President Sirisena’s Cabinet Comments Strike a “Raw” Nerve in India 🇱🇰🇮🇳

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Maithripala Sirisena is a man of many surprises. Sri Lanka’s sixth executive president has a penchant to make controversial remarks and startling revelations on more than one occasion. Most of these sensational disclosures explode in the public domain with a powerful bang and then fizzle out into pathetic whimpers. The latest in this series were some comments purportedly made by President Sirisena at the cabinet ministers meeting last week concerning an alleged conspiracy to assassinate him and former Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The remarks which seemingly insinuated that India’s overseas espionage agency known as “RAW” (research and analysis wing) was involved in the plot, naturally struck a raw nerve in New Delhi. This could have caused a major dispute between India and Sri Lanka but thankfully a potential crisis seems to have been averted for the moment due to diplomatic damage control done adroitly by our big neighbor across the Palk straits. And in Sri Lanka, once again sections of the media were made the scapegoats!

Pic via: https://twitter.com/MaithripalaS

It all began with a news story in English appearing in the Website “Economy Next”.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Cabinet Comments Strike a “Raw” Nerve in India 🇱🇰🇮🇳’ »

Can Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa Re-unite Politically?

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Ranil Wickremesinghe is Green!
Mahinda Rajapaksa is Blue!
President Maithripala Sirisena,
Which Political Colour Are You?

Former British prime minister and renowned statesman Sir Winston Churchill in a memorable radio speech over the BBC in 1939 referred to Russia in this way – “It (Russia) is a riddle,wrapped in a mystery,inside an enigma”. Keen observers of the current political scene in Sri Lanka may very well be excused if they veer around to the viewpoint that the Island’s current Executive President too fits Churchill’s description of being a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

“Enigmatic Mysterious Riddle”

The main reason for President Sirisena being perceived as an “enigmatic mysterious riddle” is due to the unpredictable and somewhat unorthodox political conduct of the “ Polonnaruwa Potentate”.It was only last week that this column described this peculiar political tendency in these words – “The perplexing political conduct of Sri Lankan President Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena has in recent times defied many norms and values of conventional politics. The turns,twists and turnarounds of the President are unfathomable to many. So uncertain have Maithripala’s political moves and manoeuvres been that the only certainty about Sirisena is his uncertainty. Many are his topsy -turvy inconsistencies. He has been consistent in his inconsistency.”
Continue reading ‘Can Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa Re-unite Politically?’ »

Popular Sri Lankan Singer A.E. Manoharan Failed To Shine In India As Film Actor “Ceylon Manohar”

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Anthonypillai Emmanuel Manoharan known to the world at large as A. E. Manoharan was a multi-faceted personality possessing many talents. He was a singer, musician, broadcaster and stage and screen actor but it was his singing that brought him great honour.

AE Manoharan

Manoharan, who passed away on 23 January this year at the age of 73, was an ebullient singer with a flamboyant appearance. Manoharan made his name as a rocking singer of popular musical numbers mostly in the Baila music genre. He was proficient in Tamil, Sinhala and English and could sing in all three languages and was hailed as the “Thamizh Poppisaich Chakkaravarthi” (Emperor of Tamil Pop Music) of Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Popular Sri Lankan Singer A.E. Manoharan Failed To Shine In India As Film Actor “Ceylon Manohar”’ »

How News Reports About Explosive Cabinet Meeting in Colombo Almost Caused an “Inter -State Conflict “Between India and Sri Lanka.

By

The “Sunday Observer” Political Editor

Each week on Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers meets, with President Maithripala Sirisena presiding. With a fragile coalition primarily of arch political rivals in the governing seat, Cabinet meetings have been controversial and heated affairs for the better part of nearly four years.

Yet last week’s fateful meeting was the first of its kind to cause major consternation away from these shores – and across the Palk Strait. As one senior presidential aide put it, a report about the explosive meeting appearing in the Indian press the day after the meeting, nearly caused an ‘inter-state conflict’.

The Hindu newspaper published the report that President Sirisena had claimed at the Cabinet meeting that an Indian spy agency was plotting his assassination in its front page on Wednesday (17). The Hindu’s report was sourced to ‘multiple sources in Government – across political parties.” A report about the outburst was previously published locally, in the news and economics website EconomyNext.

The next day, a flurry of denials followed. The first came from the Cabinet Secretary, claiming that the contents of the news items were ‘completely false.’ Before noon on Wednesday, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne issued a stoic denial of the report, doubling down several times and refusing to be swayed by multi-pronged questions about the alleged statement by the President. Hours later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a denial, claiming the news reports were ‘baseless and false’.

The Presidential Media Division released its own denial, acknowledging that the alleged assassination plot had been discussed at Cabinet, but denying that the President had mentioned any involvement of Indian intelligence in the plot. The PMD statement said Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandu had called on President Sirisena, and “matters had been clarified and bilateral relations assured.” The Hindu newspaper, and its management continues to stand steadfastly by its report which it said had been ‘meticulously fact-checked’ before publication.

Continue reading ‘How News Reports About Explosive Cabinet Meeting in Colombo Almost Caused an “Inter -State Conflict “Between India and Sri Lanka.’ »

Media Communique Issued by Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office on Modi -Wickremesinghe Talks Indicative of Deep Divisions Between Lankan President and Premier.

By Suhasini Haidar in New Delhi With inputs from Meera Srinivasan in Colombo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday discussed the progress of a number of pending development projects, with the former expressing “concern” over delays, said a press release issued by the Sri Lankan PM’s office.

“Mr. Narendra Modi has expressed his concern over the implementation of Indo-Sri Lanka joint development projects in accordance with the MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka in 2017 … Mr. Modi said he was not satisfied with the response he had received from the Sri Lankan government to his overtures,” said the release in Sinhala. India’s completed projects in Sri Lanka have been largely in the housing sector, and according to the release, Mr. Modi, during the meeting, agreed to finance another 10,000 homes for tea estate workers.

Continue reading ‘Media Communique Issued by Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office on Modi -Wickremesinghe Talks Indicative of Deep Divisions Between Lankan President and Premier.’ »

Indian Prime Minister Modi Complains to Sri Lankan Premier Wickremesinghe About Lankan Govt Constantly Delaying India Aided Development Projects in the Island

Sri Lanka has got a fresh complaint from India – this time over delaying its development projects, only days after the giant neighbour sought clarification from President Maithripala Sirisena over serious allegations reportedly made against New Delhi that Colombo has staunchly denied.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed bitter disappointment and regret about the Sri Lankan Government constantly delaying Indian development projects in the island, and urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to pick up the pace, during talks between the two leaders in New Delhi yesterday.

The concerns were raised while the Government was still reeling from doing diplomatic damage control with India over remarks at the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday (16). In an unprecedentedly candid media release about the bilateral talks held at Hyderabad House in New Delhi last afternoon, the Prime Minister’s Office said the Indian Prime Minister had expressed serious disappointment on Sri Lanka’s delays in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding signed on Economic Cooperation in April 2017.

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Sri Lankan Army Will Withdraw UN Peace Keeping Force Commander in Mali Lt. Col Kalana Amunupure as Requested by the UN but Will Appeal for Re-instatement if Cleared of War Crimes Charges.

By Asiri Fernando

The Sri Lanka Army will comply with a United Nations request to withdraw the Commanding Officer of its peacekeeping contingent in Mali but will appeal the decision and, if the Lieutenant Colonel is cleared of charges, seek his reinstatement, Military Spokesman Sumith Atapattu said.

The UN on Friday requested the Sri Lanka Government to immediately repatriate the Commander of its UN peacekeeping force in Mali, following a review of his human rights background. Foreign media named him as Lt Col Kalana Amunupure.

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MUSINGS FROM MOSCOW: Ten Political Science Questions On Today’s world

By

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

1. Given that not every nationalist-populist movement is Alt Right, how can any serious, responsible commentator anywhere, confuse the distinction between the ‘Alt-Right’ and the ‘nationalist-populist’ and conflate the two?

2. Given that not everything ‘national’ is nationalist, how can any thinking person confuse ‘nationalist populist’ with ‘national populist’?

3. How can any responsible person not know that in the world today the viable choice is often within nationalist populism rather than outside it, and that what is outside nationalist populism today is elitist neo-liberalism, which is a major cause and accelerant of nationalist populism and its Alt Right version?

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“Raw, Raw, Raw – Dilliye” – President Sirisena Dishing Out RAW Delights To Cabinet Is RAW Reality of Crooked Politics

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

This seems a real raw situation. It now looks like the word RAW was never heard at the last Cabinet meeting.

What on earth was the media doing? Surely it could have sought the information on the RAW facts from the Right to Information!

Looks like President Sirisena had nothing to say there about RAW – the Research and Analysis Wing of the Indian Intelligence Institution. Why should he? Is it because Mahinda has said it earlier?

Knowing that what takes place at Cabinet meetings is full of secrecy (as we are told), we can never know the truth about what goes on there. The raw reality is that the media gets its news from the spirits that hover all over the Cabinet room.

Continue reading ‘“Raw, Raw, Raw – Dilliye” – President Sirisena Dishing Out RAW Delights To Cabinet Is RAW Reality of Crooked Politics’ »

Media Reports About President Sirisena Telling Cabinet of a Plot by Indian Intelligence to Assassinate him Reveals Deepening Conflict Between Coalition Govt Partners UNP and SLFP Faction.

By K. Ratnayake

Media reports that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told his cabinet on Tuesday that “Indian intelligence” was plotting to assassinate him have created a political furore in Colombo and New Delhi.

Sirisena has denied making the remarks. The response to the alleged comments, however, has revealed deepening conflicts between the coalition government’s ruling partners—Sirisena’s faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP).

The controversy over Sirisena’s alleged remarks comes as the government is increasingly wracked by mounting economic problems and social opposition to its widely unpopular austerity measures. Above all, the government’s deepening crisis is bound up with the geopolitical rivalry between India and the US on the one hand and China on the other.

Continue reading ‘Media Reports About President Sirisena Telling Cabinet of a Plot by Indian Intelligence to Assassinate him Reveals Deepening Conflict Between Coalition Govt Partners UNP and SLFP Faction.’ »

Cabinet Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Wants a “No Holds Barred” Inquiry Against Fellow Cabinet Minister or Ministers Responsible Attempt To Create “Rift” Between President Sirisena and India Over Alleged RAW Assassination Plot

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Ports and Shipping Minister and SLFP spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday alleged a deliberate attempt by a member or some members of the Cabinet to cause unprecedented rift between President Maithripala Sirisena and India.

Samarasinghe said there was absolutely no basis for reports which quoted unidentified sources as having said that President Sirisena had accused the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of planning to assassinate him.

Samarasinghe said there was a determined bid to undermine Indo-Lanka relations and sabotage personal friendship between President Sirisena and Indian leader Modi.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Wants a “No Holds Barred” Inquiry Against Fellow Cabinet Minister or Ministers Responsible Attempt To Create “Rift” Between President Sirisena and India Over Alleged RAW Assassination Plot’ »

Armed Forces Occupy Civilian Owned Lands In North and East For Commercial Exploitation Rather Than National Security States Human Rights Watch in New Report.

(Summary of Report Released by Human Rights Watch About Occupation of Civilian Owned Lands in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka by the Armed Services titled “Why Can’t We Go Home?”)

On April 29, 2017, the Sri Lankan navy high command announced it would release 100 acres of land that security forces had been occupying in the Mullikulam area since 2007 to the original owners. For the displaced residents of this coastal village in Mannar on Sri Lanka’s northwest coast, the news came as a huge relief. More than one year later, however, as of August 2018, no land has been released and the people remain displaced, undergoing severe hardship living in semi-permanent shelters with limited livelihood options. Lamented Francis Croos, a village elder, “Now there is no war. It’s now peacetime. So why can’t we go back home?”

Military occupation of public and private property is a cruel legacy of the nearly three-decade civil war in Sri Lanka that ended in May 2009. Over the years, many Sri Lankans, particularly in the embattled north and the east, were displaced because of the conflict, often several times over.

Government forces occupied territory to set up military camps, or bases, for operations, and demarcated certain areas as High Security Zones (HSZs), thwarting their return. Over the course of the war, the separatist forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had de-facto administrative control over large areas covering several districts and were also involved in forcibly displacing people, including a mass eviction of the Muslim community. Those displaced due to the conflict faced loss of their homes and livelihood, poor living conditions, including in squalid conditions at displacement camps.

By the end of the war, the military was in control of vast swaths of land, including the areas previously held by the defeated LTTE. While the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took some steps to release land back to original owners, the military retained control over large areas and made use of it for both military and non-military purposes. The military consolidated its position and control, including shifting from de facto occupation to legal acquisition. It not only established barracks, but has used the land for agriculture, tourism, and other commercial ventures.

Continue reading ‘Armed Forces Occupy Civilian Owned Lands In North and East For Commercial Exploitation Rather Than National Security States Human Rights Watch in New Report.’ »

Wimal Weerawansa Says Indian National Suspected of Being Involved in Assassination Plot is an Operative of the Indian Espionage Agency Research and Analysis Wing, Named Rajendrakumar Bearing RAW ID Card No – RB317217/VJ.

By

Kalathma Jayawardhane

The Joint Opposition (JO) today said the Indian national, who claimed of a plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members, was identified as an India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) member bearing the RAW identity card number of RB317217/VJ.

JO member MP Wimal Weerawansa told a news conference that they had investigated on this issue and had found out that the Indian national who was arrested in Sri Lanka was named Rajendra Kumar and he was working for the RAW.

Continue reading ‘Wimal Weerawansa Says Indian National Suspected of Being Involved in Assassination Plot is an Operative of the Indian Espionage Agency Research and Analysis Wing, Named Rajendrakumar Bearing RAW ID Card No – RB317217/VJ.’ »

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Seeks Unscheduled Meeting with Indian Defence Authorities To Discuss Alleged RAW Plot to Assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena.

By

Yohan Perera

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would have a discussion with the Indian authorities on the alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena, a Spokesman from the Prime Minister’s office said yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Seeks Unscheduled Meeting with Indian Defence Authorities To Discuss Alleged RAW Plot to Assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Sri Lankan President Sirisena Telephones Indian Prime Minister Modi Denying he had Accused Indian Espionage Agency RAW of Plotting to Assassinate Him.

By
Suhasini Haidar & Meera Srinivasan


W
orried about the fallout of reports emanating from a Cabinet meet, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening to clear the air over the contention that he had blamed India’s intelligence agency R&AW for an alleged assassination plot targeting him.

“Mr. Sirisena said his words had been misquoted and distorted, and he denied having said that Indian agencies would be involved in the case in any manner,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told The Hindu after the telephone conversation, which lasted about 20 minutes.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated his prompt action in clarifying the issue and initiating the call,” Mr. Kumar added, saying that the leaders assured each other of their friendship and the importance of India-Sri Lanka ties.

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President Sirisena,Presidents Media Division, Foreign Ministry and Cabinet Spokesman Engage In Urgent Damage Control Exercises To Prevent Diplomatic Disaster With India.

By a Special Correspondent

President Maithripala Sirisena spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night after bombshell revelations in the local and international media that President Sirisena had accused the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, of plotting his assassination, followed by a spate of denials by high level Government authorities came close to sparking a major diplomatic incident.

The Daily FT yesterday exclusively reported The Hindu story titled ‘President Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination’.

Yesterday’s telephone conversation was preceded by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh making an official call on President Sirisena last morning when “matters were clarified and bilateral relations reassured”, the President’s Office said in a media release.

The PMD statement about the phone call made no reference to the President’s denial of his remarks as reported in the media. However, Modi’s Office issued a statement last night, saying President Sirisena had telephoned Prime Minister Modi and “categorically rejected the reports in sections of media about him alluding to the involvement of India in any manner whatsoever in an alleged plot to assassinate the President and former Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka”.

President Sirisena also apprised the Indian Premier about urgent steps taken by him personally and the Government of Sri Lanka to publicly reject these reports, the Indian PMO said.

“He mentioned that the mischievous and malafide reports were utterly baseless and false and seemed intended to create misunderstanding between the two leaders as well as damage cordial relations between the two friendly neighbours,” Premier Modi’s Office said.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the prompt steps taken by President Sirisena and his Government to “firmly refute malicious reports and publicly clarifying the matters”, the release by Modi’s Office said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena,Presidents Media Division, Foreign Ministry and Cabinet Spokesman Engage In Urgent Damage Control Exercises To Prevent Diplomatic Disaster With India.’ »

Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu Meets President Sirisena Directly to Seek Clarification About His Allegations of an Assassination Plot Involving an Indian Espionage Agency.

India has sought clarifications from Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena over his reported remarks that India’s external intelligence agency was plotting to assassinate him, officials said.

Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu called on Sirisena on Wednesday, a day after reports of his claim that the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign spy outfit, had planned an assassination.

“The High Commissioner of India called on the President this morning and during the meeting, all matters were clarified and bilateral relations were reassured,” the President’s Media Division said in a statement.

It said the President, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, had not mentioned any involvement of an Indian intelligence service in the alleged plot to assassinate him.

Continue reading ‘Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu Meets President Sirisena Directly to Seek Clarification About His Allegations of an Assassination Plot Involving an Indian Espionage Agency.’ »

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe In Heated Argument In Cabinet Meeting Over Alleged Assassination Plot by RAW and Giving East Port Terminal to India

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena shocked his cabinet Tuesday by accusing neighbouring India of plotting to assassinate him on the eve of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to New Delhi, a ministerial source said.

A visibly upset Sirisena accused his senior coalition partner, the United National Party (UNP), of not taking an alleged conspiracy to kill him as well as former secretary to the ministry of defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, seriously.

“The President said that RAW (India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing) was behind the plot,” a minister, who declined to be named, said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe In Heated Argument In Cabinet Meeting Over Alleged Assassination Plot by RAW and Giving East Port Terminal to India’ »

Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe in Heated Argument During Cabinet Meeting Involving Mahinda Samarasinghe and Malik Samarawickrama Also.

By

Kelum Bandara

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are reported to have had a showdown at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting over the proposal to develop the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port as an Indian investment.

At the meeting, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe submitted a Cabinet memorandum on developing the terminal by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

However, the Prime Minister, backed by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, insisted that it should be on the basis of an Indian investment.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe in Heated Argument During Cabinet Meeting Involving Mahinda Samarasinghe and Malik Samarawickrama Also.’ »

Kurunegala High Court Acquits Ex-Minister Johnston Fernando and Two Others of All Charges Pertaining to Alleged Misappropriation of Rs. 5.2 Million SATHOSA Funds

Former Minister Johnston Fernando, his private secretary Sakeer Mohamed and former Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando, who were remanded on September 3 in connection with the misappropriation of SATHOSA funds worth Rs. 5.2 million in 2013, were acquitted of all charges by the Kurunegala High Court today.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala High Court Acquits Ex-Minister Johnston Fernando and Two Others of All Charges Pertaining to Alleged Misappropriation of Rs. 5.2 Million SATHOSA Funds’ »

SLFP “Group of 15 MP’s” Send Letter to Central Committee Demanding Party Leaves Present Govt and Forms New Govt Led by SLFP.

By

Chaminda Perera

Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekera said the SLFP Central Committee which met last night in Colombo did not discuss the forming of a new government led by the SLFP.

He said that the SLFP Central Committee had received a letter sent by the SLFP 15 Group demanding that the party leave the Unity Government and form a coalition government led by the SLFP.

Continue reading ‘SLFP “Group of 15 MP’s” Send Letter to Central Committee Demanding Party Leaves Present Govt and Forms New Govt Led by SLFP.’ »

Death Of An Unforgettable Outstanding Uncle : Prof. A.J.Fernando

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

I woke this morning in Moscow with the news from my cousin Shehan de Tissera that one of the cleverest and perhaps the most outstanding member, and almost certainly the highest achiever of my family had died in Canada– my mother Lakshmi Sylvia’s younger brother, my Athula maama. He indubitably rose to the highest possible level in his profession, globally: Professor Athula Fernando (or Prof AJ Fernando as he was internationally known), former Dean of the School of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Manitoba, was President of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) 1991-1995.

Continue reading ‘Death Of An Unforgettable Outstanding Uncle : Prof. A.J.Fernando’ »

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Speaking at His Cabinet Meeting Accuses Indian Espionage Agency RAW of Plotting his Assassination

By

Meera Srinivasan

In a move that might seriously impair Indo-Lanka relations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday accused India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination.

Mr. Sirisena, who was speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, told Ministers that the Indian intelligence agency was “trying to kill” him, but that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be aware of the plan,” The Hindu has learnt from sources present at the discussion.

“We were just shocked when he said it,” a source said, requesting anonymity.

When contacted for verification, a senior officer at the President’s media unit said: “We will verify this and revert.” However, there has been no response till the time of going to print.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Speaking at His Cabinet Meeting Accuses Indian Espionage Agency RAW of Plotting his Assassination’ »

International Cricket Council Charges Former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Sanath Jayasuriya Under the ICC anti-Corruption Code Over Alleged Offences During His Stint as Selectors Board Chairman.

by Rex Clementine

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday charged former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya under its Anti-Corruption Code. Jayasuriya, had two spells as Chairman of Selectors, the latest being from June 2016 to Sept. 2017 and it is believed that his second term has come under scrutiny. The 49-year-old has been charged with two offences under the Anti-Corruption Code.

The first charge relates to refusal to cooperate with the investigations carried out by the Anti-Corruption Unit while the second charge relates to obstructing, concealing, tampering or withholding evidence.

Continue reading ‘International Cricket Council Charges Former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Sanath Jayasuriya Under the ICC anti-Corruption Code Over Alleged Offences During His Stint as Selectors Board Chairman.’ »

Indian Media Editorial Offices Must be Made Safe and Equal for Women — or it Will Lose all Credibility.

By

Meera Srinivasan & Ananth Krishnan

Over the last week, Indian journalism has finally been forced to confront what has long been its dirty secret. Going by the numerous agonising accounts of women journalists, about some male colleagues and editors abusing power and crossing the line, it appears that sexual harassment is no media outlet’s exclusive story.

With such prevalence, testified credibly by many of our own, the need for introspection and corrective action is urgent.

Open secrets

While the rest of the country may have been left shocked by the disturbing allegations, from at least 10 women, aimed at veteran journalist — and now Minister of State for External Affairs — M.J. Akbar, not a single reporter, in all likelihood, batted an eyelid in newsrooms across the country. On Sunday, Mr. Akbar, who returned from a week-long trip to Africa, denied the allegations terming them “baseless” and said he would take legal action against accusers. A week after a flurry of allegations against him began emerging, the government and the Ministry of External Affairs continue to maintain deplorable silence, casting doubt on the likelihood of any process of inquiry.

For the brave women outing their past and present predator-colleagues or bosses, it cannot be easy. The incidents are bound to revive disturbing memories of being assaulted by power and toxic masculinity. Among those who have come forward, former Asian Age journalist Ghazala Wahab shared a distressing account from 1997, of being allegedly harassed by Mr. Akbar when she worked for him. Just as troubling was Ms. Wahab’s recollection of how her superiors, including senior women colleagues at the paper, responded to her account, saying it was “entirely her call”. As Ms. Wahab wrote, “I was alone, confused, helpless and extremely frightened.”

Continue reading ‘Indian Media Editorial Offices Must be Made Safe and Equal for Women — or it Will Lose all Credibility.’ »

President Sirisena Pressured Into Backtracking At UN In New York

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The perplexing political conduct of Sri Lankan President Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena has in recent times defied many norms and values of conventional politics. The turns, twists and turnarounds of the President are unfathomable to many. So uncertain have been Maithripala’s political moves and manoeuvres that the only certainty about Sirisena that anyone could be certain about is his uncertainty. He has been consistent in his inconsistency.

pic via: facebook.com/maithripalas

Many are his topsy – turvy contradictions and somersaults. A singular hallmark of his many pronouncements is the tendency to give warning in strong language of stern action being contemplated by him against those whom he perceives as evil doers. He threatened to use his “Sword” against corrupt elements. He wanted to re-introduce capital punishment against habitual sex offenders. After all the verbal fire and oral fury nothing ever happened. The people are kept in the dark about proposed presidential action. We do not know whether he drew blood or not. We don’t know whether he twirled his sword or not. We don’t know whether he has sheathed his sword or not. In fact we don’t even know whether he ever drew his “kaduwa” as promised or not. The initial sounds of threatened action end in total silence. Not even the proverbial whimper after a bang. At the end of it all we are left wondering as to why he softened his earlier hard position or whether he ever did really have a hardened stance in the first place and whether all the heat he emitted was only make believe.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Pressured Into Backtracking At UN In New York’ »

Rajapaksa Family Politics And Gotabhaya’s Presidential Candidacy.

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview to the influential Indian English daily “The Hindu” has caused quite a splash among political circles in Sri Lanka. The ex- president was interviewed by Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah for the newspaper which has acquired a reputation over the years of being the most authoritative voice on Sri Lanka related issues in the Indian media. Incidently Suhasini Haidar is the daughter of maverick Indian politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy who displays consistent interest in the affairs of the Island nation. She is the diplomatic affairs and deputy resident editor of “The Hindu” in New Delhi. Suhasini whose forte is international relations has frequently complemented the efforts of Meera Srinivasan the current Colombo Correspondent of “The Hindu” in reporting on Sri Lanka. Amit Baruah too is an old Sri Lanka hand having worked as the newspaper’s Colombo correspondent earlier.

‘Janabalaya’-September 2018

He is now the resident editor of “The Hindu “ in New Delhi. It could be seen therefore that the Mahinda Rajapaksa interview was conducted by high -powered journalists who were well-informed about Sri Lanka.

Just as the sting of a scorpion is in its tail, the explosive impact of the interview was at the tail – end. Though the detailed interview possessed many interesting dimensions, what stirred the Sri Lankan political imagination were the two questions and answers at the end of the interview pertaining to the forthcoming presidential elections and the choices before Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Q &A were as follows –
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Family Politics And Gotabhaya’s Presidential Candidacy.’ »

Sri Lanka’s Proposed Counter Terrorism Law Which Places Incredible Power In The Hands Of Police Officers Should Have No Place in a Civilised Rights -Respecting Society


By Gehan Gunatilleke

Imagine two persons are arrested at the same time. Let’s call the first Asanka and the second Asif. Asanka is arrested because he is suspected of writing the following words on Facebook:

“It is time to defend ourselves against the Muslim terrorists. Attack their shops and homes. Drive them back to Arabia.”

Asanka is arrested under section 3(1) of Sri Lanka’s ICCPR Act of 2007 on suspicion of inciting violence against a religious group. The arresting police officer claimed Asanka’s statement advocated violence against the Muslim community. The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act of 1979 come into operation. Under this Act, a suspect may be held for a period of 24 hours (extendable under certain circumstances to 48 hours), after which the suspect must be produced before a magistrate.

Asanka is accordingly produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest. The Magistrate refuses to grant bail to Asanka under section 14(1)(a)(iii) of the Bail Act of 1997. The Bail Act authorises a judge to refuse bail to a suspect if he believes the suspect would commit an offence while on bail. The Magistrate in Asanka’s case forms the view that Asanka may incite violence on social media if he is released, and accordingly orders that he be remanded until the next hearing date. Asanka is then placed in remand custody, and is given regular access to his lawyer and family members – a right guaranteed under section 15(2) of Sri Lanka’s new Enforced Disappearance Act of 2018.

Around the same time, Asif is arrested on suspicion of posting the following words on Facebook:

“It is time to take up arms and defend ourselves against the Sinhala-Buddhists. Attack them before they attack us”

Asif is arrested under section 10(g) of Sri Lanka’s new Counter Terrorism Law (imagine it has been enacted) for distributing information with the intention of inciting the commission of the offence of terrorism. The arresting police officer considers Asif’s post to be an incitement to others to commit grievous hurt with the intention of intimidating the Sinhala-Buddhist population – an offence under the new law.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Proposed Counter Terrorism Law Which Places Incredible Power In The Hands Of Police Officers Should Have No Place in a Civilised Rights -Respecting Society’ »

Was The Commotion Over Alleged Re-alignment Between Mahinda and Maithripala Timed To Convey a Strong Signal To The Judiciary?

By

The “Sunday Observer” Political Editor

Talks about the ‘caretaker’ government appeared to have fizzled out late last week, with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa dismissing the claims following several days of inspired leaks in the media that the divided factions of the SLFP had finally reached a working arrangement.

Speaking to reporters at the Abhayarama temple in Narahenpita, the former President said he had never planned a “caretaker” administration. He said the discussions had been to formulate a response if such an offer was made.

“What caretaker government,” he asked reporters who asked him for the progress of their unity talks with President Maithripala Sirisena’s faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, media reports said.

The dismissal comes following a much publicized meeting of the Joint Opposition-SLPP faction over dinner at the residence of SLPP Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris last Tuesday (9).

Continue reading ‘Was The Commotion Over Alleged Re-alignment Between Mahinda and Maithripala Timed To Convey a Strong Signal To The Judiciary?’ »

People Do Not Expect The Versatile Trapeze Artiste S.B.Dissanayake To Be Accurate With The Truth About Mahinda-Maithripala Secret Meeting.

By

Sarath De Alwis

Nothing can be said about our politics that has not already been said about hemorrhoids. It is truly a pain in that part of the human anatomy. Hypocrisy is the single synonym for ‘pragmatic politics.’

Contemporary political science identifies several types of democracies. What we have today after January 8, 2015 is a spectator democracy. Before that in the five post-civil war years we had a zombie or a voodoo democracy. A meaningful democracy needs institutional resilience. Two constitutional experiments in 1972 and 1978 put an effective end to conventions of precedent and continuity.

Today, we the people are in the amphitheatre watching the ‘Yahapalana’ President and ‘Good Governance’ Prime Minister practising and enacting democracy. Our role is to watch them perform and give or deny applause.

I am not particularly smart with the smart phone. Yet, with the meagre know how I have acquired in Facebooking and Whatsapping, it appears to me, that the ruling duo earn a ‘helluva lot’ of applause of a different variety.

Continue reading ‘People Do Not Expect The Versatile Trapeze Artiste S.B.Dissanayake To Be Accurate With The Truth About Mahinda-Maithripala Secret Meeting.’ »

Some Media Reports on Duminda Silva Appeal Outcome Give Rise To The Question- Are Some Journalists Actively Taunting The Supreme Court To Take Action Against Them?

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The Supreme Court’s affirming of the conviction of former parliamentarian Duminda Silva and three of his supporters for causing the death of politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and others on 8th October 2011 reflect innovative judicial reasoning that has been ignored in typically sensationalist media coverage of the case.

Well-articulated judicial reasoning

No doubt, murders of and by politicians are a pedestrian occurrence in this region, occasioning no more than a cynically raised eyebrow at best. But this case was different to a run of the mill political homicide, first for the manner in which the legal process faltered during the Rajapkasa Presidency, despite the fact that this had been a killing of a stalwart of the old Sri Lanka Freedom Party. The second distinguishing factor concerns media dynamics around the case, aggravatingly peaking to unprecedented partisan levels after the final outcome, which I will come to later.

Perusal of the Divisional Bench’s ruling delivered under the hand of outgoing Chief Justice Priyasath Dep this week indicates well-articulated and eminently comprehensible grounds on which it is affirmed that the accused (excepting the first accused) had been members of an unlawful assembly, as proven beyond reasonable doubt on the day in question. Offences were committed in furtherance of the common object of such assembly, including that of murder, shooting and causing injuries to persons, criminal intimidation of voters during the local government elections, rioting and intimidation of the police.

Continue reading ‘Some Media Reports on Duminda Silva Appeal Outcome Give Rise To The Question- Are Some Journalists Actively Taunting The Supreme Court To Take Action Against Them?’ »

Unanimous Verdict of Five -Judge Supreme Court Headed By Outgoing Chief Justice Priyasath Dep Ends Speculation That Ex-MP Duminda Silva Would Walk Out a Free Man.

By

Anurangi Singh

With the unanimous judgment delivered by the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court last Thursday affirming the High Court Trial-at-Bar verdict in the murder of SLFP strongman Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, ex-Monitoring MP to the Ministry of Defence Duminda Silva moves to death row in Welikada Prison

“Throughout the four hours that Duminda Silva had sat near the polling booths two of his security detail were standing next to him in civil clothes bearing two T-56 weapons – a sight sufficient to intimidate voters. He was also heard telling voters not to vote for the UNP but for the then government, according to evidence led in court. Several attempts to remove Duminda Silva and his aides from the site, by police officers on election duty, failed. Finally he was informed that his conduct will result in the polling booth being cancelled. Duminda Silva and his aides had then proceeded elsewhere leaving Tamilnadu Watta area, where he had consumed alcohol. At about 2.45 pm the motorcade had proceeded towards Rahula College. They continued to intimidate voters at Rahula College where Silva had assaulted a female in the polling booth while his aides assaulted several other males as well as females in the polling booth. STF (Special Task Force) officials deployed at the polling booth had made an effort to disperse them, but to no avail. At this point, the accused had proceeded to threaten one of the STF officers by holding a weapon to his chest.”

The above is a description by Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Thusith Mudalige during the appeal hearings, on the activities of the 11th accused, in the Baratha Lakshman Premachandra murder case, regarding his conduct and that of others. Duminda Silva (11th accused), was the former monitoring MP of the Defence Ministry during the Rajapaksa government.

Continue reading ‘Unanimous Verdict of Five -Judge Supreme Court Headed By Outgoing Chief Justice Priyasath Dep Ends Speculation That Ex-MP Duminda Silva Would Walk Out a Free Man.’ »

While Upholding Death Penalty on Duminda Silva In Its Verdict, The Supreme Court Also Exposed The Criminal Conduct of Thuggery, Assault and Intimidationthe Ex-MP Throughout Election Day

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, which upheld the death penalty of MP Duminda Silva, has also highlighted his criminal activities including the use of an automatic weapon stolen from the Elephant Pass army camp.

The outgoing Chief Justice Priyasath Dep in his 51-page order noted a string of crimes, including election law violations, committed by Silva and his cohorts culminating in the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others.

The five-judge bench in its unanimous decision found that the killings came after Silva and his gang beat up rival supporters and voters at the October 2011 local council elections and had even intimidated women.

Continue reading ‘While Upholding Death Penalty on Duminda Silva In Its Verdict, The Supreme Court Also Exposed The Criminal Conduct of Thuggery, Assault and Intimidationthe Ex-MP Throughout Election Day’ »

The Two Identities of Sri Lanka are Linked to the South Asian Hinerland and the Indian Ocean Rim

By

Daniel Alphonsus

Take out a map of the world: it’s impossible to miss the lines demarking nation states. The rupture, erasure and displacement of these lines fill history books, news bulletins and many a common room debate. However, the same consideration is not given to the colours tying nation-states into continents and regions.

By contrast, in the contemporary international system, the relevance of nation states is on the wane, and the significance of clusters bound together by geography has increased—terms such as the Middle East, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the European Union are commonplace in foreign policy discussions. In his 1983 book called Imagined Communities, political scientist Benedict Anderson coined a term with the same name. Anderson argued that nations or communities are largely imagined, tied more so by language, culture and politics than by personal bonds between the residents of the country. Geographical regions are fast developing into Andersonian imagined communities with dense and entrenched inter-dependent economic, strategic and regulatory institutions. The genealogy of these constructions, that is the way in which these regional taxonomies came to be, becomes consequential—even if it is not often perceived to be so. Therefore, analysing the hidden power and the political significance of these physical and mental maps—or cartopolitics—is important for both the geo-political analyst and the cultural theorist.

In a 2013 article published in The American Interest—a foreign policy magazine—Rory Medcalf, an Australian strategist and scholar wrote about how the names given to various regions by imperialist regimes influenced the power these regions came to hold. He notes, “…Cartographic terms can have tangible effects. Material realities are what they are, but their meaning in terms of strategic interests and intentions is never self-explanatory. Those meanings, in turn expressed through symbols such as language and map-making, have a way of recursively shaping material realities and political choices.”

Medcalf suggests that the names given to regions have strategic, economic and institutional power. These regions, and the way in which they are defined for us in textbooks, the media and scholarship, command our imaginations by dictating how we construct particular associations while silencing others. This distorts our analysis and decisions. As Richard Heuer, a former Central Intelligence Agency veteran points out, analysts and strategists invariably use heuristics to simplify the overwhelming complexity inherent in global affairs.

Continue reading ‘The Two Identities of Sri Lanka are Linked to the South Asian Hinerland and the Indian Ocean Rim’ »

Joint Opposition Sharply Divided Over Proposal To Form Caretaker Govt Together With President Maithripala Sirisena.

By Saman Gamage

The majority of SLFP lawmakers have strongly opposed a move to form a caretaker government with Joint Opposition (JO) heavyweight Kumara Welgama threatening to sit on the opposition in such an eventuality.

Political sources said that SLFP MPs had exchanged views at a meeting chaired by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (Oct. 9) at the residence of Prof. G.L. Peiris, chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Sharply Divided Over Proposal To Form Caretaker Govt Together With President Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Playback Singer Chinmayi Sripaada Accuses Tamil Film Lyricist Vairamuthu of Sexual Misconduct While In Lucerne, Switzerland.


By

S. Poorvaja

The #MeToo movement which has seen a number of survivors of sexual harassment open up about their experiences and naming perpetrators on Twitter, over the last few days, has trickled down to Kollywood with allegations surfacing against poet Vairamuthu.

Singer Chinmayi Sripaada on Tuesday had tweeted about how she was asked by the organisers of an event that was held in Switzerland to ‘co-operate’ with Mr. Vairamuthu. While earlier she re-tweeted anonymous complaints about sexual misconduct in the industry without naming anyone, on Tuesday she went ahead and drew Mr. Vairamuthu’s name into the controversy, with her own account. A few members from the film fraternity spoke in support of her, and members of the community, but her tweets got a fair bit of trolling too.

Continue reading ‘Playback Singer Chinmayi Sripaada Accuses Tamil Film Lyricist Vairamuthu of Sexual Misconduct While In Lucerne, Switzerland.’ »

Former Prominent Newspaper Editor and India’s Present State Minister of Foreign Affairs MJ Akbar Accused of Predatory Sexual Misconduct By At Least Six Women Journalists.

A former prominent newspaper editor who is now a junior foreign minister is the latest to be named in what is being called India’s #MeToo movement.

MJ Akbar is accused of predatory behaviour, including inviting young women to hotel rooms for “meetings”.

Neither Mr Akbar nor the foreign ministry have responded to the historic allegations against him.

But another minister, Maneka Gandhi, said all allegations, including those against politicians, must be probed.

Continue reading ‘Former Prominent Newspaper Editor and India’s Present State Minister of Foreign Affairs MJ Akbar Accused of Predatory Sexual Misconduct By At Least Six Women Journalists.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Says The Present Govt Will Be Toppled Before the Next Poya Day (Oct 24) But Party Re-un ification Bid Faces Snags.

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced he will topple the government before the “next poya day,” but the controversial bid to reunite their splintered Sri Lanka Freedom Party has led to more fissures.

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting with his loyalists at the home of Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) chief G. L. Peiris, Rajapaksa said their credibility was being questioned after failing to topple the government despite issuing deadline after deadline.

“Every time we say we will bring the government down by this poya (full moon), next poya… you also keep asking me when we will do it. At least by next poya we must show results,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Says The Present Govt Will Be Toppled Before the Next Poya Day (Oct 24) But Party Re-un ification Bid Faces Snags.’ »

Highest Number Of Archaeological Offences Reprted From Sinhyala Buddhist Majority Districts While Least Amount of Such Offences From The North and East States Cultural Affairs Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe.


By

Disna Mudalige and Camelia Nathaniel

There are serious allegations and news reports regarding the destruction of archaeological sites in the country and information has been circulating with the intention of instigating racial and religious tensions by certain unscrupulous elements, Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said.

Making a Ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday presenting the data pertaining to the destruction of archaeological sites, under the Antiquities Act, from January 01, 2016 to July 2018, he said during that 2 ½ year period 36 incidents of stealing of archaeological artefacts were reported, 75 reports of the destruction of archaeological sites, 515 cases in illegal excavations in search of archaeological artefacts and 51 other cases of violation of the Antiquities Act were reported totaling 677 such incidents.

“Today, there is a hyped up theory being spread that the most number of destruction of archaeological sites is taking place in the North and East. However, the statistics indicate otherwise. The most number of offences have been reported from districts with a majority Buddhist Sinhala population.

Continue reading ‘Highest Number Of Archaeological Offences Reprted From Sinhyala Buddhist Majority Districts While Least Amount of Such Offences From The North and East States Cultural Affairs Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says His Choice For Presidential Election Candidate is Basil Rajapaksa But Mahinda Rajapaksa Is Yet To Take Decision.

Sri Lanka’s former secretary to the defence ministry, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Tuesday suggested his former Economic Development minister Basil as the presidential candidate at next year’s elections.

Emerging from the new Permanent High Court at Bar in Colombo where his trail was put off for December 4, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa accused the government of trying to create a rift among his politically ambitious siblings.

Asked what he thought of reports that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was trying to promote basil over him (Gotabhaya), he said the reports were circulated by the government to create dissension within the family.

“But, if you ask me, my choice for a presidential candidate is Basil Rajapaksa. It is up to president Mahinda Rajapaksa to decide, I don’t think he has decided yet,” Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told reporters.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says His Choice For Presidential Election Candidate is Basil Rajapaksa But Mahinda Rajapaksa Is Yet To Take Decision.’ »

Sri Lankan Tamil Pop Star Matangi (MIA/Maya) Arulpragasam Speaks Candidly About Her Life Journey in New Documentary Film “Matangi/Maya/MIA” Made By Stephen Loveridge

By

Sean Brocklehurst

“Are you sure Steve shouldn’t be in this interview?,” M.I.A. said when I asked her how her new documentary came together.

It was a fair question because, technically, the 43-year-old pop star had nothing to do with the making of Stephen Loveridge’s film, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. But she was very much a driving force throughout the creation process thanks to more than 700 hours of personal video footage she handed over to the director eight years ago.

“When I handed the tapes over in 2011, I wanted to make an in-depth documentary about the Maya album, just because I had so much visual content around it and I felt that it was misunderstood,” M.I.A said.

What was supposed to be a music documentary ended up being an in-depth, intimate look at M.I.A.’s journey from war-torn Sri Lanka to international stardom. For critics who have long questioned the motivation behind her activism, the film provides clarity on why M.I.A. has refused to let her political voice be silenced.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Tamil Pop Star Matangi (MIA/Maya) Arulpragasam Speaks Candidly About Her Life Journey in New Documentary Film “Matangi/Maya/MIA” Made By Stephen Loveridge’ »

“Demons in Paradise” Was Not Screened in Jaffna Because Organizers Felt It May Place The Whole International Cinema Festival at Risk.

By

Dharisha Bastians

When organisers of the Jaffna International Cinema Festival cancelled a scheduled screening of his documentary film Demons in Paradise from the festival programme last week, Tamil filmmaker Jude Ratnam claimed he was not surprised.

Demons in Paradise debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. The film has been screened many times in Sri Lanka since – but always in the island’s south. On October 5, a screening was scheduled at the Majestic Cineplex in the heart of Jaffna town, marking the first time it would be publicly screened for a predominantly Tamil-speaking audience in the formerly embattled Northern Province.

Ratnam said the organisers only told him that they had been compelled to pull the film from the festival line up due to “pressure from the community” but they declined to name specific individuals or groups who had raised objections. “Initially they did not inform me. I noticed that the film was no longer in the programme put up online,” he told Sunday Observer in a telephone interview last week.

Festival organisers told Sunday Observer unofficially that they were worried that going ahead with the screening of Demons in Paradise might put the whole festival at risk, since the north was still an “emotive place.”

Continue reading ‘“Demons in Paradise” Was Not Screened in Jaffna Because Organizers Felt It May Place The Whole International Cinema Festival at Risk.’ »

3000 Acres Belonging To Cashew Coroporation In The North and East Are being Held By the Armed Forces Citing “Security”Reasons While Growing Cashew and Claim The Profits

By

Maneshka Borham

The Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has lost tens of thousands of acres of fertile cashew plantations in the formerly embattled North and East – with the military continuing to grow the crops but refusing to release the lands citing national security reasons; Army says it is ’ looking into’ the release

The continued military occupation of civilian land in both the North and East has been a bone of contention since the end of Sri Lanka’s long-drawn out conflict. Nine years on, while the government says almost 89 per cent of land occupied by the military has been released back to their rightful owners, state agencies like the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation (SLCC) have been struggling to recover extensive plantations in the region still under military control. While the focus has been mainly on releasing lands owned by civilians, land once owned by various other government entities appear to have been forgotten.

Continue reading ‘3000 Acres Belonging To Cashew Coroporation In The North and East Are being Held By the Armed Forces Citing “Security”Reasons While Growing Cashew and Claim The Profits’ »

Indian Opposition Calls For Resignation of Former Editor and Current State Minister MJ Akbar Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Made Against Him By Senior Journalist Priya Ramani.

By

A Special Correspondent

The Opposition has called for the resignation of Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar following allegations of sexual misconduct against him by a senior journalist as part of the #MeToo movement.

“The allegations against Mr. Akbar is the Harvey Weinstein moment for India. The Modi government talks of beti bachao, beti padhao (save the girl child, educate her) but the people of India has built a movement which seeks justice for women. Mr. Akbar should resign,” Ghanshyam Tiwari, spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party, said.

Continue reading ‘Indian Opposition Calls For Resignation of Former Editor and Current State Minister MJ Akbar Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Made Against Him By Senior Journalist Priya Ramani.’ »

Tamil Nadu Magazine “Nakkeeran”Editor RR Gopal Arrested For Article Allegedly Defaming State Governor By Police Under 124 of IPC But Set Free By Magistrate in The Evening.


By

S. Vijay Kumar R.Sivaraman

R.R. Gopal, Editor of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran, was on Tuesday arrested in Chennai under Section 124 IPC, a provision that deals with “assaulting President/Governor with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power” on a complaint from the Raj Bhavan, but was set free by a magistrate in the evening.

The complaint was submitted by T. Sengottaiyan, Deputy Secretary to the Governor, to the Commissioner of Police on October 6, accusing Nakkeeran of publishing defamatory reports. These reports insinuated that the Governor and senior Raj Bhavan officials had links with Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor, who was arrested in April on charges of attempted trafficking of college girls.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Magazine “Nakkeeran”Editor RR Gopal Arrested For Article Allegedly Defaming State Governor By Police Under 124 of IPC But Set Free By Magistrate in The Evening.’ »

Those Opposing Removal of ‘Demons in Paradise’ as an Assault of Free Speech, Should Also be Ready to Allow The Screening of Channel 4’s ‘Sri Lanka killing fields’.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Jaffna International Film Festival that began last week has removed Jude Ratnam’s internationally acclaimed ‘Demons in Paradise’ from screening. The decision to remove the film – that depicts the gradual but predictable degeneration of Tamil militancy into one of cannibalizing its own- was treated with a muted reaction in the South. In the North, save a few genuine, and time tested activists of the calibre of Rajan Hoole, the majority tended to justify the censorship of the movie.

Silence of the civil society activists in the South may be due to the popular fallacy that some people and communities (and not others) ought to have safe spaces and trigger warnings. This notion has been cited by leftist student activists in American universities to justify the shutting off from universities, the opposing voices of populist and nationalist types. In Europe, same idea led the Islamic activists to demand safe space to discuss things ranging from martyrdom to Burkas away from the scrutiny of public security agencies.

Jude Ratnam’s movie is uncomfortable for Jaffna’s LTTE rump and fringe Tamil nationalists for it challenges the received wisdom of the LTTE. The movie by the Tamil filmmaker first empathizes with the Tamil militancy, portraying it as a reaction to the suppression by the Sinhalese-led Colombo centric state. However, as the militancy unfolds, romance turns sour in an orgy of internecine violence, unleashed predominantly by the LTTE on the other groups.

Continue reading ‘Those Opposing Removal of ‘Demons in Paradise’ as an Assault of Free Speech, Should Also be Ready to Allow The Screening of Channel 4’s ‘Sri Lanka killing fields’.’ »

Ex-State Minister of Child Affairs and UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran Released on Rs 5 Lakhs Surety Bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Former State Minister and Jaffna District Parliamentarian Vijayakala Maheshwaran arrested for allegedly exciting or attempting to excite disaffection through a controversial statement in Jaffna was yesterday ordered to be released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.

Accordingly, the suspect was ordered to be released on a surety bail of Rs.500,000 by Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. Parliamentarian Vijayakala Maheshwaran was arrested by the Organized Crimes Prevention Division for allegedly committing offences under Section 120 of the Penal Code.

Continue reading ‘Ex-State Minister of Child Affairs and UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran Released on Rs 5 Lakhs Surety Bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake’ »

Ex-State Minister and UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran Arrested Over Her Controversial Statement About LTTE Revival in North.

United National Party Jaffna district Parliamentarian and former state minister of Child Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran was arrested today by the Police Organised Crimes Preventive Division in connection with a controversial statement she made recently on the resurgence of the LTTE.

Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said she had been summoned to the Police Organised Crimes Preventive Division to record a statement this morning (Oct 8) after which she was arrested.

Continue reading ‘Ex-State Minister and UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran Arrested Over Her Controversial Statement About LTTE Revival in North.’ »

Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa Meet Maithripala Sirisena at SB Dissanayake’s Battaramulla Residence To Discuss The Removal Of Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister and Form New “Coalition” Govt.

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa met last Wednesday to discuss a potential caretaker grand coalition which the two leaders agreed was necessary to pull the country out of the “economic mess” and address other critical issues badly affecting the people.

If the upcoming dialogue ends successfully, it will see Mahinda Rajapaksa ensconced as the new Prime Minister, replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe. Of course, there is a long, long way to go. The first round focused mostly on the standpoints of the two sides and what could be the broader parameters in a new arrangement. So far, the talks are showing positive signs.

Though President Sirisena was alone at the meeting, the presence of Basil Rajapaksa, the ideologue behind the former President, has added greater significance. It is not only because he returned early to Colombo from a visit to his home in Los Angeles, but also in the light of him being reported earlier to be opposed to any initiatives by Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa Meet Maithripala Sirisena at SB Dissanayake’s Battaramulla Residence To Discuss The Removal Of Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister and Form New “Coalition” Govt.’ »

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port May Soon Become a Forward Military Base For China’s Growing Blue-water Navy Says US Vice-president Mike Pence

China is using ‘debt diplomacy’ to expand its global influence and Hambantota Port could soon become a forward military base for Beijing’s growing blue-water navy, US Vice President Mike Pence has said on Thursday.

According to PTI, Pence said China was offering hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa to Europe to even Latin America.

“Yet the terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing,” Pence said.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port May Soon Become a Forward Military Base For China’s Growing Blue-water Navy Says US Vice-president Mike Pence’ »

Actor Sivaji Ganesan Was An Oasis In The Desert Of Tamil Films.


By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cited even now as a standard reference by those teaching, studying or writing about the film industry in India. The following excerpt from the book is about Sivaji Ganesan who is regarded as the greatest actor in post-independence Tamil cinema:

Villupuram Chinnaiahpillai Ganesan ~ Sivaji Ganesan, (1 October 1928 – 21 July 2001)

“In Madras one of the most astonishing phenomena is film star Sivaji Ganesan. Among southern film stars only M.G. Ramachandran, the star associated with the Dravidian movement, has in recent years come close to him in status. For some years a leading Madras theatre has shown only films starring Sivaji Ganesan. This has not been difficult, for he stars in innumerable films.”

“For some years it has seemed risky for any producer to produce a Tamil film not starring Sivaji Ganesan. He produces films himself but also appears in the production of others. He is always involved in many projects simultaneously, doling out a morning of shooting time here, an afternoon there, while numerous producers wait nervously for his next moment of availability. It is common for films made under these circumstances to be in production one, two or three years, or even more.”

“For some years in the Madras film industry scores of film workers – producers, directors, actors, writers, technicians – have at all times been dependent on the favorable decisions of Sivaji Ganesan. His nod secures financial backing. Because of his central importance, script, cast and choice of director are all subject to his approval. During his precious appearances at the studio he works with speed and precision, and can be so charming to co-workers that he is adored by all. Then he is off again, leaving anxiety as to when he will return once more.”

“In appearance he does not especially conform to any hero pattern. He is, on the contrary, squat and stockily built. But his fine voice has a large range of expressiveness, and he can play such a variety of roles that almost any starring role is offered to him – comic or tragic – without regard to suitability. Such is his standing, so precious his time, that no director dares direct him, and his scenes are often completely out of key with other portions of a film. Seldom has a substantial talent been used so recklessly – or so profitably. He has amassed a fortune and carries on well-organised and well-publicised charities.”
Continue reading ‘Actor Sivaji Ganesan Was An Oasis In The Desert Of Tamil Films.’ »

Why Do We Need To Enact Fresh Laws To Deal With Terrorism At This Juncture?

By

Ayesha Zuhair

A popular newspaper column lamented on Sunday (September 30) that while the punishment for murder is death upon conviction, the punishment for the murder of hundreds, i.e. a terrorist act, is “only” life imprisonment. Taking a critical stance of the recently Cabinet-approved counter terrorism bill for apparently soft-pedalling the issue of terrorism, the columnist opined that it “allows a mass terrorist bomber to get away with murder most foul”.

And yet, isn’t it even more ironic that when one man is killed, it is murder, and when a million are killed, it is deemed a heroic act? A cause for celebration? This was the powerful counter-point conveyed at the United Nations by Malaysia’s Premier Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who at 93, is the ‘Elder Statesman of Asia’ and remains deeply loved and respected by not just Malaysians, but by millions across the globe. Indeed, there is something wrong with the universally propagated way of thinking and with our value system, as the Malaysian PM so candidly put it, when he addressed the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on September 29.

Continue reading ‘Why Do We Need To Enact Fresh Laws To Deal With Terrorism At This Juncture?’ »

Christian Doctrine Has Shaped Human Rights Law and Concepts Over The Years While Papal Encyclicals set Out Clearly the Catholic Church’s Concerns For Human Rights.

By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan
LL.B, LL.M ,Ph.D, Attorney-at-Law.

I was surprised to see the statements by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjit, which appear to downplay Human Rights. The Cardinal sees it as a secular western European concept, but does not seem to be aware of its Christian roots.

Similarly, Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his rebuttal of the Cardinals statement has referred to the Inquisition and the Crusades which have nothing to do with Christianity per se. The Inquisition was part of the state policy in Spain as well as other newly emerging Nation states. It was an institution which was used to impose conformity in religious practice as part of the attempt to do away with individual rights and impose despotic rule.

Similarly the Crusades ostensibly for liberating the Holy land was used by the European nations to plunder the riches of the East, although it must be admitted that both these projects had the blessings of the Church of Rome at the time.

Human Rights are the inalienable fundamental rights which a person is entitled to simply because he/she is a human being. They are universal in the sense of being applicable to everyone, everywhere. They are egalitarian as they apply equally to everyone and they are inalienable as they cannot be given away. Human Rights can also be described as moral principles or norms that determine certain standards of human behaviour, and are protected as legal rights in national and international law.

Continue reading ‘Christian Doctrine Has Shaped Human Rights Law and Concepts Over The Years While Papal Encyclicals set Out Clearly the Catholic Church’s Concerns For Human Rights.’ »

Both citizenry and national identity are two evolving notions that need to emerge organically through a social contract between the people and the State.

by Kamaya Jayatissa

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”
– Charles de Montesquieu

Going through the recent statements made at Geneva, as well as on its sidelines, I wonder how much time each of us take to simply pause and reflect on where we are today, as opposed to where we were in 2015, 2009, 1983, 1978, 1948, and so on. So much has happened in Sri Lanka and so much keeps on happening that it sometimes feels emotionally and physically overwhelming to keep track of where one should position itself. So overwhelming that we almost let go of Ariadne’s thread, without even realizing that we may have got lost in our own maze decades ago. So much so that applying logic becomes secondary and any available route is good enough to be explored -sometimes even for the sake of being explored. Doing something, anything really, then becomes more important than pressing the pause button for a moment.

President Sirisena’s recent speech at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly last week was to a certain extent reflective of this need to pause and allow the Sri Lankan people the time to heal, think and rebuild – without external interference – before rushing into one direction or the other:

Continue reading ‘Both citizenry and national identity are two evolving notions that need to emerge organically through a social contract between the people and the State.’ »

Jaffna International Film Festival Director States The Slot Allocated To Jude Ratnam’s Film On the Schedule Was Kept Open .

(Text of a press release issued by Anomaa Rajakaruna Festival Director of Jaffna International Film Festival)

Dear Sir/Madam,

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Reference to Jude Ratnam’s statement of DEMONS IN PARADISE which was to be screened at Jaffna International Cinema Festival

Jude Ratnam’s film which was premiered on 24th May 2017 has been traveling to many international film festivals abroad and had many screenings in the South of Sri Lanka. The film never had a public screening in the North of the Country particularly in the Jaffna peninsula. He was reluctant to take the film to the location where a majority of the film was shot. One wonders why? Why was he reluctant to take his film there during the last 16 months?

Continue reading ‘Jaffna International Film Festival Director States The Slot Allocated To Jude Ratnam’s Film On the Schedule Was Kept Open .’ »

Director Alleges His Film Was Removed From Screening Schedule At Jaffna International Film Festival By The Organizers Due To Pressure By a Group Called “Community”.

(Text of a press release issued by Jude Ratnam the Writer/Director of the film “Demons in Paradise”)

Dear Sir/Madam,

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Allegedly owing to pressure from a group known only as the ‘Community’ in Jaffna, the festival organizers of the Jaffna International Cinema Festival have decided to remove the film DEMONS IN PARADISE directed by me from its scheduled program.

Continue reading ‘Director Alleges His Film Was Removed From Screening Schedule At Jaffna International Film Festival By The Organizers Due To Pressure By a Group Called “Community”.’ »

“Deshamanya” Dr.Radhika Coomaraswamy Appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of John Keels Holdings PLC.


John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) yesterday announced the appointment of Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the company with effect from 1 October
.

Dr. Coomaraswamy received her BA from Yale University, LLM from Harvard University and the Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Columbia University. She served as UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict from 2006 until her retirement in 2012.

Continue reading ‘“Deshamanya” Dr.Radhika Coomaraswamy Appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of John Keels Holdings PLC.’ »

Jaffna International Film Festival Director Anoma Rajakaruna Offers Explanation About “Demons In Paradise” Saying Director Jude Ratnam Walked Out of Discussion and Issued Statement About Non -Screening.

The internationally renowned film ‘Demons in Paradise’ which was competed at the prestigious Cannes Film festival in France has been removed from being screened at the International Jaffna Cinema Festival starting this weekend, its Director Jude Ratnam said.

Issuing media release, he said the festival organizers of the Jaffna International Cinema Festival had decided to remove the film directed by him from its scheduled programme allegedly over pressure from a group known only as the ‘Community’ in Jaffna.

Continue reading ‘Jaffna International Film Festival Director Anoma Rajakaruna Offers Explanation About “Demons In Paradise” Saying Director Jude Ratnam Walked Out of Discussion and Issued Statement About Non -Screening.’ »

Filmmaker Jude Ratnam States His Film On Sri Lankan Conflict ” Demons In Paradise” Scheduled Ti Be Screened in Jaffna Film Festival Has Been “Removed ” Without Explanation.

By

Meera Srinivasan

A Sri Lankan Tamil filmmaker’s take on the country’s civil war, which was scheduled to be screened at the Jaffna International Cinema Festival later this week, has been removed from the list, raising questions about the space for free expression in Sri Lanka’s post-war north.

According to filmmaker Jude Ratnam, festival organisers, citing “pressure from the community”, had decided to remove his film, Demons in Paradise, from the scheduled programme. “Thus far I have not been given a proper explanation for the removal of my film… I feel this is a case of censorship and an infringement on the fundamental rights to freedom of expression,” the director said in a statement on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Filmmaker Jude Ratnam States His Film On Sri Lankan Conflict ” Demons In Paradise” Scheduled Ti Be Screened in Jaffna Film Festival Has Been “Removed ” Without Explanation.’ »

“Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Has Disqualified Himself From Being Re-nominated by Campaigning Against His Own Party At The Parliamentary and Local Govt elections” Says MA Sumanthiran MP in Interview

By

Kelum Bandara

Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran in an interview with Daily mirror , speaks about the current status of the Constitution-making process and future politics.

He shared the following:

Q How do you look at the current status of politics?

A;

Well, there was a change in 2015. There were a lot of expectations. Initially, though the 100-day programme did not finish in 100 days, there were significant achievements – the enactment of the 19th Amendment and the Right to Information Act. After the parliamentary elections, the two main parties got together to solve the national issues. The constitution making process was undertaken. All those were great achievements. Now looking back, those first year gains were not properly consolidated in the next two years.

Coalition politics has not been successful all the time. Things changed quite a bit after the results of the local government elections. People have lost faith that whether the government would do all those reforms that were promised, primarily the new constitution.

The abolition of executive presidency and solving the national question were the major changes that were expected. Although the Constitution making process moves forward, it is floundering. A draft will be presented. But, the phase has slowed down drastically losing hope that it will never happen. We still have hope. There is another year also for the present government. We think this government can redeem itself if it sits down to do all the reforms it promised. We will support it in order to achieve all those objectives.

Continue reading ‘“Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Has Disqualified Himself From Being Re-nominated by Campaigning Against His Own Party At The Parliamentary and Local Govt elections” Says MA Sumanthiran MP in Interview’ »

CV Wigneswaran In Contact With New Political Front To Contest Next Northern Provincial Elections as TNA Plans To Field New Chief Ministerial Candidate.

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday declared that he would contest the next provincial council elections from a new political front, if the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was not ‘happy with him”. “I know some people in the TNA are not happy about my performance and I have been repeatedly criticsed by a parliamentarian,” Mr Wigneswaran told the Sunday Times.

He said he did not want to lead a confrontational political career and was in contact with the new political front.

Continue reading ‘CV Wigneswaran In Contact With New Political Front To Contest Next Northern Provincial Elections as TNA Plans To Field New Chief Ministerial Candidate.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Light An Oil Lamp To Ranil Wickremesinghe For Saving Him From Becoming An International Criminal Says Mangala Samaraweera.

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday stated that the current government salvaged Sri Lanka from its status as a drop of blood on the world map and prevented former president Mahinda Rajapaksa from becoming an international criminal.

The Minister pointed out that the ex-President now had the opportunity to visit the international community and even to criticise the Government thanks to the present government.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Light An Oil Lamp To Ranil Wickremesinghe For Saving Him From Becoming An International Criminal Says Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

International Symposium Held In Colombo Demands Release Of All Journalists Arrested And Detained Under Various Pretexts Across The South Asian Region.

THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1998 Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility unequivocally condemns the arrest and continued detention of Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, the issuing of a non-bailable arrest warrant to Pakistani journalist Cyril Almedia, the conviction of two Myanmar journalists, U Wa Lone and U Kyaw Soe Oo, and the enforced disappearance of Maldivian blogger Ahmed Rilwan.

Cyril Almeida, who works at Dawn newspaper, is being hauled up for an interview with Nawaz Sharif, in which the former Prime Minister made remarks that were interpreted in India as a tacit admission that the Pakistan security establishment was behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The warrant against Almeida is for a summons to him to appear before the Lahore High Court, which is hearing a case of treason against Sharif.

Continue reading ‘International Symposium Held In Colombo Demands Release Of All Journalists Arrested And Detained Under Various Pretexts Across The South Asian Region.’ »

President Sirisena Should Not Try To Hoodwink The Masses By Making Patriotic Noises In The UN General Assembly Without Taking Any Concrete Steps

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Before President Maithripala Sirisena went to the UN this time, there was some hype about a pronouncement he was going to make which would get our war heroes ‘off the hook’. What President Sirisena finally ended up saying in Sinhala in NewYork addressing the UN General Assembly was that as an independent country we do not want any foreign power to exert influence on us and that we want to appeal to the international community to give us the room to resolve the problems that we are facing so that the right of the Sri Lankan people to find solutions to their problems is respected. There are many people in this country including this writer who feel that if the foreign powers did that, Sirisena would not be the President today. The US Ambassador in Colombo Michelle Sison was up to her ears in the regime change project in Sri Lanka.

Be that as it may, one has to question whether President Sirisena’s apparent attempt to have Sri Lanka liberated from the very forces that brought him into power was an honest exercise. Firstly, Sri Lanka is not facing any issue in the UN General Assembly or even in the UN Security Council and talking to those bodies is a useless exercise. The UNGA has not passed any resolution against Sri Lanka nor is it expecting Sri Lanka to fulfill any commitments. Even though the UNGA is the body that brings all the UN member states together at the highest level, other bodies like the Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council function independently and a statement made in one body does not influence the other bodies.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Should Not Try To Hoodwink The Masses By Making Patriotic Noises In The UN General Assembly Without Taking Any Concrete Steps’ »

Urgent Reform of Criminal Justice Process Encompassing Attorney – General’s Office Essential To Ensure Functional Integrity of A-G’s Dept.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Returning from Malaysia this week, correspondence with a now retired and respected diplomat focused on the ravages that the Malaysian people has had to go through including the gruesome instance of a Malaysian deputy public prosecutor whose body was discovered in a cement-filled oil drum dumped in a river.

He had apparently been investigating corruption involving the former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor when he had been abducted and later, found killed.

The Bar is duty bound to look at reforms

The deputy prosecutor had been part of a probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating financial irregularities involving a state-backed investment fund and other issues. The former Prime Minister had, during 2015, sacked the attorney general along with senior police chiefs, transferred the deputy head of the police special branch intelligence division and summarily dismissed a special parliamentary committee on corruption while intimidating the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and slapping critics with sedition charges.

The killing of the deputy prosecutor is now being investigated afresh in the wake of a celebrated general election in May 2018 which tossed out Najib from political power.

It must be said that despite all the turbulence that had afflicted Sri Lanka during past decades, it had not reached that level of upheaval resulting in threats to the lives of state prosecutors. For that, we must be devoutly thankful.

However, this is not to say that we have not had our own problems to deal with, mainly focusing on the integrity of the functioning of the Office of the Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Urgent Reform of Criminal Justice Process Encompassing Attorney – General’s Office Essential To Ensure Functional Integrity of A-G’s Dept.’ »

Lawyer States in Affidavit Presented To Court That Two Senior Attorney -General’s Dept Officials Tried To Intimidate Him Into Handing Over WM Mendis &Co Vouchers Allegedly Issued To Govt and Opposition Politicians “RK’, RW”NR” and Others

By Ranjith Padmasiri

Two senior Attorney General’s Department officials have allegedly attempted to forcibly obtain evidence from a lawyer, implicating politicians as having obtained payments from W.M. Mendis and Company which is linked to the Central Bank bond scam.

The lawyer, in an affidavit filed in the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court, this week claimed that the top officials wanted him to get his client W.M. Mendis & Company to hand over a set of vouchers relating to payments made to top politicians of ‘both parties’.

Attorney Chandana Perera claims he was summoned to the AG’s Department and told to hand over the voucher set to a CID officer before they got him “arrested and remanded”.

Continue reading ‘Lawyer States in Affidavit Presented To Court That Two Senior Attorney -General’s Dept Officials Tried To Intimidate Him Into Handing Over WM Mendis &Co Vouchers Allegedly Issued To Govt and Opposition Politicians “RK’, RW”NR” and Others’ »

Why Did Maithripala Sirisena Who Left Colombo For His Own Safety Due To an Anticipated LTTE Air Attack in May 2009 Not Warn The People About It So They Too Could Take Precautions For Their Safety?

President Maithripala Sirisena came under severe criticism from the war-time general Sarath Fonseka for announcing in New York that political and military leadership fled abroad fearing Tiger bombings in Colombo.

Fonseka, minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development, dismissed Sirisena’s claim in New York last week that the country’s military and political leadership were out of the island in the final two weeks of the war in May 2009.

“The former president was out of the country, even I had to go to China. We don’t have to be pressing the trigger. In the final two weeks, it was a job for corporal and sergeants.

“Those who think like corporals and sergeants may think it was in the final two weeks one could display capability show results. Can a person who was acting (defence minister) for two weeks understand the complexities of a war that was going on for over two years,” Fonseka said.

He said even his erstwhile ally Gotabhaya Rajapaksa did not leave the country in the final two weeks of the war as claimed by Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Why Did Maithripala Sirisena Who Left Colombo For His Own Safety Due To an Anticipated LTTE Air Attack in May 2009 Not Warn The People About It So They Too Could Take Precautions For Their Safety?’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Tells BBC That He Never Left Sri Lanka During Final Weeks of War in May 2009 and That Presient Sirisenas “Revelation” About LTTE Plan To Launch Air Strikes On Colombo From Tamil Nadu is News To Him and The Whole World.

Towards the end of the Civil war in Sri Lanka, he was unaware of LTTE plans to launch Arial attacks on Colombo, said the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

He also noted that during the last days of the war he was never overseas.

He said this to BBC Sinhala service in response to a statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena last Thursday claiming that none of the leaders at the time, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister, Army Commander Sarath Fonseka or the Defence Secretary were in the country during the last two weeks of the war.

“During the last two weeks I was the acting Defence Minister and the victories during that time was the final battle. The government received information that the LTTE was planning to come from Chennai in South India or some jungle and bomb Colombo. That is why all left the country,” Sirisena said in New York addressing the Sri Lankans.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Tells BBC That He Never Left Sri Lanka During Final Weeks of War in May 2009 and That Presient Sirisenas “Revelation” About LTTE Plan To Launch Air Strikes On Colombo From Tamil Nadu is News To Him and The Whole World.’ »

President Sirisena Drops Political Bombshell On India Saying LTTE Was Planning To Fly From Tamil Nadu And Bomb Targets In Colombo As War Neared End In May 2009.

Sri Lanka’s President Friday dropped a bombshell claiming that Tamil Tigers planned a flight from neighbouring Tamil Nadu to destroy targets in Colombo as the separatist war drew to an end.

Maithripala Sirisena told Sri Lankan expatriates in New York that he was the senior most politician in the country in May 2009 directing security forces in the absence of all other leaders.

He said it was a well-guarded secret that the then president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake were out of the country fearing a Tiger air raid.

Then secretary to the ministry of defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and army commander Sarath Fonseka were also away from the island as they feared Tiger air attacks, Sirisena said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Drops Political Bombshell On India Saying LTTE Was Planning To Fly From Tamil Nadu And Bomb Targets In Colombo As War Neared End In May 2009.’ »

President Sirisena Claims He Gave Leadership To The Armed Forces During the Final Two Weeks of War in May 2009 as Mahinda,Gota, Sarath Fonseka and Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Were Not In Sri Lanka At That Time.

In a shocking revelation, President Maithripala Sirisena said the LTTE, during the last two weeks of war, had plans to cluster-bomb Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, using aircraft’s operated from Chennai.

That is why, Sirisena said, some top-notch war time leaders – namely former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka – were not in the country during the last to weeks of the battle.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Claims He Gave Leadership To The Armed Forces During the Final Two Weeks of War in May 2009 as Mahinda,Gota, Sarath Fonseka and Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Were Not In Sri Lanka At That Time.’ »

Sri Lankan Undergrad at New South Wales University Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen Arrested By Australian Police For Alleged Plot to Assassinate Aussie Politicians Released On Bail.

A New South Wales University student accused of plotting to assassinate Australian politicians has been released on bail, after an expert found the sole piece of evidence couldn’t be connected to him.

Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested in August after a colleague found a notebook allegedly containing details of plans to kill Malcolm Turnbull and his former deputy Julie Bishop.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Undergrad at New South Wales University Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen Arrested By Australian Police For Alleged Plot to Assassinate Aussie Politicians Released On Bail.’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Was Referring To The Ideology of Western Neo-Liberal Human Rights “Mania” Entering Sri Lanka Through Various NGO’s.


By C. A. Chandraprema

The comments made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday at the Ekala St Matthew’s church have made waves with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Saliya Peiris criticising the Cardinal’s words and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Catholic MPs in the Joint Opposition condemning Samaraweera and Peiris for taking on the Cardinal. What the Cardinal said last Sunday during a sermon delivered in Sinhala was roughly as follows.

“The latest religion in the West is the religion called human rights. Human rights were discovered only recently. It is being regarded as a wonderful new discovery which is being held aloft and we are being relentlessly lectured about it. However our people began adhering to religions centuries ago. Some people in our country talk of a secular society. Human life is not just food and drink and the pursuit of comfort. Many people in the West now regard religion as an outer garment. They use religion when it suits them but if they are required to make sacrifices, theல put religion aside. Our lives are short and if we limit it to the pursuit of pleasure we will come to an unfortunate end. If we adhere to a religion we don’t need human rights. Those who are dependent on human rights are those who have no religion. We must not be misled by these chimeras. We must look at this intelligently.”

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Was Referring To The Ideology of Western Neo-Liberal Human Rights “Mania” Entering Sri Lanka Through Various NGO’s.’ »

Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(This article was first published four years ago to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of Dr.Rajini.It is re-posted here to denote her 29th death anniversary)

It was 25 years ago on September 21st 1989 that Dr. Rajini Thiranagama nee Rajasingham was killed in Jaffna. She was 35 years old at the time of her death.The 25th anniversary of her death is to be commemorated through a series of events next week in the northern capital. This is the first time that such a commemoration of Rajini’s memorable legacy is to be held in Jaffna, since the one held in 1989, a month after her death.

Dr. Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama

Dr. Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama (February 23, 1954 – September 21, 1989)

A Commemoration Meeting is to be held at the Medical Faculty, University of Jaffna on September 20th at 9.30 a.m. On the same day at 2 p.m a procession for peace, democracy and social justice will start at the Medical Faculty, University of Jaffna and end at the Veerasingham Hall with a short meeting.On September 21st a seminar will be held at 9 am on the theme “A more just and democratic society”.The venue is the Kailasapathy Hall, University of Jaffna.

Rajini was a contemporary of mine at Jaffna Collge,Vaddukkoddai where I completed my GCE- Advanced Level. Her father Mr.A. Rajasingham was the vice –principal during my time. Rajini born on February 23rd 1954 studied at Jaffna College(JC) from grade one till entering varsity except for a short period at Chundikkuli Girls College in Jaffna town. All of her sisters Nirmala,Sumathy and Vasuki were at JC too. In school she was known as Rajini but later on her name was spelled as Rajani .Yet we the old students of JC continue to refer to her as Rajini and I too am doing so while writing this article.

IMG_8074.PNG

St. James Church graveyard, Nallur-in January, 2012-pic by Saba Thambi

It is hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed since Rajini was brutally gunned down at Thirunelvely, Jaffna on September 21st 1989 while cycling back home from the Jaffna University. She was Professor of Anatomy at the Jaffna Varsity medical faculty. The 35 year old mother of two daughters –Narmada and Sharika- was also a human rights activist, feminist, critic of narrow nationalism and opponent of irresponsible militarism.

Continue reading ‘Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy’ »

News Reports Stating Indian National Marceli Thomas Had Confirmed Existence of Plot to Assassinate President Sirisena, Mr.Rajapaksa and Others are ” False,Baseless and Inflammatory” Says Mangala Samaraweera.

(Text of statement issued by Hon.Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance & Mass Media on misreporting of CID Investigation regarding the complaint by Mr.A.M.Namal Kumara)

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is conducting investigations into serious allegations of an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, amongst others.

As of this time, the only source for these allegations is a statement made by Mr. A.M. Namal Kumara. While the Criminal investigation Department has yet to report any evidence substantiating the existence of such a plot, these allegations are so grave in their implication that CID detectives must take every precaution thoroughly investigate and seek to corroborate their every element, as a matter of national security.

Continue reading ‘News Reports Stating Indian National Marceli Thomas Had Confirmed Existence of Plot to Assassinate President Sirisena, Mr.Rajapaksa and Others are ” False,Baseless and Inflammatory” Says Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

Arrested Indian National Mercil Thomas Has Not Told Police About Any Plot ti Assassinate President Sirisena or Ex-president ajapaksa says Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara.

By

Thilanka Kanakarathna

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara today said the Indian national had not revealed any assassination plot to the CID on President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa but had only spoken of a threat to several individuals following the revelation by Anti Corruption Movement’s Director Operations Namal Kumara on assassination plot.

He told a news conference that the CID in its B-report filed in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday had not mentioned anything about an assassination plot revealed by the Indian national.

Continue reading ‘Arrested Indian National Mercil Thomas Has Not Told Police About Any Plot ti Assassinate President Sirisena or Ex-president ajapaksa says Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara.’ »

Indian National Arrested in Sri Lanka Over Alleged Plot to Assassinate President Sirisena “Has Had a History of Mental Disturbances Since 2000 “Says Colombo Indian High Commission

The Indian High Commission in Colombo on Wednesday said the Indian national, who had been arrested in Sri Lanka over the alleged assassination attempt of President Maithripala Sirisena, his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa and family members ‘has had a history of mental disturbance since 2000.’

Continue reading ‘Indian National Arrested in Sri Lanka Over Alleged Plot to Assassinate President Sirisena “Has Had a History of Mental Disturbances Since 2000 “Says Colombo Indian High Commission’ »

President Sirisena Addressing UN General Assembly Wants International Community to Let the Sri Lankan People Solve Their Problems On Their Own Without Any Foreign Power Exerting Influence.

President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday called on the international community ‘to allow Sri Lankan people to solve their problems on their own,’ and said: “as an independent country we do not want any foreign power to exert influence on us.”

Addressing the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he said Sri Lanka is taking action to consolidate peace and forge ahead to develop the economy, and such a nation deserves the support and understanding of the international community. “I urge the international community to allow Sri Lankan people to solve their problems on their own,” he said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Addressing UN General Assembly Wants International Community to Let the Sri Lankan People Solve Their Problems On Their Own Without Any Foreign Power Exerting Influence.’ »

On Going Police Probe Into Alleged Conspiracy To Kill President Sirisena and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Uncover Many Contradictions and Backtracking in Statements Made by Air Force Deserter Namal Kumara.

Police investigating an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena have found several contradictions in statements an air force deserter who claimed he was contracted by a Deputy Inspector-General for the hit.

Sources close to the investigation said Namal Kumara, the man who held a press conference and made what appeared to be sensational claims, had changed his story many times during the course of questioning by the CID.

Chief among them is the backtracking on who had made the purported recordings of telephone conversations he had with terrorism Investigation Department head Nalaka de Silva.

Continue reading ‘On Going Police Probe Into Alleged Conspiracy To Kill President Sirisena and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Uncover Many Contradictions and Backtracking in Statements Made by Air Force Deserter Namal Kumara.’ »

CID Informs Fort Magistrate That Extensive Inquiries Are Being Conducted by Police Into Information Disclosed By Indian National Identified as M. Thomas About Alleged Conspiracy to Assassinate Entire Rajapaksa Family and President Sirisena.

By A.J.A. Abeynayake

An Indian national with alleged links to a plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had said there had been a conspiracy to kill the entire Rajapaksa family and President Maithripala Sirisena, the CID informed Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, yesterday.

Continue reading ‘CID Informs Fort Magistrate That Extensive Inquiries Are Being Conducted by Police Into Information Disclosed By Indian National Identified as M. Thomas About Alleged Conspiracy to Assassinate Entire Rajapaksa Family and President Sirisena.’ »

ITJP Denounces Sri Lanka Govt For Undermining the Office of Missing Persons(OMP) By Appointing Persons Like Mahinda Samarasinghe and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to Cabinet Sub-Committee in Charge of Implementing Recommendations.

(Text of Press Release Issued on September 24th 2018 by the South Africa based International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) in Johannesburg headlined “Is the Sri Lanka Government serious about its Office of Missing Persons?)

“The Government of Sri Lanka is undermining the Office of
Missing Persons by appointing a politician to implement its
recommendations who has denied war crimes, including enforced
disappearances, and who allegedly intimidated a victim. Minister
Mahinda Samarasinghe has reportedly been appointed to a 10-member
cabinet sub-committee expected to implement the interim
recommendations of Sri Lanka’s Office of Missing Persons (OMP)
.

There are also concerns that the appointment of this sub-committee could be
a delaying tactic to further undermine the process, especially as
there is no timeline given for its activities

“The Office of Missing Persons is viewed by many in the international community as the last hope for accountability in Sri Lanka,” said the ITJP’s Executive Director and transitional justice expert, Yasmin Sooka, “this sort of appointment makes a mockery of the body and worse still the victims, who desperately need to see progress after years of waiting for information about the fate of their loved ones. Sri Lanka is reported to have the second highest case load in the world, after Iraq, for disappearances – this is an accountablity issue that affects the whole international community who have the responsiblity to ensure that the Government of Sri Lanka acts in good faith rather than ending up disowning its own initiative, as it did with the victim consultation process”.

Continue reading ‘ITJP Denounces Sri Lanka Govt For Undermining the Office of Missing Persons(OMP) By Appointing Persons Like Mahinda Samarasinghe and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to Cabinet Sub-Committee in Charge of Implementing Recommendations.’ »

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Faults Liberal Economic Policies of Govt as Cause for Continuous Depreciation of Sri Lankan Rupee.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday blamed the liberal economic policies followed by the current government for the continuous depreciation of the Sri Lankan currency.

In a statement released to the media, Rajapaksa called into question the role played by the current government, while admiring the policies followed by the Trump administration.

“The role of a government is to keep abreast of worldwide developments and to take steps to strengthen our economy instead of complaining that a foreign leader has strengthened his own economy and that our currency was collapsing on account of that,” he said. “This government in contrast believes in limitless liberalisation and free trade without a clear strategy to increase exports and reduce imports.” He said

Pointing out that President Trump had strengthened the US economy through a policy of giving incentives to indigenous businesses and imposing tariffs on imports to encourage local production, Rajapaksa drew parallels with his own government, which followed “a policy encouraging local production” reducing imports, particularly of foodstuffs such as diary products, maize, soya, sugar, onion, potato, fruits, vegetables, poultry and certain industrial products.

He claimed that the country’s economy was able to weather the 2008 economic crisis, saying that “very few Sri Lankans were even aware that there was a global economic crisis from 2007-2008.”

Continue reading ‘Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Faults Liberal Economic Policies of Govt as Cause for Continuous Depreciation of Sri Lankan Rupee.’ »

Despite Completing 2757 Development Projects Costing US $ 5.3 Billion, China Linked Yameen Loses Presidency in Maldives to United Opposition Candidate on Restoration of Democracy Platform.


By

P.K.Balachandran

In the Maldivian Presidential election held on September 23, the Joint Opposition’s impassioned plea for the restoration of democracy secured an overwhelming response from the voters.

The electorate decisively rejected incumbent President Abdulla Yameen’s call to vote for rapid economic development and its attendant benefits, suppressing the ‘foreign-inspired’ craving for political, constitutional and individual rights.

The Joint Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had secured 58.4% (134,143) of the votes polled as against 41.6% (95,626) secured by President Yameen.

Polling was a high 88.8% in an election billed as a referendum on democracy.

Opposition Supremo and Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed, who is in exile in Colombo, told The Hindu:“This is a clear victory…and a vote for the country to return to the path of democracy. Destiny has a habit of always choosing the right and the good. When history is on the march, you can’t stop it.”

Continue reading ‘Despite Completing 2757 Development Projects Costing US $ 5.3 Billion, China Linked Yameen Loses Presidency in Maldives to United Opposition Candidate on Restoration of Democracy Platform.’ »

Catholic Archbishop of Colombo ,Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is Criticised by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and OMP Chairman Saliya Pieris Over “Populist”Remarks About Human Rights and Religion.


Archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has come under fire for the stand he has taken on human rights.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the need for human rights was an outcome of the marauding religious zealots of the inquisition and the crusades, where non believers were massacred “En-Bloc”.

“Pity, the Cardinal always seems to get things wrong in trying to be a populist,” he said on his twitter account.

Continue reading ‘Catholic Archbishop of Colombo ,Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is Criticised by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and OMP Chairman Saliya Pieris Over “Populist”Remarks About Human Rights and Religion.’ »

Axed Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Angelo Mathews Feels Betrayed by SLC and Says He Has Been Made the Sole Scapegoat for Decisions Taken With the Mutual Understanding of Selectors and Head Coach

by Rex Clementine

Angelo Mathews faced his Ian Botham moment on Friday when the national selection panel and Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha met him and gave Hobson’s choice after Sri Lanka’s horrendous show in Asia Cup where they suffered defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The fate that Mathews suffered is similar to what Ian Botham, the golden boy of English cricket experienced. Botham collected a pair of specs in the Lord’s Test of the 1981 Ashes campaign as England conceded a lead series.

Botham stepped down soon after the Test. Matthew Engel wrote in the Wisden, ‘Botham resigned a minute before he was sacked’.

Continue reading ‘Axed Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Angelo Mathews Feels Betrayed by SLC and Says He Has Been Made the Sole Scapegoat for Decisions Taken With the Mutual Understanding of Selectors and Head Coach’ »

Lt. Commander Krishan Welagedara Faces Continuous Persecution Within Navy For Telling The Truth To Police About the Abduction of Tamil Youths For Ransom Racket Operated by Senior Naval Officers.

By

Maneshka Borham

On a small hill inside the Trincomalee Eastern Naval Command is known among local residents as ‘Gun Site’ because of a mounted weapon at its summit. A soundtrack of crashing waves, stunning views of the ocean side city of Trincomalee and the choppy blue waters of the Bay, would make ‘Gun Site’ a picturesque little hillock at the Naval Base if not for the eerie colonial era buildings that stand near the summit. The subterranean parts of the building get no sunlight and the darkness at night is only dispelled when the naval guards decide to switch on electrical lighting.

These underground detention cells are believed to be the place 11 young men, allegedly abducted by Sri Lanka Navy personnel for ransom, were last seen alive. Here, with the waves crashing overhead and salty winds carrying an evening chill even down to the subterranean holding cells, a key witness in the CID investigation claims to have seen Rajiv Naganathan, the 19-year-old university freshman from Kotahena, his friends, and other victims of the Navy abduction racket shortly before they disappeared forever.

Continue reading ‘Lt. Commander Krishan Welagedara Faces Continuous Persecution Within Navy For Telling The Truth To Police About the Abduction of Tamil Youths For Ransom Racket Operated by Senior Naval Officers.’ »

Prof T. Jogaratham, “Father of Agricultural Economics In Sri Lanka ” Passes Away At The Age of 87.

By

L. H. P. Gunaratne
– Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Peradeniya

Professor T. Jogaratnam, generally acknowledged as the father of Agricultural Economics in Sri Lanka, passed away on the 18th of September 2018 at the age of 87 years. He was the first Lecturer in Agricultural Economics, the first Professor of Agricultural Economics and the first Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics & Farm Management in the university system of Ceylon. He later capped his distinguished career by serving as Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.

Professor Jogaratnam was born in Navaly in Jaffna in 1931 and was educated at St Anthony’s College in Kayts, Jaffna Central College, and at Royal College, Colombo, in that order. He entered the University of Ceylon in 1950 and obtained a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Economics. In 1953, he was recruited as an Assistant Lecturer by the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Science at the University of Ceylon. Soon after joining the Faculty, he read for and received a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto. Several years later, he entered Cornell University and successfully completed his Ph.D degree in Agricultural Development.

Continue reading ‘Prof T. Jogaratham, “Father of Agricultural Economics In Sri Lanka ” Passes Away At The Age of 87.’ »

“If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Is Scared For His Life He Can Leave The Country as He Has US Citizenship” Says Sarath Fonseka.

By

Romesh Madushanka

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not deserve more protection, Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said yesterday.

Speaking to the media during a visit at Nandimitragama in Vavuniya, the Field Marshal said that the security detail of former Defence Secretary was higher than what was given to him.

“I have been given 17 Police personnel. But Gotabaya has enough protection. As far I know the former Defence Secretary has 25 security personnel from the Army, Special Forces and Commandos.

Continue reading ‘“If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Is Scared For His Life He Can Leave The Country as He Has US Citizenship” Says Sarath Fonseka.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Asked President Sirisena To Restore His Full Security One and a half Months Ago After Receiving Crediblle Information Of Plot To Kill the Ex – Def Secy With Help Of Underworld Don “Makandure Madush” But Has Not Received Any Response So Far.

(Excerpted From The “Sunday Times” Political Column)

I received credible information that there was a plot to kill me using the help of underworld leader Makandure Madush,” former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times in an interview this week

He said he had verified the information from “very reliable channels” and found it to be correct. “Thereafter, I spoke to President Maithripala Sirisena, to restore the original number of my personal security detail.

I told him that it had been halved. Though he agreed to look into the matter, there was no response from him thereafter. This was over one and half months ago”, he added.

Mr Rajapaksa declined to reveal from where he received the information or how he verified it on the grounds that “it would endanger the lives of those who helped me.” He said the attack on him was to be carried out when he attended Courts. Since he was aware that the underworld leader’s attempt, he had taken additional precautions, he said.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Asked President Sirisena To Restore His Full Security One and a half Months Ago After Receiving Crediblle Information Of Plot To Kill the Ex – Def Secy With Help Of Underworld Don “Makandure Madush” But Has Not Received Any Response So Far.’ »

“Pharmacologist Academic ” Prof. Channa Jayasumana Says In Geneva That There is No Ethnic Problem In Sri Lanka And That The Military Solution Given In Nandhikkadal Is Nothing But a Political Solution.

By

Sarath De Alwis

“The time is out of joint; O cursed spite That ever I was born to set it right!”
[Hamlet, William Shakespeare]

The war was unendurable. It was mind-blowingly vicious. Suicide bombers made a fine art of painting the earth with blood-soaked human innocence. Babies refused to be lulled to sleep. Grandmas stopped praying. Mothers dared not hope. Fathers were marooned in fear and despair.

Mahinda Rajapaksa ended the war. It was under his presidency that the wild screams stopped and the clash of arms ceased. But then, discord took refuge in the deep crevices of human breasts that learnt to breathe silently but surely. The purpose of this essay is to comprehend the silence of that discord that has gained a voice of its own.

Last week, a Sinhala Buddhist Patriot- an Academic and a Professor of the Rajarata University addressed the world in Geneva and focused on that post war discord.

He is described as a Professor of Pharmacology. It explains much about the state of medical education in our seats of higher learning. His attempt before the United Nation’s Human Rights Council to make demonstrated documented history into a Faustian Pharmacology was a shame and much more. It dramatized the lack of respect for human dignity among the so-called professional elite who wants Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be our next President.

When oxygenation of our land ceased to be blemished with the smell of burning human flesh, when we stopped getting shell-shocked by explosions, Gotabaya Rajapaksa presided over the war effort, Chamal Rajapaksa presided in Parliament and Basil Rajapaksa was minding economic affairs.

Continue reading ‘“Pharmacologist Academic ” Prof. Channa Jayasumana Says In Geneva That There is No Ethnic Problem In Sri Lanka And That The Military Solution Given In Nandhikkadal Is Nothing But a Political Solution.’ »

Tug -of -War Between National Police Commission and Inspector – General of Police Due More To Systemic Contradictions Than Egoistic Personality Clashes.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The unseemly tug-of-war between the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the National Police Commission, with the IGP openly balking to carry out directions of the NPC, must be deplored quite categorically.

Putting the credibility of ‘independent commissions’ at risk

Indeed, the manner of both parties being summoned by the Speaker to resolve these issues unfortunately reminds one of two erring schoolchildren being summoned to the Principal’s office. The fracas plays itself out in the open, diminishing the credibility of the much vaunted concept of ‘independent commissions’ that the Government speaks of with pride as having ‘restored’ through the 19th Amendment.

Aberrant tendencies of the incumbent in the office of IGP has attracted much scorn and ridicule in the media. Those eccentricities are quite evident and present a whole set of different problems including questions raised about the appointments process in the first instance and as to whether the criteria adopted by the Constitutional Council was sufficiently rigorous when recommending the appointment. We have the undoubtedly bizarre spectacle of even Ministers in the Government calling for action to be taken against the incumbent IGP.

Continue reading ‘Tug -of -War Between National Police Commission and Inspector – General of Police Due More To Systemic Contradictions Than Egoistic Personality Clashes.’ »

“We Tamils Have Gone To The West, To New Delhi And Geneva In Search Of a Settlement That Eludes Us”.


by Rajan Hoole

Rains and early gloom harbinger the dying year. Fields are ploughed and sown in readiness for the earth’s renewal and the yield of her bounty. It was at such a time that Rajani was killed by the LTTE 29 years ago. Her questions and aphorisms often challenged our assumptions at their core. The following Appeal authored by her in October 1988 appeared in Laying Aside Illusions signed by 50 academics in the common room of the University of Jaffna:

“We have to examine not only our relations with the Indian and Sri Lankan States, but also ourselves. Our obeisance to terror within the community, our opportunism and lack of principles in the face of many internal killings, have made it easy for external forces to use the same weapons to control us. In the face of our acquiescence to anti-democratic tendencies within the community, our plea for democracy becomes a meaningless exercise. Many individuals and young persons who voiced criticism of the political forces have been victimised, driven away, or killed while we looked on.”

Displayed in that very common room are photographs of our late academics since the inception of the University. The exclusion of Rajani’s picture has been commented upon by visitors for many years. The university authorities in 2014 (I think in retrospect it is wrong to single out the Vice Chancellor) blocked the observance of the 25th Anniversary of her murder while in harness. Her conducting examinations to a timetable made it easy for the killers to plan her murder.

A short stroll away from the common room, the 31st Anniversary of the LTTE’s Thileepan, whose ‘Gandhian’ fast to death under duress, to enable the Leader to snatch a political prize, was, this fall, celebrated as act of martyrdom in a grand ceremony; where the Vice Chancellor gave the lead. A few days later the installation of a monument to the LTTE-inaugurated ‘Tamils Arise’ (Pongu Thamil), was likewise graced by senior university officials.

The result is surreal. These proceedings take place under the tolerant eye of the Sri Lankan security forces, the same forces that in 2014 stopped the Medical Students Union’s commemoration of Rajani by issuing a threat to the Dean by phone.

The same university officials, who are prominent at current ceremonies glorifying the brutal extreme of Tamil Nationalism, put on a different face when dealing with the powers that be in Colombo, by whose tolerance the University continues its course of congenial decay. Its keeping out well qualified academics in order to reinforce a closed tradition of mediocrity, is in keeping with Pongu Thamil and its cult of heroism by which the most intimate and poignant aspects of our history have been reduced to gossip. That is one reason why Rajani is anathema.

Continue reading ‘“We Tamils Have Gone To The West, To New Delhi And Geneva In Search Of a Settlement That Eludes Us”.’ »

Canadian-Tamil Film “Roobha” Directed By Lenin M. Sivam Is About a Love Affair Between a Transgender And a Married Man

Roobha, is a Canadian-Sri Lankan Tamil film made by Lenin M.Siva. It is about a transgender and a married man falling in love and the trials and tribulations they face in society. It is to be premiered in Toronto on October 9.

She’s enchanting… and then she dances… A runaway train of intensity. A raw multi-layered look into feelings that many don’t understand. A relationship develops between an older Sri Lankan man and a young woman. He’s… married, with children, and she’s… a trans-woman. Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s also a beautifully thoughtful portrayal of what we all want… to love and be loved. ​Roobha weaves a unique romantic tale that deals with the complexities of personality and gender identity within the South-Asian community.
Continue reading ‘Canadian-Tamil Film “Roobha” Directed By Lenin M. Sivam Is About a Love Affair Between a Transgender And a Married Man’ »

India’s Respected English Daily Newspaper “The Hindu” Celebrating 140 Years of Publication Re-commits Itself To The Core Principles of Journalism.

By

N.Ram

(N. Ram is the Chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group)

The Hindu has been adapting to changing times, facing and overcoming a multitude of challenges, earning the trust and affection of millions of people across the country, and flourishing.

The Hindu has been adapting to changing times, facing and overcoming a multitude of challenges, earning the trust and affection of millions of people across the country, and flourishing. | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

From its modest beginnings in 1878, The Hindu has come a long way — and is poised to advance in the face of new challenges, its chief asset being its integrity combined with the public trust earned over the decades.
When The Hindu launched itself on September 20, 1878 on the strength of nothing but the ardent patriotism and commitment to progressive social reform of six young men who had managed to raise a rupee and three-quarters as seed capital, nothing seemed guaranteed, least of all longevity.

Continue reading ‘India’s Respected English Daily Newspaper “The Hindu” Celebrating 140 Years of Publication Re-commits Itself To The Core Principles of Journalism.’ »

Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album, ‘Twelve Piano Prisms’ Combines Sri Lankan Melodies With Music From Other Countries

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

‘Spotlight’ shines this week on a remarkable Sri Lankan woman whose qualitative contribution to the realm of music has been noteworthy. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, this column will deviate in practice this time to focus on the internationally-celebrated composer – pianist Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka, whose second solo album was released worldwide on 14 September 2018 , by Naxos Records.

Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka

Naxos Records is a member of the Naxos music group founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born entrepreneur based in Hong Kong. Naxos is the world’s leading classical music label as measured by the number of new recordings it releases and the depth and breadth of its catalogue. Dr. Ekanayaka has been contracted with Naxos since August 2014.

One of Sri Lanka’s Finest Artistes

Tanya Nissani Ilangakkone Ekanayaka, known professionally as Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka and personally as Tanya, is regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest artistes. The internationally-acclaimed award-winning Tanya Ekanayaka is currently based in Britain. She is employed at the Department of Music, Edinburgh College of Art in the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer, tutor and pianoforte performance teacher. Classically trained and with a background in popular and South Asian music, Tanya Ekanayaka is also a record producer, improviser and musicologist in addition to being a highly qualified linguist.
Continue reading ‘Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album, ‘Twelve Piano Prisms’ Combines Sri Lankan Melodies With Music From Other Countries’ »

Court of Appeal Decides to Go Ahead With Contempt of Court Proceedings Against Northern Chief Minister Rejecting Application By CV Wigneswaran to Defer CA Proceedings Until Supreme Court Order.

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

A request made by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran to defer contempt of court proceedings filed against him was yesterday rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Wigneswaran through his lawyer K.Kanag-iswaran PC made an application to defer contempt of court proceedings until the Supreme Court makes an order regarding a leave to appeal petition filed by his client.

However, the Court of Appeal’s two-judge-bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremesinghe and Justice Janak de Silva decided to proceed with the contempt of court charges.

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Decides to Go Ahead With Contempt of Court Proceedings Against Northern Chief Minister Rejecting Application By CV Wigneswaran to Defer CA Proceedings Until Supreme Court Order.’ »

Ex-Cabinet Minister Re-iterates That Several LTTE Members Including Ex-Eastern Commander Ramesh Were Executed By Army After They Surrendered To Advancing Troops in 2009.


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Rebel UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake has reiterated that the army executed some LTTE personnel including one-time LTTE Eastern Commander Thambiraja Thurairajasingham aka Ramesh after they surrendered to the advancing troops.

The declaration was made in response to a media query at the residence of former Deputy Speaker and National List MP Tilanga Sumathipala last week. Although, MP Dilan Perera tried to intervene on several occasions, Dissanayake, a Cabinet member of the previous Rajapaksa administration said that the media, too, were aware of some of those executed after they had surrendered though they remained silent. “Both you and we don’t talk about those who had been executed,” the National List MP said.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Cabinet Minister Re-iterates That Several LTTE Members Including Ex-Eastern Commander Ramesh Were Executed By Army After They Surrendered To Advancing Troops in 2009.’ »

Mahinda Loyalist Opposition Ready To Work With India Despite New Delhi Backing Rajapaksa Regime Change In Sri Lanka In Jan 2015

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday declared that it was ready to work with India in spite of misconceptions that may have led to New Delhi’s backing for the change of the Rajapaksa government in January 2015.

Former External Affairs Minister and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris explained that though there could have been faults on both parties, they had now realized the importance of a new relationship. Prof. Peiris was flanked by UPFA Kalutara District MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena and former Gampaha District JVP MP Siripala Amarasinghe.

Prof. Peiris said so in response to The Island query at media conference called by the SLPP at the Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Loyalist Opposition Ready To Work With India Despite New Delhi Backing Rajapaksa Regime Change In Sri Lanka In Jan 2015’ »

Trying To Turn India Into a Land For The Hindus Alone Goes Against Our Idea Of India as a Nation.

By

Nirupama Rao

(The author is a former Foreign Secretary of India who served as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka also)

I am a Hindu by birth and by enduring faith. The house that I was born into that my grandfather built, had no special puja room — but the plaster of Paris statue of a flute playing Krishna, the Ravi Varma oleographs of a Lakshmi rising from a lotus with elephants trumpeting their joy at her presence, the veena-playing Saraswati, and our special deity Lord Guruvayurappan, with beautiful Kartikeya and his “vel”(spear) and his vehicle, the peacock made up the pantheon of our isthtadevatas.

On my trips to my “native place” as we say in Indian English, I remember how every evening, the vilakku (bronze lamp) was lit with cotton wicks we lovingly made, dipped in gingelly oil, and brought out to the verandah of the tharawad (Hindu matrilineal family) house, with the heralding word: “Deepam” (lamp) repeated two or three times, quietly, with deep reverence. We would greet the sight of this burnished lamp and its brave, bright flame in a prayerful namaskar with bowed heads in a moment of blessed quietude, as imaginary and heavenly angels murmured in the dusk of a tropical Kerala garden around us.

Wherever we lived as children travelling the length and breadth of India with my army officer father, my homemaker mother would gather us three sisters together at dusk to say our prayers after she had lit the little vilakku that graced a small corner of the bedroom, auspiciously positioned.

We sat down cross-legged on the bare floor, put our hands together in prayer, and recited our Om Namashivaya, and sang a few bhajans including Gandhiji’s favourite “Raghupati Raghava”. We must have sung with youthful fervour and reasonable harmony because in one of the towns we lived in, the neighbouring Malayalee Catholic family with whom we shared a wall, the Pereiras, would listen tell my mother how much they loved our “evensong”. Them being Christian, and our being Hindu did not matter in those simple days.

Continue reading ‘Trying To Turn India Into a Land For The Hindus Alone Goes Against Our Idea Of India as a Nation.’ »

Tony Ranasinghe Was Not The Conventional Sinhala Hero But a New Kind of Modern Hero.

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Ranasinghe Hettiarachchilage Ignatius Anthony de Silva, known to the world at large by his stage cum screen name Tony Ranasinghe, was one of Sri Lankan cinema’s handsomest and most lovable actors. He excelled in playing both lead and character roles.

This column focused last week on Tony Ranasinge’s dynamic duality as a lead and character actor and also briefly outlined the preliminary steps of his passionate quest in pursuit of the goal of becoming an actor. In this week’s article ‘Spotlight’ intends beaming more light on Tony Ranasinghe’s cinematic journey as an artistically-acclaimed popular actor.
Continue reading ‘Tony Ranasinghe Was Not The Conventional Sinhala Hero But a New Kind of Modern Hero.’ »

” So Press On Mr. Sumanthiran! Your Road Is The Road To Peace And Justice” – Ratnejeevan Hoole

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Today, 15 September, 2018, saw one of the few really intellectual activities in Jaffna at Veerasingham Hall: the first C.W. Thamotharampillai Memorial Lecture. CWT was a legendary Tamil literatist of the nineteenth century credited with discovering some of the oldest extant Tamil literature like the Tolkapiyam and other lost Tamil Sangam works. The hall was packed to capacity.

A product of Jaffna’s Batticotta Seminary, CWT was ranked first between the first two graduates of Madras University. He was a judge and Regent of the Kingdom of Puthukkottai, and guardian to Ponnambalam and Coomaraswamy Ramanathan when they studied at Presidency College. Indeed, CWT was one of Jaffna’s finest products in the intellectual sphere.

After Jaffna University History Professor Paramu Pushparatnam’s introduction to who Thamotharampillai was, there was a sort of mock interview of M.A. Sumanthiran, MP, by Provincial Councilor Kesavan Sayanthan. Sayanthan, an upcoming lawyer, asked questions based on common criticism of Sumanthiran and it seemed a healthy way of addressing such criticism.

For example, a question was “Is it true that you will leave the ITAK and join the UNP for the next elections as a nominated member?” Answer: No. Question, “How come you have not even rented a house in Jaffna and are so Colombo Centered?” Answer: “Why would I rent a house in Jaffna when I own one here.” Question: “Why do you say that federalism is not required? Why are you taking the party against what the people wanted and voted for?” Denying this was the cue for Sumanthiran’s lecture on “The Extent of Federalism Today.”

Continue reading ‘” So Press On Mr. Sumanthiran! Your Road Is The Road To Peace And Justice” – Ratnejeevan Hoole’ »

The House of a Thousand Memories Talks To Me…………Random Thoughts of a Childhood Long Gone.

By

Sunil Tantirige

A house talks…………Memories of a childhood long gone.

I have just returned to Toronto from a short trip to Sri Lanka. I have been going back to the old country every year to visit my ailing mom but this trip was different. Let me explain.

I grew up in Mount Lavinia, in a pretty normal middle class neighborhood. People who lived there were mostly professionals who served the Government of Sri Lanka in the 1960s and 70s. They were civil service officers, educators, postal service professionals, doctors, engineers and retired army officers. It was a multi-religious, multi-ethnic neighborhood, Singhalese living next door to Tamils, Burgers and Muslims. Buddhists sharing the area with Christians, Hindus and people of Islamic faith. Not a lot of mixing of these groups but aware of each other’s cultural activities and traditions. Everyone respecting other’s right to a normal life with friendships that cross racial and religious boundaries. This was before the 30 years of collective madness that tore the societies apart. I lived the story that Shyam Selvadurai wrote about in his book Funny Boy. We the kids all went to the same collection schools in Colombo, boys crazy about school cricket and girls crazy about Elvis Presley and later, of course the Beatles.
Continue reading ‘The House of a Thousand Memories Talks To Me…………Random Thoughts of a Childhood Long Gone.’ »

Lankan Envoy to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Five Embassy Staff on Extension Recalled to Colombo Immediately After President Sirisena’s Long – Distance Calls to Vienna Were Not Answered.

President Maithripala Sirisena has given marching orders to his ambassador to Austria and five other embassy staff for failing to answer his long-distance telephone calls, officials said Saturday.

Ambassador Priyanee Wijesekera was recalled after she failed to answer his calls last week and no responsible officer was there to respond to the President, an official source said.

Wijesekera was a former Secretary General of Parliament who was appointed ambassador post-retirement.

Continue reading ‘Lankan Envoy to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Five Embassy Staff on Extension Recalled to Colombo Immediately After President Sirisena’s Long – Distance Calls to Vienna Were Not Answered.’ »

Rajapaksa Govt Ex-ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Dilan Perera Admit That Some LTTE Members and Tamil Civilians Who Surrendered to the Armed Forces Were Killed.

Two former ministers who served during the Rajapaksa regime have admitted that LTTE members including Tamils who had surrendered to the Army had been killed.

This allegation has been levelled against the Sri Lankan security forces for almost ten years by the war affected Tamil including the Diaspora and the international Human Rights Organisations, and the charge was accepted by two former ministers who are working hard towards the unification of the Maithripala and Mahinda factions.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Govt Ex-ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Dilan Perera Admit That Some LTTE Members and Tamil Civilians Who Surrendered to the Armed Forces Were Killed.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake May Face Legal Action For Allegedly Lying Five Times Under Oath Before Presidential Commission of Inquiry But Ex-Minister Alleges “Travesty of Justice”.

By
Anurangi Singh

Officials of the Financial Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) dropped another bombshell last week, when they filed a B report in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, in a first step to filing legal action against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, for allegedly making false statements under oath before the Presidential Commission investigating the 2015 Treasury Bond issue that completed investigations late last year.

Filing the B report before Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake, CID officials requested court to issue several orders to facilitate further investigations.

After considering facts presented to him by Senior State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama with State Counsel Nadee Suwandurugoda, the Chief Magistrate issued a series of orders directing telecom providers to issue call records, SMS records and their contents, the time of these calls and messages all pertaining to several suspects including UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake.

The Chief Magistrate ordered that the information obtained would be kept under safe custody of the court until necessary.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake May Face Legal Action For Allegedly Lying Five Times Under Oath Before Presidential Commission of Inquiry But Ex-Minister Alleges “Travesty of Justice”.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena,Ravindra Wijegunaratne and the Alleged Abduction For Ransom Racket By Navy Personnel.

By

The “Sunday Observer” Political Editor

At 3.30 am on September 10, Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne, the country’s highest ranking military official, boarded a Qatar Airways flight bound for Singapore. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was travelling overseas to attend the 208th National Day celebrations in Mexico, according to his Office. The trouble was, September 10 was also the day Admiral Wijeguneratne was due to report to the CID to record an official statement regarding the allegation that the top military officer had harboured a suspect – a Navy man who was wanted in connection with the abduction and suspected murder of 11 Tamil youth, including five students.

Later that day, a letter was dispatched to the Fourth Floor – the famous CID headquarters. It was delivered by an official from the CDS’ office. The letter officially notified the CID that the Admiral had been called away on an official visit overseas, and would not be able to appear at the CID offices as scheduled last Monday (10). Instead, the letter requested CID officials to provide a fresh date after September 19, when he was scheduled to return to the island.

Late last week, the impending questioning and arrest of Admiral Wijeguneratne had taken on new political dimensions.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena,Ravindra Wijegunaratne and the Alleged Abduction For Ransom Racket By Navy Personnel.’ »

Case Filed Against Ex- Cabinet Minister Ravi Karunanayake by CID Under Sections 188 and 190 of Penal Code for Giving False Evidence Under Oath To the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Probing Treasury Bond Scam.

By Manopriya Gunasekara

The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) yesterday filed a case against former Finance Minister MP Ravi Karunanayake at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court for giving false evidence to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Central Bank bond scam.

The CID giving statements before Court said that MP Karunanayake had intentionally given false evidence while under oath, which was punishable under Sections 188 and 190 of the Penal Code.

The Colombo Magistrate ordered the CID to obtain statements from six individuals connected with the case including MP Karunanayake, Mela Karunanayake (wife), Onela Karunanayake (daughter), Global Transportation and Logistics Chief Accountant B.J.R. Sinnaiyya, Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius and Bond Commission Secretary Attorney-at-Law Sumathipala Udugamsuriya.

Continue reading ‘Case Filed Against Ex- Cabinet Minister Ravi Karunanayake by CID Under Sections 188 and 190 of Penal Code for Giving False Evidence Under Oath To the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Probing Treasury Bond Scam.’ »

Cabinet Ministers Refuse to Go Along With President Sirisena’s Effort to Prevent Arrest of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne For Allegedly Helping Naval Officer Implicated in Abduction and Murdedr Racket to Evade Arrest.

President Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting to defend the country’s senior-most military officer who is facing imminent arrest for allegedly shielding a mass murder suspect, but failed to secure agreement.

The noon meeting of the cabinet ended after heated exchanges, sources close to the administration said adding that the President failed in get support and the issue was put off until the return to the island of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Cabinet ministers had been told to maintain silence over the issue until the return of Wickremesinghe who is visiting Vietnam.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Ministers Refuse to Go Along With President Sirisena’s Effort to Prevent Arrest of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne For Allegedly Helping Naval Officer Implicated in Abduction and Murdedr Racket to Evade Arrest.’ »

TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran Charges President Sirisena of Interference With the Judicial Process in Letting CDS Wijegunaratne Leave the Country and Says Party will Seek International Scrutiny Over the Issue.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Continuing controversy over Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravi Wijegunaratne, wanted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with allegedly aiding and abetting Lt. Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, a suspect in two major wartime cases, leaving for Mexico on Sept. 10 has taken a dramatic turn with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) demanding that the entire range of accountability issues here should be subjected to international judicial process.

Jaffna District MP and TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran, PC, yesterday morning told The Island that President Maithripala Sirisena’s direct intervention in the matter left the TNA with no alternative but to call for international help. Sumanthiran emphasised that interference by ‘highest authorities in the country’ meant that the victims couldn’t expect justice through domestic judicial process.

The TNA has gone on the offensive ahead of President Sirisena’s address to the UNGA on Sept 25. Comprehensive international participation in local judicial process is allowed in accordance with Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in Oct 2015. In March 2017, Sri Lanka, while reiterating its commitment to the Oct 2015 Resolution, assured Geneva it would be fulfilled by March 2019.

Continue reading ‘TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran Charges President Sirisena of Interference With the Judicial Process in Letting CDS Wijegunaratne Leave the Country and Says Party will Seek International Scrutiny Over the Issue.’ »

Celebrated Composer – Pianist Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album “Twelve Piano Prisms” To Be Released Worldwide by Naxos Records on Sep 14th

Internationally acclaimed award -winning Sri Lankan Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s second solo album will be released worldwide by Naxos Records on September 14th 2018. The album titled “Twelve Piano Prisms” comprises 12 new works for solo piano which evolved in 2016 and 2017.Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka herself performs the works/prisms in the album recorded by Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop and produced by Tanya for Naxos.

Regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest artistes, Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka is classically trained with a background in Asian and Popular music. The British concert composer- pianist is also a linguist, musicologist and record producer. Although she trained as a pianist, her compositional skills are the result of a purely intuitive and natural development.

Continue reading ‘Celebrated Composer – Pianist Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album “Twelve Piano Prisms” To Be Released Worldwide by Naxos Records on Sep 14th’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Says He Could Contest Presidential Elections Despite 19th Amendment and Then Fight it out in Courts But Has Not Decided Whether to Take That Risk in Interview with “The Hindu”.

By
Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah

Former Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa is in Delhi to deliver a public lecture on Wednesday on “India-Sri Lanka relations: the way ahead”. Speaking to The Hindu, the former President, who says he is “100%” confident his party will come to power in 2019, proposed a new mechanism for India and Sri Lanka to resolve all issues, especially economic issues. The mechanism would mirror the “Troika” formed in 2008-2009 of three Indian officials — National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh — and three Sri Lankan officials — Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa and Permanent Secretary Lalith Weeratunga — to coordinate India-Sri Lanka ties during the war against the LTTE. in 2008-2009.

Mr. Rajapaksa also denied the charge that he set off incurred Sri Lanka’s debt trap by bringing Chinese companies into the Hambantota port project, saying that the situation had only been “messed up” by the present government.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q;
You have had a rocky relationship with India. Is your visit here a sign of reconciliation with the Modi government after 2015?

A;

Yes. Just before and after the elections [(in 2015], we had a lot of misunderstandings. Now of course, I think it is about time to move on.

Q:

In March 2015, in an interview to The Hindu, you had accused R&AW, the intelligence agency, of helping bring the opposition together, which led to your defeat. A few weeks ago you said that India must not “meddle” in political affairs in Lanka. Are you worried it will?

A;

It isn’t only India. I didn’t mention just India. I said no one should meddle with somebody else’s elections. It is an internal matter of a country whom the people decide to bring to power. That was in my mind. I think now they all have understood what went wrong at that time and what they did. So we need to forget about the past. This is the time to move forward and look forward.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Says He Could Contest Presidential Elections Despite 19th Amendment and Then Fight it out in Courts But Has Not Decided Whether to Take That Risk in Interview with “The Hindu”.’ »

Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne Could not Have Left For Mexico Without the Knowledge of President Sirisena Who Is the Minister of Defence Charges NMSJ Co-convenor Sarath Wijesuriya.

President Maithripala Sirisena should take the responsibility for Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne leaving the country to participate in 208th Independence Commemoration Ceremony of United Mexican States, Sarath Wijesuriya, co-convener of the National Movement for Social Justice told the media yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne Could not Have Left For Mexico Without the Knowledge of President Sirisena Who Is the Minister of Defence Charges NMSJ Co-convenor Sarath Wijesuriya.’ »