Remembering Comrade Bala Tampoe the Legendary Trade Union Leader on his 93rd Birth Anniversary -May 23

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark” is perhaps an apt description of how the International Workers Day was observed in Sri Lanka on May 1st. Instead of being given pride of place on May Day, the workers and their trade union leaders were virtually ignored by the political parties conducting rallies and processions …

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♬ P. Leela, ‘Forgotten’ Singer Who Sang Unforgettable Songs In Tamil Cinema ♥

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj I was pleasantly surprised this week when a South Indian journal asked me to revise an article I had written earlier about the singer Porayathu Leela – popularly known as P. Leela. The request for an article to denote Leela’s birthday was most unexpected as she had passed away 10 years ago …

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Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment is Rajiv Gandhi’s Political Legacy in Sri Lanka

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Today May 21st is the 24th death anniversary of former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He was killed on May 21st 1991. The date of Rajiv Gandhi’s death has poignant significance for me personally. May 21st is the date of my birth. My birth and his death which happened thirty – seven …

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“Brigadier” Balraj: Seventh Death Anniversary of Legendary LTTE Commander Who Led From the Front

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Kandiah Balasegaran alias Balraj the legendary military commander of the LTTE died of a heart attack on May 20th 2008.This article is an updated amalgamated version of articles written by me in 2008 and 2011 about him. It is being published here to denote the seventh death anniversary of “Brigadier” Balraj – DBSJ) …

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Katharine “Kate” Hepburn holds Oscar record for most wins in acting category

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj 12 May was the birthday of an actress who was described by the American Film Institute as the “greatest American screen legend” among female stars. Katharine Hepburn, known popularly as Kate Hepburn, with her regal appearance and distinctive patrician-sounding accent, strode majestically across stage and screen in an acting career spanning more than …

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May 2009 Military Debacle at Mullivaaikkaal Results in Defeat of LTTE and Death of Tiger Leader Prabhakaran.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it” – Omar Khayyam in the Rubaiyat (translated into English by Sir Edward Fitzgerald) The month of May is significant …

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How Jayalalithaa Sparkled on Silver Screen in her Actress Avatar as Uncrowned Queen of Tamil Cinema.

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Ex-Film actress Ms.jayalalithaa Jayaram who was convicted over charges of acquiring disproportionate wealth has now been acquitted of all charges by the Karnataka High Court which heard her appeal.This article written for “Spotlight” Column in the “Daily Financial Times” of October 11th 2014 is re-posted here without …

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Gregory Peck’s flu cured by ginger-coriander tea when filming in Ceylon

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The ‘Spotlight’ column returns after a lengthy interval. The focus this time is on American actor Gregory Peck. There is no particular reason other than nostalgia for writing about this former Hollywood idol at this time. Born in 1916, Peck passed away in 2003. So this year 2015 does not mark any …

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How JR Jayewardene Ushered in the Executive Presidency in 1978

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The successful passage of the 19th Constitutional amendment in Parliament with an overwhelming majority has resulted in the Executive Presidency ushered in by the 1978 Constitution losing some if not all of its powers. This in turn has focused the spotlight on the first Executive President of Sri Lanka –Junius Richard Jayewardene …

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

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki popularly known as S. Janaki celebrated her 77th birthday on April 23rd. The well known Indian singer of film songs who is praised as the “nightingale of the South” was born on April 23rd 1938 during the British colonial period at Pallapatla in Repalle. The Repalle town is located …

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“Taraki” Sivaram: From Gun Toting Militant to Pen Wielding Journalist

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The tenth death anniversary of well-known columnist D.P.Sivaram who wrote under the pseudonym of “Taraki” falls this week. Dharmaretnam Puvirajakeerthi Sivaram who wrote in English and Tamil was abducted on April 28th 2005 at Bambalapitiya around 10. 30 pm.His body was found about four hours later by the Police on the banks …

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How the LTTE Captured Elephant Pass Army Camp 15 Years ago Through an “Encircle and Enfeeble” war Strategy

By D.B.S. JEYARAJ “And everybody praised the Duke Who this great fight did win.” “But what good came of it at last?” Quoth little Peterkin. “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he, “But ’twas a famous victory.” – Robert Southey -“ The Battle of Blenheim” Fifteen years ago on April 22nd 2000 the strategic Elephant …

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Sirima Bandaranaike: “Weeping Widow” who Became World’s First Woman Prime Minister

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Friday April 17th was the 99th Birth Anniversary of Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike who created history as the world’s first woman Prime minister. The 55th anniversary of her being appointed as the then Ceylon’s premier falls on July 21st this year.The Island’s elder stateswoman was in active politics for almost forty years .She …

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♥ Remembering PB Sreenivas and His Enchanting Duets With S. Janaki ♫

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The traditional April new year dawned on a sad note for me last year.I woke up to the news that well –known singer of film songs Prathivadi Bayankara Sreenivas (P.B.S) had passed away in India. He was one of my favourite filmsong singers.I grew up with the Tamil film songs of people …

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History of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka has been Mired in Controversy

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Actions speak louder than words! A very effective message regarding the contentious issue of the national anthem being sung in Tamil also was sent out early this week to the nation in general and the Tamil people in particular in the form of exemplary concrete action by the triumvirate comprising President Maithripala Sirisena, …

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Singing the National Anthem in Tamil Hailing “Mother Lanka” as “Sri Lanka Thaaye”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Once upon a time there was a Beautiful Island with wonderful people that was regarded as God’s own country. After gaining Independence from a colonial power the modern nation with an ancient civilisation adopted a national anthem of its own.The anthem was written in the language spoken by the majority of its inhabitants. …

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Recurring Phenomenon of “Traitorization” in Tamil Nationalist Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The phenomenon of “Traitorization” in Tamil Nationalist Politics has raised its ugly head again. I use the word traitorization instead of treachery or treason in order to differentiate between those who are actually treacherous or really committing treason as opposed to those being accused or labelled as “traitorous” or traitors. The reality is …

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Imperative Need to Support Tamil Moderates in the Struggle Against Extremists

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) was formed in 1949 by a dissident faction of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) led by well –known lawyer G.G. Ponnambalam. The new party was called the Federal party in English though its name in Tamil stood for “Ceylon Tamil State Party”. The break away group …

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Tamil “Extremists” Target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Tamil National Alliance(TNA)Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP and TNA National list Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran won many hearts and minds by participating in the official Independence day ceremony held in Battaramulla on February 4th. The diplomatic community in Colombo hailed it as a commendable symbolic gesture towards ethnic reconciliation in a land torn asunder …

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Upali Wijewardena: Memories of Sri Lanka’s Unforgettable Indigenous Tycoon

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj If Philip Upali Wijewardena was among the living he would have reached the Seventy-seven on February 17th. Alas, this was not to be as he disappeared 32 years ago on Feb 13th , just four days before his 45th birthday . This article written years ago is updated and posted here as …

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Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran meets President Sirisena and “Explains” his Northern Provincial Council Resolution on “Genocide of Tamils”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Supreme court judge and current Northern Province chief minister CV Wigneswaran met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential secretariat in Colombo on Thursday February 12th and discussed a number of issues including the controversial resolution passed by the Northern provincial council accusing successive sri Lankan regimes of committing genocide of the …

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Heroic Saga of an Eastern Warrior: Lt. Col Kausalyan – Batticaloa-Amparai LTTE Political Chief

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) political commissar for Batticaloa and Amparai districts Eliyathamby Nagenthiran Lingarasa alias Kausalyan was assassinated on February 7th 2005. This article published in “The Sunday Leader”then is reproduced to denote his 10th death anniversary…..DBSJ) It was the third day of March last year. Around 125 to 150 senior …

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Ariyanayagam Chandranehru: Tamil Nationalist son of the Eastern soil

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former Tamil National Alliance Amparai district MP Ariyanayagam Chandranehru was assassinated on February 7th 2005. This Article published then in “The Sunday Leader”is reproduced here to denote his 10th death anniversary………….DBSJ) Ariyanayagam Chandranehru was the latest unfortunate casualty caught in the crossfire of a dirty war between the LTTE and its former Eastern …

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Eastern Tiger Political Chief Kausalyan, TNA Amparai Dist Ex-MP Chandranehru and 7 Others Shot Dead 10 Years Ago

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj (Former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) political commissar for Batticaloa and Amparai districts Eliyathamby Nagenthiran Lingarasa alias Kausalyan and Tamil National Alliance (TNA)ex-parliamentarian from Amparai district Ariyanayagam Chandranehru and seven others were assassinated along the Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa road on February 7th 2005. This article published in “The Sunday Leader” at that …

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67 Years of Independence, Nation Building and the Future of Tamils in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-seventh Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Wednesday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka / has faced many challenges and problems in the past 67 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal …

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How the JVP Fought a Guerilla War Against the Indian Army in Trincomalee

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Leading Politbureau member of Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Kumara Mahathaya” a.k.a. Noel Mudalige is very much in the news these days.There is much speculation that Kumar (whose full name is Premakumar Gunaratnam) who is currently in Sri Lanka on a month long tourist visa may not obtain an extension and …

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How Ex-Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka was Arrested by the Rajapaksa Regime on Feb 8th 2010

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka is very much in the news these days. The former army commander has had his lost rank, titles, honours, decorations and civic rights restored. He is likely to be made Field Marshall and may very well enter Parliament in the days to come. General Fonseka was deprived …

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Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s Attempt in 2013 to Obstruct Justice to Safeguard Son Daham who Attacked Asela Waidyalankara

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former Health minister Maithripala Sirisena is the man of the moment having quit the UPFA Govt and coming forward as the common opposition candidate challenging incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Presidency with the slogan “Supirisidu Nayakathwayak, Maithree Palanayak”.This article was written by me at a time when Maithripala Sirisena was riding high …

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Re-elect Mahinda or Elect Maithripala as President?- Day of Decision for Sri Lanka!

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj January 8th 2015 is upon us! It’s the Day of decision for Sri Lanka as it faces yet another election to either re-elect or elect the most powerful person in the Country. My thoughts and prayers with all Sri Lankans as they cast their votes in what is perhaps the most crucially …

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Is Maithripala Sirisena Who was Acting Defence Minister During the Last Two Weeks of War Implicated in Alleged War Crimes?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj What was the nature of the role played by Former Health minister and current Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the final phase of the war conducted against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)? The question is of great relevance and grave significance at a time when the United Nations Human …

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How President Rajapaksa Captivated the Hearts of Tamil Children at “Sencholai” Home run by “KP” at Kilinochchi

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj September 14th 2013 was a red letter day for the people of Kilinochchi as the “Yarl Devi” Train streamed into Kilinochchi after many years on that Saturday.Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself was on board the train as a special passenger during the 35 minute journey of the “Yarl Devi” from Omanthai.He had …

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Rise of the Ruhunu Rajapaksas and Medamulana Mahinda’s Journey to President’s House.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa, known to his country and the world at large as Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrated his 69th birthday on 18th November. Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President has been at the helm of the nation for nine years since November 2005. Currently he is poised to create a record of sorts by …

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Five of my Favourite Christmas Carols – How they Originated and Became Widely Popular

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year Friends! It’s Christmas season again! An integral part of Christmas is the singing of Christmas carols in churches as well as at events celebrating Christmas. The Many Faces of Christmas – Shaped Wooden Puzzle from Sri Lanka ~ Photographed at an exhibit of over 900 …

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How the People of Sri Lanka United Briefly to Help Each Other After the Tsunami 10 years Ago

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Ten years ago on December 26th 2004 a series of giant Tsunami waves engulfed the coasts and littoral areas in different parts of Sri Lanka. It was a terrible tragedy that resulted in tremendous loss of human life,limb and property.Until the destructive waves rolled over our shores on that fateful day most …

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How Senior Minister from Polonnaruwa CP de Silva Crossed Over With 13 MP’s From SLFP Govt on Dec 3rd 1964

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Fifty years ago on December 3rd 1964 , Charles Percival de Silva the minister of Land, Irrigation and Power in the SLFP-LSSP Coalition Government of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike crossed over to the opposition in dramatic fashion with a group of thirteen MP’s. The CP de Silva crossover as the event was …

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Tale of Two Crossovers by Rajarata Stalwarts: CP de Silva in 1964 and Maithripala Sirisena in 2014.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The controversial cross over of Senior minister Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa to the opposition and related developments have evoked memories of another cross over from treasury benches to the opposite side by another senior minister from the Rajarata 50 …

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Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Great Heroes Day Event Observed by the LTTE

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD).Twenty five years have passed since then and the silver jubilee of the event is today Nov 27th 2014. The event continues to be observed on a large scale by …

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Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Prabhakaran: 60th Birth Anniversary of LTTE Leader ON Nov 26

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj If Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)leader Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran was alive now, he would be celebrating his 60th birth anniversary on November 26th.The tiger supremo who was killed in Mullaitheevu district on May 19th 2009 was for decades the determining force in Sri Lankan politics.Though Prabhakaran is no more, the Sri Lankan …

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Officially Sanctioned Unofficial Execution of JVP Supremo Rohana Wijeweera 25 Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Patabandi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera known to the world at large as Rohana Wijeweera was killed twenty –five years ago on November 13th 1989.The revolutionary leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or Peoples Liberation Front was 49 years old at the time of his death. The mastermind behind two bloody insurrections – in …

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How the LTTE Enforced a Boycott in 2005 to Prevent Ranil Becoming President

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” -Karl Marx Karl Marx expanded famously on Friedrich Hegel’s remark about “history”occurring twice and stated that history repeats firstly as tragedy and secondly …

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Gamini Fonseka and Lester James Peries: Cinematic relationship of an actor and director

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ten years ago on 30 September the brightest light of Sri Lankan cinema went out. Gamini Fonseka, the monarch of Sinhala moviedom, passed away peacefully on that day. Gamini Fonseka was my favourite actor on the Sinhala silver screen and became an important part of my childhood. This week’s ‘Spotlight’ focuses on him …

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Will the TNA Reveal Truth About Killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam by LTTE Ten Years ago?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The assortment of political parties known as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is regarded as the premier political configuration representing the Sri Lankan Tamils in Parliament, the Northern and Eastern provincial councils and various local authorities in the north and east.The TNA has in recent times ardently supported the ongoing probe on Sri Lanka …

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Phenomenal Influence of Films and Film Personalities on Politics in India’s Tamil Nadu State

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been ruled alternately by two “Dravidian”political parties since 1967.One is the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham(DMK)under the command of nonagenarian Muttuvel Karunanidhi. The other party currently in the saddle is the All- India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham(AIADMK)which is led by Jayalalithaa Jayaram who was removed from chief …

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Nonis Resignation Accepted but Sajin Denies Assaulting Chris While Kshenuka Says Nonis Abused her in Foul Language – President Rajapaksa Orders Inquiry.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In what appears to be a remarkable turn of events , President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered a twin pronged inquiry into the incident in New York on September 24 involving Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr. Chris Nonis, Galle district Parliamentarian and External Affairs ministry monitoring MP Mr. Sajin de …

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Jayalalithaa Jayaram: From Alluring Actress to Powerful Politician

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This Article is a condensed version of an article written on the occasion of Ms. Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s 60th birthday in 2008.It was reproduced here on the occasion of the Tamil Nadu Chief minister’s 66th birthday early this year on February 24th. Now it is posted here again without any changes at a time …

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The Assassination of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike 55 Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The three –decade period of intense conflict from 1983 to 2009 has resulted in hundreds of political assassinations in Sri Lanka. Both Tamil and Sinhala armed groups have been responsible for these killings at different times and diverse locations. The killings of those who held or were holding high political office were so …

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Gamini Fonseka the Uncrowned Monarch of Sinhala Cinema:Tenth Death Anniversary Tribute.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj (It was Ten years ago on September 30th that Sembuge Gamini Shelton Fonseka known generally as Gamini Fonseka passed away at the age of 68.The uncrowned monarch of Sinhala cinema was one of my favourite actors since the age of eight when I first saw -“Ranmuthuduwa”-a film starring him at the Gamini …

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

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 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 …

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Magical Influence of MHM Ashraff Over Muslim Masses Lingers on Even After 14 Years

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This is a period of time in Sri Lanka which is referred to as “Ashraff season” in lighter vein by observers of the Sri Lankan Muslim political scene. The Country witnesses a series of meetings and events paying tribute to the late Muslim Congress leader MHM Ashraff during this period. From the date …

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Michelangelo Antonioni Masterpiece ‘L’Avventura’ at International Film Festival Colombo

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj In my earlier writings on the film scene in Sri Lanka before launching the ‘Spotlight’ column, there were two things I emphasised as being necessary for the upliftment of serious cinema in the island – one was the need to establish a fully-fledged Film Institute; the other was about holding an international …

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Comrade Bala Tampoe: Life and Times of a Legendary Trade Union Leader-1

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj When news reached me in Toronto that Philips Balendra Tampoe popularly known as Bala Tampoe had passed away in Colombo on September 1st 2014, I felt somewhat guilt ridden and remorse stricken. The reason for these feelings was that with Bala being no more there was no way in which I could …

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

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

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Veteran Trade Union leader Bala Tampoe has passed away in Colombo at the age of 92. Philips Balendra Tampoe born on May 23rd 1922 was a legend in his lifetime being general secretary since 1948 to date of the Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General workers union known popularly as the CMU. Having interacted …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ♫ “Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan”♫ The fourth season of Vijay TV Airtel Supersinger Competition has concluded with a fairy tale ending. The winner Diwakar is from a humble social background and without any formal training in singing. Diwakar was not only the choice of the Judges, but also of the people who endorsed …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj It was five years ago on August 5th 2009 that Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” the chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was captured in Malaysia and brought to Colombo in a well-planned operation amounting to an “extraordinary rendition”. KP who had served for many years as the chief arms procurer …

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TULF Leader Amirthalingam Assassination in 1989: President Premadasa’s UNP Govt Shields LTTE From Blame.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj An official delegation representing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) was engaged in negotiations with the Government of President Ranasinghe Premadasa in Colombo when Former Leader of the opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam and his colleague Vettivelu Yogeswaran were assassinated by a tiger hit squad on July 13th 1989.The assassination caused much embarrassment to …

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Sivaji Ganesan: Tamil cinema’s versatile actor par excellence

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The first Tamil film which impacted on me greatly during childhood was ‘Veera Pandiya Kattabomman’. It was a kind of bio-picture about a ‘Paalayakkaaran’ or Polygar (feudal chieftain) who defied the British during the last decade of the 18th Century and paid the supreme penalty. Kattabomman whose full name was Veera Pandiya …

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Assassination of Tamil Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam by the LTTE 25 Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj July 13th 1989 was the date on which the well-known Sri Lankan Tamil leader Appapillai Amirthalingam was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE).The former leader of the Opposition was a national list MP of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF)at the time he was gunned down in Colombo. Amirthalingam was killed along …

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Lester James Peries and the Making of his Path-breaking Sinhala film “Rekava”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj ‘Rekava’ or the line of destiny was the path-breaking film by Lester James Peries which altered the destiny of Sinhala cinema. (Though Rekava is spelled with both a ‘v’ as well as a ‘w’ in English, I am sticking to v because the original titles shown in the film spelled it with …

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Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-first Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.

(This article was posted last year to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again in view of the 31st anniversary without any change except a minor one in the heading) by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Shops, Banks, Offices and Restaurants in the Capital’s crowded City Centre and Main Streets being burnt …

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D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s Journey Home: Journalist in Exile Visits Sri Lanka for the First Time in 25 Years

Marianne David Interviews DBS Jeyaraj for DailyFT Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Introduction Forced into exile 25 years ago and compelled to stay away in order to stay alive, journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj always dreamt of returning to Sri Lanka. That flame of hope flickered occasionally, as the war dragged on and then escalated despite intermittent ceasefires, …

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TNA Must Promote Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka by Exposing LTTE Human Rights Violations at the UN Probe.

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay known as Navi Pillay has presented a “fait accompli” as her parting gift to an unreceptive Sri Lanka! After weeks of speculation and expectation the UN Human rights chief has formally announced the setting up of an investigative panel to conduct a comprehensive …

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LTTE-TNA Nexus:Why the TNA was Formed and How the LTTE Gained Control of it.

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The suggestion made in this column last week that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should promote truth, accountability and reconciliation by taking the lead in presenting evidence before the investigation to be conducted by the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s office has evoked much controversy Overseas activists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil …

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Former Sinhala Soldier Who Collaborated with LTTE During War Arrested in Malaysia Along with Two Tamils and One Muslim

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Malaysian Police in a sweeping counter terrorist operation launched simultaneously on Thursday July 3rd 2014 arrested four persons of Sri Lankan origin suspected of terrorist activity with alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) and an Islamic extremist group. It is learnt reliably that one of those arrested is a …

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Fathima Thahir,the Family Owned Provision Store in Battaramulla and a Rock Flung in the Dark.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Fathima Thahir is a Muslim woman in her forties who manages a small provision store owned by her family in the Colombo suburb of Battaramulla. The store “Fathima Stores”was named after her by her father who founded it in 1949 long before Battaramulla experienced the current scale of urban development.”Fathima Stores” on 192 …

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Anatomy of Anti-Muslim Violence: How “Bodhu Bala Sena” Mobs Caused Mayhem in Aluthgama and Beruwela

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A curfew was clamped down in the Aluthgama and Beruwela Police divisions of Kalutara district in the Western Province of Sri Lanka following an outbreak of communal violence on Sunday June 15th 2014 that was triggered off by the “Ethno Religious Fascist” Organization the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS). “If they come in thousands….we …

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Former Finland President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari Likely to Jointly Lead UN Probe on Sri Lanka with Dame Sylvia Cartwright of New Zealand

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj A highly respected statesman of international stature with immense experience in helping resolve prickly issues in the sphere of international relations is strongly tipped to co- head the forthcoming UN Probe on Sri Lanka. Martti Ahtisaari It is learnt reliably that former Finland President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari has …

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Muslim Owned “No Limit” Large Clothing Store at Panadura in Western Sri Lanka Burnt Down in “Mysterious” Pre-dawn Fire

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The tense situation prevailing in the Kalutara district of Sri Lanka’s Western Province after the occurrence of anti-muslim vioence last week took a sharp turn for the worse in the early hours of the morning on Saturday June 21st when a large,well-known Muslim owned apparel store cum showroom in the Panadura town was …

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Commendable Court Order Curtails Anti-Muslim Activities of the Bodhu Bala Sena in Badulla.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Pre- emptive action by the Police and Courts in Badulla has prevented the Bodhu Bala Sena and Sihala Ravaya from instigating anti-Muslim violence in the salubrious capital of Uva province as in the case of Aluthgama in the Western province . BBS in Badulla in May 2014-pic via twitter.com/Camp4justice Plans by the ethno …

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Armed Anti-Muslim Gangs Continue to Roam Freely in the Aluthgama Area Restricting Access to Muslim Victims of Violence

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Although Prime Minister DM Jayaratne has informed Parliament that the situation in Aluthgama, Dharga Nagar, Beruwela and other areas have been normalised , the actual reality in the troubled region is different say informed sources who visited those places recently. pic via~bbc.com According to these sources armed gangs of thugs and hoodlums describing …

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Three Top Tourist Hotels in Sri Lanka Refuse to Let Tamil Journalism Workshop be Conducted on Premises Due to “Threats”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Related events over the past few weeks have raised serious questions whether Sri Lankan journalists in general and Tamil media personnel in particular have the basic right of conducting or participating in a training workshop designed to improve or develop their professional skills. Inter-linked incidents in Polonnaruwa, Negombo and Colombo where three top …

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Former Gampaha MP S.D. Bandaranayake the Colourful Maverick Known as “Imbulgoda Veeraya” Passes Away at 97 Years of Age

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj SD Bandaranayake, one of Sri Lanka’s colourful Political personalities passed away on June 3rd 2014 at the ripe old age of 97. The funeral of the man who represented the Gampaha constituency for thirty years in Parliament will be conducted on Saturday June 7th at the Chandrajothi school grounds in Yakkala.The laird …

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Former New Zealand Governor- General Silvia Cartwright Appointed by Navi Pillay to “Lead”UN Team Probing Last Seven Years of War in Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Governor-general and Campodian war crimes Tribunal judge Dame Silvia Cartwright has been appointed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navanetham Pillay as one of two senior human rights experts to “lead” the UN team that would probe the war in Sri Lanka for the period 2002 to 2009. The team of …

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Navi Pillay Appoints Sandra Beidas who was Expelled by South Sudan for”Unethical”Human Rights Investigation as Chief Coordinator of UN Probe into Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A senior UN woman official who was expelled by South Sudan for allegedly conducting an unethical probe into human rights violations in the country has now been appointed as the senior coordinator of the probe into Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is reliably learnt that UN High …

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LTTE “Airforce” Deputy Chief Kushanthan of Tiger Trio Arrested in Malaysia is a “Prize Catch” for Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj It was in April this year that this column exclusively reported for the “Daily Mirror” about how Subramaniam Kapilan alias Nanthagopan had been deported on March 6th 2014 to Sri Lanka from Malaysia with the assistance of law enforcement authorities in Iran and Malaysia.The 45 year old deputy leader of the Liberation Tigers …

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Anatomy of an Aborted Attempt to Revive The LTTE in Sri Lanka

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj How the Third Diaspora Backed Attempt Led by Theiveegan-Appan-Gobi Trio to Revive LTTE was Thwarted in Sri Lanka-PART THREE (CONTINUED FROM MAY 6th DAILY MIRROR) The arrest and detention of Jeyakumari Balendra resulted in a huge outcry strongly critical of the Government. The fact that Jeyakumari and her daughter were …

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Overseas Tiger Circles Excited After Former LTTE Political Chief Thamilselvan’s Wife and Children Arrive in France

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The arrival in France of Former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political commissar Supiah Paramu Thamilselvan’s family has caused much excitement among tiger and pro-tiger circles in the Global Tamil Diaspora. Thamilselvan’s wife Sasirekha along with daughter alaimagal and son Olivaenthan arrived in France on April 24th 2014. The family travelled from …

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Thwarting of Third Diaspora Backed Attempt to Revive LTTE in Sri Lanka -PART TWO

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj (CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK) Preliminary information gleaned by the Police in Pallai from 34 year old Kumarasingham Kulasankar alias Muhunthan and 28 year old Augustine Gnanaseelan alias Gnana revealed vague details of a plot to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)and commence operations in Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough the large …

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How the Third Diaspora Backed Attempt Led by Theiveegan-Appan-Gobi Trio to Revive LTTE was Thwarted in Sri Lanka-PART ONE

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Mazhai Nindraalum Thooral Nitkavillai”is a saying in Tamil meaning though the rain has ceased the drizzle is not over. In similar vein, the recent attempt by tiger elements to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)has been foiled by the security apparatus but mopping up efforts continue in the country. The deaths …

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How the Army Killed Three Top Tigers-Theiveegan,Appan and Gobi- Who Tried to Revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The traditional April new year named “Jaya” or Victory dawned on a positive note this year for Sri Lanka. A massive security operation launched by the Sri Lankan armed forces had resulted in the deaths of three persons in the Jungles of Vedivaithakallu-Oothukkulam-Bogaswewa in the North. Paradoxical as it may appear the …

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The Unforgettably Popular Film Songs of Tamil Cinema Classic “Devadas” ♫

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The demise of renowned Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao has revived memories of his many films.Although most of his films are in Telugu, the great thespian has acted in several Tamil films too. “Devadas”, “Anarkali”, “Manithan Maaravillai”, “Manjal Mahimai”, “Engal Veetu Mahalakshmi”, “Kalyanapparisu” are but some of the films featuring Nageswara Rao who …

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Tiger vs Tiger: Tenth Anniversary of Revolt Led By Eastern LTTE Leader “Col” Karuna

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ten years have passed since the once dreaded Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) experienced an internal politico-military revolt spearheaded by its erstwhile Eastern regional commander Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias “Col” Karuna. The revolt lasting six weeks from March 3rd to April 11th 2004 was ruthlessly suppressed through military means by the mainstream LTTE …

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Eight Persons Including a Woman Arrested In Raid on Dehiwela Bakery released By TID Police; More Being Held Under PTA Will be Released Soon.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Eight Persons including a woman who were under detention for more than three weeks breathed the air of freedom on the eve of the traditional April new year. These eight persons taken into custody by the Police after a lightning raid on a bakery in Dehiwela some weeks ago. Twelve persons including the …

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424 Individuals Designated By Sri Lankan Govt May be Blacklisted and Have Their Assets and Economic Resources Frozen

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Sri Lankan Government has designated 424 individuals and sixteen organizations including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) under the United Nations Act No 45 of 1968 by Gazette Extraordinary No 1856/41dated March 21st 2014. Details of the listing of the LTTE and fifteen other entities suspected of being LTTE fronts by …

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Crackdown on LTTE Colombo Cell Reveals Plot to Assassinate President Rajapaksa or his Brother Gotabhaya

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hectic events over the past few weeks in Sri Lanka have driven home three salient truths on the security front relating to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization. The first is that tiger or pro-tiger elements in the Tamil Diaspora will persist with efforts to resurrect the LTTE and disrupt life …

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LTTE Nediyavan Group Deputy Leader Nanthagopan Brought to Sri Lanka With Help From Iran And Malaysia

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Sri Lankan defence establishment has successfully accomplished the feat of renditioning a senior leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) functioning abroad with the aid and cooperation of Iranian and Malaysian authorities. The “Daily Mirror” learns reliably that the senior LTTE leader Nanthagopan was brought to Sri Lanka exactly one month …

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Nediyavan, Vinayagam, Rudra and Fr. Emmanuel Viewed by Govt as Four Formidable Foes From the Global Tamil Diaspora

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)organization and fifteen other entities suspected of being tiger fronts were proscribed by the Sri Lankan Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week. The Sri Lankan ministry of External Affairs issued a terse press release announcing the proscription. It stated as follows – “An order, designating persons …

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Sri Lanka Govt Lists Person Who Died Two Years Ago Among The Names of Living Individuals Designated Through Gazette Notification

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Among the 422 individuals designated by the Sri Lankan Government through a gazette Extraordinary issued on March 21st 2014 is included the name of a person who died two years ago. The 86th name in the relevant Gazette notification is that of Karunanithi Thurairatnam a.k.a Thurai. The notification also states that Thurairatnam was …

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Sri Lanka Proscribes 15 Suspected LTTE Front Organizations Abroad as Foreign Terrorist Entities Under UN Resolution 1373

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Sri Lankan Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has in a decisive move with far reaching implications proscribed as foreign terrorist entities several overseas organizations suspected of being fronts of the Liberaton Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). The Government of Sri Lanka against which a US sponsored resolution was passed by the UN …

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Shooting Incident at Tharmapuram: Is There a Real LTTE Resurgence in the North?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Two pistol shots rang out in the afternoon of Thursday March 13th 2014 at house No. 5 of the Indian Housing scheme in Musalampitty in the Puliyampokkanai area of Tharmapuram region in Kilinochchi district. A fifty year old Police officer named Ratnakumara attached to the Terrorism Investigation Division(TID)was injured. The man suspected …

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Is the TNA Genuinely Calling For An International Probe Into LTTE Conduct During the War?

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ The Tamil National Alliance(TNA)regarded as the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils issued a public statement last week after “careful consideration to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka proposed at the 25th sessions of the Human Rights Council by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav …

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Human Rights Defenders Ruki Fernando and Rev.Fr. Praveen Mahesan Released From Custody by the Police Terrorism Investigation Divison.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Two Sri Lankan Human Rights defenders who were detained and arrested under provisions of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have been now released.Though held for 51 hours and interrogated without access to lawyers or relatives ,the respected human rights activists were released without any charges being filed against them. The two …

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Human Rights Defenders Ruki Fernando and Rev.Fr.Praveen Mahesan are Being Detained at the Terrorism Investigation Division Headquarters under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj LATEST UPDATE Deputy Inspector-General(DIG) of Police Chandra Wagista who is in charge of the Terrorism Investigation Division(TID)confirmed to lawyers watching the interests of detained Human Rights Defenders Ruki Fernando and Ref.Fr.Praveen Mahesan that both persons were being held at the TID headquarters in Colombo. DIG Wakista who informed the lawyers concerned of the …

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Vettivelu Yogeswaran the Darling of Tamil Youths who Became Jaffna MP

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj 80th Birth Anniversary on February 5th Last week saw this column paying tribute to the memory of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP Dr.Neelan Tiruchelvam on account of his 70th birth anniversary.This column focuses this week on another departed TULF Parliamentarian whose 80th birth anniversary was on February 5th. Former …

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Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the “Tamil State of Mind” .

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj (Updated version of the “DBS Jeyaraj Column” article that appeared in the “Daily Mirror”of February 2nd 2013) Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-sixth Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Monday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Completing 66 years is significant …

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Neelan Tiruchelvam the Foremost Intellectual of Contemporary Tamil Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Seventieth Birth Anniversary on January 31st 2014 January 31st is the birthday of eminent Constitution lawyer, academic and politician Dr.Neelakandan Tiruchelvam. Neelan as he was popularly known would have completed the biblical life span of three score years and ten had he been among the living today. Born on January 31st 1944,Neelan Tiruchelvam, …

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TNA Targets Northern Province Chief Secretary R. Wijiyaludchumi Demanding her Immediate Removal.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is now directing its anger towards Northern Province Council(NPC) Chief Secretary Ms.Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh instead of Northern Governor GA Chandrasiri as it did earlier. The TNA despite winning 30 of the 38 seats of the Northern Provincial council seats at elections held on September 21st 2013 has been unable to …

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Is LTTE Leader “Ezhilan”s Wife Anandhi Sasitharan a Voice of the Victims Or of the Perpetrators of Injustice?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Anandhi’s Husband Ezhilan Committed many Atrocities Against Tamil Civilians of Wanni Anandhi Sasitharan wife of senior Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) leader Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan began grabbing the attention of Northern voters when the Provincial council election campaign got underway.As the only woman candidate fielded by the Tamil national alliance(TNA) in …

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Anandhi Sasitharan the Vibrant Wife of Senior Tiger Leader Ezhilan

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Controversial Northern Provincial Councillor Anandhi Sasitharan is once again in the news. Sections of the media reported that the Defence ministry was pondering on the possibility of making the 42 year old wife of former senior tiger leader Ezhilan undergo a period of rehabilitation in order to “prevent her from propagating separatist sentiments”. …

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Mobs Led by Buddhist Monks Attack Two Christian Churches at Hikkaduwa in Southern Sri Lanka During Sunday Worship

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Saffron terror” in the form of an ethno religious fascist organization called “Hela Bodu Pawura”descended upon the coastal town of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka’s southern province on Sunday January 12th 2014! Mobs led by Buddhist priests launched attacks on two christian churches while Sunday worship was in progress demanding that the places …

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House Where Foursquare Church Conducts Services Set on Fire at Homagama in Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A house in the suburbs of Colombo city in Sri Lanka where Christian worship and prayers were being held was set on fire in the early hours of Sunday January 12th 2014 by “unknown” elements. This incident is separate to that of the twin attacks launched against two Christian churches in the Southern …

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Conspiracy in TNA to Oust C.V. Wigneswaran as Northern Chief Minister.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Even as newly elected Northern Province chief minister Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran is embroiled in an imbroglio with the Northern Governor GA Chandrasiri over the question of exercising authority in the province,sections of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) are reportedly engaged in surreptitious moves to dislodge the former Supreme court Judge from his post and …

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Lasantha Wickrematunge Remained Unbowed and Unafraid to the Very End

Fifth Death Anniversary of the Assassinated “The Sunday Leader” Editor By D.B.S.Jeyaraj I vividly remember that long night in Toronto on January 7th/8th 2009 which was daytime in Colombo.The telephone rang while I was reading a magazine article on the wildlife in Sri Lanka. It was Dushi (Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai). She broke the news that Lasantha …

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran Must Get Northern Council Working by Dealing Directly With President Rajapaksa

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The new year started off on a positive note for Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran! The Northern province chief minister was invited by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a discussion on January 2nd.A direct meeting with the Executive President was something the former Supreme court Judge had been trying to secure for a …

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Remembering Joseph Pararajasingham the “Uncrowned King of Batticaloa”

by D.B.S Jeyaraj Joseph Pararajasingham who served as Batticaloa district MP for fifteen years was killed eight years ago on Christmas day.Had the Batticaloa parliamentarian been among the living ,he would have turned eighty in November 2014. Despite his many years of service to the people of the East and being described at one time …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP Leadership and the TINA Factor

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ranil Wickremesinghe, the “Eksath Jathika Pakshaya Nayakathuma” is portrayed as the single cause for the perceived decline suffered by the United National party(UNP). It is said that Ranil is a liability to the UNP and that the party can revive and renew itself only after he quits or is jettisoned. Sadly a substantial …

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Tussle in North Between Governor Chandrasiri and Chief Minister Wigneswaran Intensifies

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial council is presently entangled in an intricate imbroglio.The newly elected chief minister CV Wigneswaran of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)is at loggerheads with G.A. Chandrasiri the Governor appointed for the Province by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.This titanic clash between the former Supreme court Judge and the retired Army Major-General has virtually …

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LTTE “Great Heroes Day” Is for Tigers Alone and Not For All Tamils

By D. B. S. JEYARAJ “Maaveerar Naal”or “Great Heroes Day” was observed annually on November 27th in a grand manner by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for many years in the past. The yearly event lost its lustre after the military debacle suffered by the tigers in May 2009.Despite the LTTE ceasing to …

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Gemini Ganesan ♥ Romance King of Tamil Films ♫

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj (This short article written as a tribute was published in “The Sunday Leader” of Colombo after the death of ♥ Gemini Ganesan ♥. It is being reproduced here without any changes due to requests by many readers who are fans of the Romance king of Tamil cinema who was born on November …

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M.N. Nambiar: Legendary “Villain” of Tamil Cinema

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj (Legendary “Villain”actor of Tamil cinema M.N.Nambiar passed away five years ago in Chennai on November 19th 2008. I wrote an article about him then which was published in the “Daily Mirror”of Colombo. I am reproducing a slightly edited version of that article on my blog now to commemorate his 5th death anniversary. …

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