Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah Before Parliamentary Select Committee

By
Meera Srinivasan

Easter attacks mastermind Zahran Hashim campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena ahead of the January 2015 presidential elections, according to former Governor of the Eastern Province, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee probing Easter bombings, the politician, who is based in Hashim’s hometown Kattankudy in the Eastern Province, said on Thursday: “I campaigned for Mahinda Rajapaksa at that time, while Zahran supported and actively campaigned for Sirisena.”

Mr. Hizbullah resigned from office earlier this month, in the wake of a Buddhist monk “fasting unto death” demanding the resignation of three Muslim politicians, including him, over alleged links with Easter suspects.

Formerly a Member of Parliament, who has also served as Deputy Minister, Mr. Hisbullah was appointed as the Governor of the Eastern Province in January 2019 by President Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim Supported and Actively Campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena in the 2015 Presidential Elections States Ex-Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah Before Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone…… Many are questioning if we can trust our leaders to do what is right” says Cardinal Ranjith at Re-consecration of Re-constructed St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade

By Chandani Kirinde

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that the country needs strong political leaders who work courageously for the good of the country and its people and those who love the country more than they love themselves.

“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone, who do no wrong deeds and who do not safeguard those who do wrong deeds and take steps to punish those among them who do wrong. It is the duty of political leaders to do their duty to create a just society,” the Cardinal said at the service held at the St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade.

54 persons were killed and many other injured in the suicide bomb attack at the Church which also caused extensive damage to the building. Restoration work on the Church was carried out by personnel of the Sri Lanka Navy and it opened its doors yesterday.

Continue reading ‘“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone…… Many are questioning if we can trust our leaders to do what is right” says Cardinal Ranjith at Re-consecration of Re-constructed St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade’ »

“Zahran Disappeared From Kattankudi After an Arrest Warrant was Issued in 2017 and Was Not Seen in Public by the People Since Then” – Representative of Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions Before PSC

By Chandani Kirinde

Mohamed Zahran, the man who masterminded the Easter Day terror attacks, had prohibited students from standing up for the National Anthem, threatened teachers who organised school concerts, and created a fear psychosis among the people in general, a representative of the Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions told a Parliament Committee on Tuesday.

Aboo Saliah Uwais, the Federation’s representative who testified before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the terror attacks also said Zahran had a troubled childhood, being expelled, first from school while he was in grade five, and later from two institutions he had enrolled to get a certificate as a qualified Moulavi.

Continue reading ‘“Zahran Disappeared From Kattankudi After an Arrest Warrant was Issued in 2017 and Was Not Seen in Public by the People Since Then” – Representative of Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions Before PSC’ »

Defence Ministry was Funding Thowheed Jamath for Many Years Under Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime and the Military Intelligence Unit was Working Closely with the same Thowheed Jamath Testifies Ex-Western Governor Azath Salley Before Parliament Select Committee,

By

Meera Srinivasan

A former Governor and prominent Muslim politician has accused the Rajapaksa government of being complacent while its military intelligence unit “worked closely” with the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the radical Islamist organisation behind the Easter bombings.

Azath Salley was one of the two Muslim Governors who stepped down from office earlier this month, following a fasting Buddhist monk’s demand that they resign over alleged links with Easter suspects. They have denied the accusation.

Continue reading ‘Defence Ministry was Funding Thowheed Jamath for Many Years Under Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime and the Military Intelligence Unit was Working Closely with the same Thowheed Jamath Testifies Ex-Western Governor Azath Salley Before Parliament Select Committee,’ »