Argument in Jaffna Between Minister Samaraweera – General Gallage and Its Implications

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Our sister paper “Sunday Times”revealed details last week about an incident of friction between a senior cabinet minister and a senior military official that had occurred in Jaffna a few weeks earlier. The Sunday Times Political column scored a scoop by referring to an exchange of words between Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs minister …

Continue reading ‘Argument in Jaffna Between Minister Samaraweera – General Gallage and Its Implications’ »

Julian Assange is justified in seeking Asylum to Escape US ‘Justice’

By Glenn Greenwald If one asks current or former WikiLeaks associates what their greatest fear is, almost none cites prosecution by their own country. Most trust their own nation’s justice system to recognize that they have committed no crime. The primary fear is being turned over to the US. That is the crucial context for …

Continue reading ‘Julian Assange is justified in seeking Asylum to Escape US ‘Justice’’ »

Concepts of Human Rights and Social Justice as promoted by the West need to be challenged

By Kalinga Seneviratne At the Rio+20 Conference from June 20 to 22 in Brazil, Bolivian President Eva Morales described the ‘green economy’ as new colonialism that rich countries sought to impose on developing countries. “They want to create intervention mechanisms to monitor and assess our national policies using environmental concerns as an excuse,” he said.

Govt stops issuance of Identity Cards to ex-LTTE cadres by International Organiazation of Migration

by Camelia Nathaniel The government has directed the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to halt the issuance of accreditation cards to ex-LTTE cadres, who have completed the government rehabilitation programme. Accordingly, the IOM has decided to suspend the ID issuing process. Under the instructions of the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS), the …

Continue reading ‘Govt stops issuance of Identity Cards to ex-LTTE cadres by International Organiazation of Migration’ »

Over 1,800 ex-LTTE cadres turned up in Kilinochchi to join the Civil Security Department

by Rasika Somarathna Over 1,800 rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres turned up at Kilinochchi on Saturday to join the Civil Security Department (CSD) following the CSD’s call for ex-combatants to join its ranks. The government is planning to recruit a large number of rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres to the CSD. They are slated to take part in development …

Continue reading ‘Over 1,800 ex-LTTE cadres turned up in Kilinochchi to join the Civil Security Department’ »

Provocative Speech about Mullivaaikkaal by Minister Ranawaka will Bring Disrepute to Country

By Chackravarthy “One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more.” Oh God the British never told the French ‘one Waterloo is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more’. What kind of a speech is this? Is this the tolerance Lord Buddha taught or his disciples learnt? A Tamilnadu newspaper in her editorial said, …

Continue reading ‘Provocative Speech about Mullivaaikkaal by Minister Ranawaka will Bring Disrepute to Country’ »

What stands out in the work of Lester James Peiris is his humanism

by Dr. Sarath Amunugama “Our ideals – moral, social and poetic – must be defended with intelligence as well as emotion: and also with intransigence” – Lindsay Anderson. I am grateful to the organizers of this event for inviting me to deliver the Lester James Pieris oration for 2012. I am particularly grateful because it …

Continue reading ‘What stands out in the work of Lester James Peiris is his humanism’ »

International Widows’ Day on June 22nd Commemorated at Nedunkerni for the First time in Sri Lanka

by Rajani Iqbal A group of war widows in the Nedunkerny region of the Wanni District celebrated the International Widows’ Day on 22nd June, 2012 at the conference hall of the Nedunkerny Pradesa Sabai. This meeting was organized by an NGO in collaboration with the relevant officers of the Divisional Secretary of Nedunkerny who had …

Continue reading ‘International Widows’ Day on June 22nd Commemorated at Nedunkerni for the First time in Sri Lanka’ »

Misconceptions and misinterpretations of Sampanthan’s presidential address at ITAK convention – I

By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan Reading through some of the articles that have appeared recently, following upon Mr Sampanthan’s Presidential address at the ITAK Convention, it appears to me that there is a big trust deficit. Interpretations are being put on words, and inferences drawn which are not justified by the plain meaning of, or the …

Continue reading ‘Misconceptions and misinterpretations of Sampanthan’s presidential address at ITAK convention – I’ »

The tallest man in Sri Lanka is an Ex-LTTE Combatant

By Camelia Nathaniel Gunasingham Kasendran is considered the tallest man in the country. Standing at a staggering 7 ft 3 inch, he is currently part of the government rehabilitation programme for ex-LTTE combatants at the Rehabilitation Centre in Kandakadu, in the Polonnaruwa District. A rather shy and soft spoken man, Kasendran shuns public functions, which …

Continue reading ‘The tallest man in Sri Lanka is an Ex-LTTE Combatant’ »

Dismissal of Lalith Allahakkoon by ‘Ceylon Today’ is worrying-RSF

(Text of statement issued by Reporters without Borders/Reporters sans Frontieres) Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the reasons that led the management of the newspaper Ceylon Today to force its editor in chief Lalith Allahakkoon to resign on 13 June. The journalist, who received no letter of dismissal, arrived at his office on 16 June …

Continue reading ‘Dismissal of Lalith Allahakkoon by ‘Ceylon Today’ is worrying-RSF’ »

Achieving stability through reconciliation in divided or post-conflict societies

By Cillian McGrattan The idea that divided or post-conflict societies can achieve stability through reconciliation represents something of a paradigm shift in peace-building theory and practice. Arguably, thanks to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ideas that the past should be represented as something remote (as in post-war, post-Nuremburg Germany) or unarticulated (as in …

Continue reading ‘Achieving stability through reconciliation in divided or post-conflict societies’ »

How the Irula Tribals of Tamil Nadu extract venom from live snakes

By Thulasi Muttulingam The Irulas are a South Indian tribe who have traditionally based their livelihood on being snake catchers. Up until 1972, they were able to make an adequate living selling snake leather, but with the Wildlife Protection Act India passed that year, their livelihood became illegal. Irulas from the village of Thottithopu, Cuddalore …

Continue reading ‘How the Irula Tribals of Tamil Nadu extract venom from live snakes’ »

Maldives: Competing ‘probe reports’ take the focus away

by N Sathiya Moorthy Two interim reports from the two sides, so to say, and the focus is slowly slipping away from the work on hand for the National Commission of Inquiry (CNI) probing then Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed’s resignation of February 7. It is back more ore less in the realm of politics and …

Continue reading ‘Maldives: Competing ‘probe reports’ take the focus away’ »

The break-up of states: Political and economic logic of disintegration

by Selcuk Colakoglu As the Cold War ended, the international system entered a process in which it was afflicted by secessions, sometimes bloody and sometimes peaceful. After 1990 there was a general trend for countries to break up and while countries entering a union was the exception. In 1990, the year the Cold War ended, …

Continue reading ‘The break-up of states: Political and economic logic of disintegration’ »

Six Key Challenges Faced by Sri Lanka in Foreign Relations Sphere

By Salma Yusuf A widely held belief among the populace is that the discourse on foreign policy remains the sole prerogative of those in the highest echelons of political power; that is, until presented with a statement by the likes of well-known American political activist, Ron Silver, who declared: “I can’t talk about foreign policy …

Continue reading ‘Six Key Challenges Faced by Sri Lanka in Foreign Relations Sphere’ »

The rise and fall of the ethnic mall experience in Canada

by Dakshana Bascaramurty They all made boastful, superlative-ridden claims: The Largest South Asian Indoor Shopping Centre in the GTA! The Biggest Chinese Mall in North America! North America’s First Tamil Plaza! But years after these ambitious projects under the names The Sitara, The Landmark, and T.Junction were announced – all with target opening dates that …

Continue reading ‘The rise and fall of the ethnic mall experience in Canada’ »

Govt has conformed to all three conditions of the IMF- Harsha de Silva

By Marianne David MP and consultant economist Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday alleged that THE UNP’s criticism over the mismanagement of the economy and the Central Bank as well as the EPF’s investments in banking stocks have been emphatically validated by global rating agency Standard and Poor’s. “Standard and Poor’s reiterated what we have been …

Continue reading ‘Govt has conformed to all three conditions of the IMF- Harsha de Silva’ »

Sri Lanka Civil Society Statement on Rio +20

Preamble: All the nations once again will meet in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 to discuss the future of the world and the very survival of the humankind. However, in general no nation has a success story to share other than so called growth and increase of per capita income which is based on …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Civil Society Statement on Rio +20’ »

Displaced Sampur residents file fundamental rights petition against demarcation of heavy industries zone in their lands

A number of residents of Sampur, in the Trincomalee District filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition in the Supreme Court on Friday 15 June 2012, challenging the demarcation of a Special Zone for Heavy Industries (SZHI) through Gazette Extraordinary No. 1758/26 issued on 17 May 2012. The Gazette attempts to demarcate a SZHI within the …

Continue reading ‘Displaced Sampur residents file fundamental rights petition against demarcation of heavy industries zone in their lands’ »

SLWJA wants ‘Ceylon Today’ Management to respect editorial independence of Editorial Staff

The Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association is extremely disturbed by the recent turn of events at Ceylon Today newspaper, where the editor in chief and respected journalist Lalith Allahakkoon was unceremoniously removed from all his duties by the management due to what we understand as Mr Allahakkoon’s refusal to publish politically motivated and potentially libelous …

Continue reading ‘SLWJA wants ‘Ceylon Today’ Management to respect editorial independence of Editorial Staff’ »

Burmese Refugees In Thailand: Implications Of Suu Kyi’s Visit

by Panchali Saikia A major highlight of Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to Thailand was her visit to the Mae Sot refugee camp in June 2012. The Mae Sot camp is the largest among the nine refugee camps in Thailand, with nearly 50,000 refugees of which most are Karen ethnic nationals of …

Continue reading ‘Burmese Refugees In Thailand: Implications Of Suu Kyi’s Visit’ »

Palestinian Nationalism, Alive Despite Israeli Instruments Of Control

By Hasan Afif El Hasan From day one after the 1967 war, Israel’s actions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem suggest the occupation was not temporary and underscore Israel’s desire to erase the concept of the Palestinian nation by undermining the connection between the people and their land or history. In an effort …

Continue reading ‘Palestinian Nationalism, Alive Despite Israeli Instruments Of Control’ »

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Commissioning Should Be Deferred

by M.G.Devasahayam It is famously said: “In public domain, truth is not the truth, perception is the truth”. This adage could be related to the discourse on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). While the arguments in favour of the plant is that it will generate electric power essential for ‘development’, People’s Movement Against Nuclear …

Continue reading ‘Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Commissioning Should Be Deferred’ »

UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Brazil-Will There be a Successful Outcome?

By Martin Khor The Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 (known officially as the UN Conference on Environment and Development) was a landmark event which launched “Sustainable Development” as an internationally accepted concept. Environmental problems would be seen in relation to and in the context of the development needs of developing countries. Sustainable development would …

Continue reading ‘UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Brazil-Will There be a Successful Outcome?’ »

Imminent dissolution of Eastern PC: CA allows move to amend prayers in petition

By S.S.Selvanayagam The Court of Appeal yesterday (19) allowed the move by the Petitioner to amend the prayers in the Writ application challenging the imminent premature dissolution of the Eastern Provincial Council. The Bench comprising Justices S.Sriskandarajah (President C/A) and Deepali Wijesundera fixed the matter to be supported on July 11 with the amended prayers.

The Mystery of the ‘Missing’ Tourists

by Srilal Miththapala All newspapers carried headlines a few days ago stating that May 2012 tourist arrivals have increased by 17.5% from last year. It is reported that the May arrivals of 57,506, were higher than even that of April, which showed only a 9% increase YOY. So far, the total arrivals for 2012 up …

Continue reading ‘The Mystery of the ‘Missing’ Tourists’ »

What should the security forces do when there’s no war to be fought?

By Kath Noble What should the Security Forces do when there’s no war to be fought? Now that three years have passed since the defeat of the LTTE and pretty much everybody is convinced that there will be no resurgence, this would seem to be a pertinent question to ask. Of course vigilance is needed. …

Continue reading ‘What should the security forces do when there’s no war to be fought?’ »

‘We cannot create equality; we have to strive towards equality’ – Vasudeva

by Ayesha Zuhair Social exclusion has been long identified as a key trigger of internal conflict. It represents an impediment to the achievement of national objectives such as peace, stability and economic prosperity. The higher the levels of exclusion in society, the more fertile the grounds for conflict – and a return to violence cannot …

Continue reading ‘‘We cannot create equality; we have to strive towards equality’ – Vasudeva’ »

The Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka

By Amnesty International A statement issued on June 13th 2012 by Amnesty International for the UNHRC sessions in Geneva from June 18th-July 8th 2012 Sri Lanka is not fulfilling many of its international human rights obligations. Impunity remains the norm for gross violations of human rights, including alleged war crimes. Gross and systematic human rights …

Continue reading ‘The Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka’ »

People Smugglers Target Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in South India With Passage to Australia Promises

By Ben Doherty and Som Patidars A PEOPLE-SMUGGLING network is targeting Tamil refugees in southern India, promising them safe passage across the Indian Ocean and Australian citizenship when they arrive. But boats have already been lost. Refugee advocates say at least two boats, carrying up to 50 people, disappeared off India’s south coast late last …

Continue reading ‘People Smugglers Target Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in South India With Passage to Australia Promises’ »

Measures necessary to enable Sri Lankans to identify causes of disunity among themselves and generate solutions

By Salma Yusuf Whoever said that demand must drive supply was certainly not talking about reconciliation. However, the relevance and applicability of the philosophy and its wisdom in a post-war reconciliation setting cannot be overstated. After all, reconciliation is as important a goal as it is a process. While Government efforts in post-war rehabilitation, reintegration, …

Continue reading ‘Measures necessary to enable Sri Lankans to identify causes of disunity among themselves and generate solutions’ »

Modernised State of the Art Palmyrah Research Institute to be opened in Jaffna

by Chamikara Weerasinghe The government will open the re-developed Palmyrah Research Institute in Kaithady, Jaffna, soon. The institute became defunct from 1995 due to the war in the North. Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V Sivagnanasothi yesterday told the Daily News that they are ready to open a state-of-the-art palmyrah research facility …

Continue reading ‘Modernised State of the Art Palmyrah Research Institute to be opened in Jaffna’ »

Katuwana incident is aimed at all political parties fighting for the people

by Karu Jayasuriya A situation is emerging in the country where, permission is needed from goons to engage in politics. It is well known that these gangs who suppress opposing political views using iron bars during the past era had the blessings of some politicians or politically powerful persons. Now these goons are so powerful …

Continue reading ‘Katuwana incident is aimed at all political parties fighting for the people’ »

Sequence of events relating to editorial crisis at ‘Ceylon Today’ newspaper

By Lalith Allahakkoon (This is the full text of a public statement issued to the media by Lalith Allahakkoon the Editor in Chief and Editorial Director of “Ceylon Today”about recent events that have caused an Editorial crisis in the English newspaper published in Colombo) 1. At around 7 p.m. on the night of Wednesday June …

Continue reading ‘Sequence of events relating to editorial crisis at ‘Ceylon Today’ newspaper’ »

My special relationship with The Sunday Leader

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Former British Prime Minister and statesman Winston Churchill is credited with the phrase “special relationship” in emphasising the time-tested bonds and enduring affinity between Great Britain and the United States of America. Pic by Arthur Wamanan I can think of no better phrase other than those famously Churchillian words to describe my …

Continue reading ‘My special relationship with The Sunday Leader’ »

‘The Road I had Chosen of my own Free Will Became a Less Lonely path to Follow’

by Aung San Suu Kyi Your Majesties, Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Dear Friends, Long years ago, sometimes it seems many lives ago, I was at Oxford listening to the radio programme Desert Island Discs with my young son Alexander. It was a well-known programme (for all I know …

Continue reading ‘‘The Road I had Chosen of my own Free Will Became a Less Lonely path to Follow’’ »

Jaffna Like The Rest of The Island Held a Warm Vibe

by Gunvanthi Balaram From the magnificent stupas at Anuradhapura to the street food of Colombo, from the Cave of Celestial Maidens to the beach at Galle, Sri Lanka offers many changes of scene. Shore at Manatkadu, Jaffna- pic courtesy of: twitter.com/shanmugan10 Stories apart, what did I remember best about Sri Lanka, my mother asked me …

Continue reading ‘Jaffna Like The Rest of The Island Held a Warm Vibe’ »

‘Work is worship’: The work ethic success of the Sri Lankan Tamils

by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya I have often wondered why we, as a nation, cannot progress as rapidly as our neighbour – India. Any political analyst would of course heap the blame on the politicians and the political authority. I have pondered whether in fact this was true. All politicians are voted to power by us and …

Continue reading ‘‘Work is worship’: The work ethic success of the Sri Lankan Tamils’ »

Jaffna Public Library: Painstaking construction and painful destruction

by Charles Santiapillai Although the Jaffna man’s mind is preoccupied with money and matrimony, yet the thing that he treasures most above everything else is education and scholarship. For a Jaffna man, it’s the books, and not dogs, that are his best friends. He would pay more attention to a good book than to his …

Continue reading ‘Jaffna Public Library: Painstaking construction and painful destruction’ »

Sri Lankan Investment Board Signs $4Billion Industrial Zone Deal with Indian Industrial Firm

Sri Lanka has signed its largest foreign direct investment (FDI) deal valued at $4 billion with an Indian company. Gateway Industries, an Indian venture, will oversee operation and management of a special industrial zone for heavy industries in Trincomalee district. Board of Investment (BOI) chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando Friday hailed the signing of this landmark project …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Investment Board Signs $4Billion Industrial Zone Deal with Indian Industrial Firm’ »

University academics are now campaigning with the slogan “6% of GDP for Education”

By Camena Guneratne and Harini Amarasuriya | Open University of Sri Lanka Almost one year ago, we wrote an article suggesting that there were signals from the academic community that it was waking up from a long slumber. We wrote about the fact that the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) was moving away from, …

Continue reading ‘University academics are now campaigning with the slogan “6% of GDP for Education”’ »

Why malign Lasith Malinga alone for allegedly putting self above country?

by Edward Gunawardene The story of Lasith Malinga is the story of a poor rustic, who because of his rare talents in cricket, has shot to stardom. Another log cabin to White House or a Dick Whittinghton story. He is today one of the most sought after and one of the highest earners in international …

Continue reading ‘Why malign Lasith Malinga alone for allegedly putting self above country?’ »

Katuwana Killings: Remove Gotabhaya and appoint career Administrator as Defence Secretary

by Mangala Samaraweera Police spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana accepted that two persons including a woman died due to an unarmed gang shooting at a Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) local meeting held in Katuwana in the Hambantota district on 15 June (2012). He said, a group of unidentified men on motorcycles had opened fire at the …

Continue reading ‘Katuwana Killings: Remove Gotabhaya and appoint career Administrator as Defence Secretary’ »

President’s London Visit: ‘Our Side of the Story’

President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga last week summoned a press conference at the old parliament now serving as the presidential secretariat to tell “our side of the story’’ of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent London visit. As is well known, LTTE supporters succeeded in getting a session of an event organized by the Commonwealth Business Council cancelled …

Continue reading ‘President’s London Visit: ‘Our Side of the Story’’ »

Facebook loses face as share prices plunge $42 Billion in 10 days

by Selvam Canagaratna “On Wall Street, he and a few others – how many? – three hundred, four hundred, five hundred? – had become precisely that . . . Masters of the Universe. There was . . . no limit whatsoever!” – Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) In the midst of an …

Continue reading ‘Facebook loses face as share prices plunge $42 Billion in 10 days’ »

Jayalath Jayawardena writes to Pope Benedict about Mannar Bishop

Senior UNP parliamentarian, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena has appealed to His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI to use his good offices to dialogue with the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that the Bishop of Mannar continues his mission without threats, intimidations and false allegations. In a letter to the Pope, the MP says: “Since the beginning …

Continue reading ‘Jayalath Jayawardena writes to Pope Benedict about Mannar Bishop’ »

Dudley Senanayake: Unchallenged integrity and loyalty

By Ilica Malkanthi Karunaratne Dudley Senanayakes’ 101st birth anniversary is on June 19th The birth anniversary of the late Dudley Senanayake, is always tinged with nostalgia. It is inevitable, that the thoughts of those of us who knew him, should linger on all that he was and what he did during his lifetime. He was …

Continue reading ‘Dudley Senanayake: Unchallenged integrity and loyalty’ »

‘I have no illusions about the basic selfish thrust of all foreign policy’

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP To cite the preamble to this dialogue between Asian and European Liberals, we agree that, ‘from a liberal standpoint, it is mutually beneficial for countries to engage in trade, and free trade is one of the means to lift countries out of poverty.’ Unfortunately this ideal is under attack for …

Continue reading ‘‘I have no illusions about the basic selfish thrust of all foreign policy’’ »

Full-fledged Hospital at Mullaitheevu Functions at Full Capacity

By Shanika SRIYANANDA in Mullaitheevu It was 11 am, the OPD of the District General Hospital Mullaitheevu was crowded. People from all walks of life and all corners of the district get treatment from the hospital. Located close to the A-34 Highway, the hospital, damaged by the LTTE, has now turned into a fully-fledged hospital …

Continue reading ‘Full-fledged Hospital at Mullaitheevu Functions at Full Capacity’ »

Ethnic Cleansing of Muslim Minority in Myanmar ?

By Marwan Macan-Marcar BANGKOK, Jun 15 2012 (IPS) – Reports of sectarian violence in western Myanmar have exposed the plight of 800,000 Muslim Rohingya, a persecuted minority that a regional human rights body described in 2006 as facing a “slow-burning genocide”. Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) holds awareness campaign in Kuala Lampur, …

Continue reading ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Muslim Minority in Myanmar ?’ »

Carlton Tournament and ITAK Convention: Two contrasting insights

Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Two contrasting insights into reconciliation were on display in the last ten days – one in the field of sports and the other in the field of politics. The former relates to the Carlton Super Seven Rugby Tournament and the latter to the ITAK or Federal Party convention in Batticaloa. The significance of …

Continue reading ‘Carlton Tournament and ITAK Convention: Two contrasting insights’ »

Foreign policy challenges: Diplomatic honeymoons or unbridled engagements?

By Salma Yusuf A widely held belief among the populace is that the discourse on foreign policyremains the sole prerogative of those in the highest echelons of political power – that is, until presented with a statement by the likes of well-known American political activist, Ron Silver, who declared: ‘I can’t talk about foreign policy …

Continue reading ‘Foreign policy challenges: Diplomatic honeymoons or unbridled engagements?’ »

Co-existence with Crocodiles: Learning to Live Together

by Charles Santiapilai and S. Wijeyamohan One of the surest signs of ecological richness and diversity of a country is the number of predator species it supports. Egret and Crocodile in Yala, Sri Lanka-courtesy ~ Picture by Ranuka Marshall ~ more pics Larger the number of predator species, the greater is the biodiversity. The existence …

Continue reading ‘Co-existence with Crocodiles: Learning to Live Together’ »

‘Sri Lanka is now emerging as a middle income nation’

An Interview With President Mahinda Rajapaksa The Report Company: What is your assessment of the country’s current stage of development? Mahinda Rajapaksa: I am convinced that Sri Lanka can attain a much higher stage of development than we are currently at. Unfortunately, we lagged behind for over 30 years as a result of a debilitating …

Continue reading ‘‘Sri Lanka is now emerging as a middle income nation’’ »

‘We want to build the image of the whole of Sri Lanka’

An Interview with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa (Basil Rajapaksa, younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the current Cabinet Minister of Economic Development. He has been part of the political landscape of Sri Lanka since the 1970s, and is a meticulous planner, brilliant strategist and strong negotiator, having played a leading role in achieving …

Continue reading ‘‘We want to build the image of the whole of Sri Lanka’’ »

Corruption, Nepotism and the Carlton Sports Network

By J.C.Weliyamuna A Governance Analysis of Frequency Allocation & TV Rights in Present Sri Lanka Frequency Allocation- A Grand Corruption? Understanding the State capture by Kleptocrats does not require a dedicated study; it is easily recognizable. For the benefit of keen students of governance, let me begin this article with the definition of Kleptocracy: “A …

Continue reading ‘Corruption, Nepotism and the Carlton Sports Network’ »

Appalling treatment for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by their ‘brethren’ on Tamil Nadu

By Kath Noble Sri Lankan refugees have been making the news again in recent days. A group of 40 whose claims of persecution have been rejected by the UK was sent back to Colombo at the beginning of the month. Sri Lankan refugees prepare to disembark from the ferry that brought them from India to …

Continue reading ‘Appalling treatment for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by their ‘brethren’ on Tamil Nadu’ »

‘Gota’s War’ by Chandraprema: Glaring omissions but quite thorough

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. C A Chandraprema’s book on the war against the LTTE is an immensely interesting read. I had wondered how effective he would be as a writer of a sustained narrative, for his columns, though informative, can sometimes be turgid and repetitive. But his book combines a racy narrative with convincing detail, …

Continue reading ‘‘Gota’s War’ by Chandraprema: Glaring omissions but quite thorough’ »

‘I acted in conformity with the mandate given to me by His Excellency The President’ –Tamara Kunanayakam

by Ayesha Zuhair Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, has accused Navanethem Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, of playing the political agenda of the US and Western powers. In an e-mail interview with the Daily Mirror, Ambassador Kunanayakam elaborates on the accusations contained in …

Continue reading ‘‘I acted in conformity with the mandate given to me by His Excellency The President’ –Tamara Kunanayakam’ »

The Role of international law in contemporary diplomacy

By Dr.Amrith Rohan Perera (Text of the Romesh Jayasinghe -Memorial Oration delivered by Dr Amrith Rohan Perera PC at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo on May 30, 2012) I first heard of Romesh Jayasinghe from his father, the late W T Jayasinghe, the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Affairs, as it then …

Continue reading ‘The Role of international law in contemporary diplomacy’ »

Rise of Kurdish diaspora leader could awaken sleeping dragon of Kurdish Nationalism

A sleeping dragon awakes: Kurds Take Centre Stage in West Asia by James.M.Dorsey Synopsis As popular uprisings and post-revolt transitions change the political, economic and social structures of the Middle East, Kurds, the world’s largest nation without a state of their own, are emerging as the force that could spark a redrawing of borders and …

Continue reading ‘Rise of Kurdish diaspora leader could awaken sleeping dragon of Kurdish Nationalism’ »

Good old days of the Galle Fort: Golden memories

by Faiza Thassim Tucked away in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka’s coastline, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town of Galle lies the quaint old peninsula that is the Galle Fort. Originally built by the Portuguese and then modified by the Dutch in the 17th century, this little enclave shot to …

Continue reading ‘Good old days of the Galle Fort: Golden memories’ »

Report of the jury on the public hearing on Koodankulam and state suppression of democratic rights

Public Hearing Committee: Justice A.P. Shah, Former Chief Justice of Madras and Delhi High Court Geeta Ramaseshan, Advocate, Madras High Court Prof. Prabha Kalvimani Irular Tribes Protection Association Date of Public Hearing: 14 May, 2012 Published: June 2012 Organized by: Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle.

Disaster management drama at Nakkaneri village in Tamil Nadu

by S. P. Udayakumar Actors on Stage: -The Cheranmahadevi Sub-Collector, Mrs. Rohini Ramdas -The Radhapuram Tahsildar, Mr. Subramanian -150 policemen -An assortment of revenue and health department officials -A bigger group of NPCIL officials -Another group of paid laymen -Behind the Screen (in the NPCIL Township) -The District Collector, Dr. R. Selvaraj -The Superintendent of …

Continue reading ‘Disaster management drama at Nakkaneri village in Tamil Nadu’ »

Insulting Lankan VIPs in Tamilnadu amounts to insulting Tamil culture!

By Chackravarthy Well every thing started with the 11th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) held in Colombo from June 3 to 5th 2010. In a way it was an Ill conceived – white elephant project that failed drastically to give the desired result as the sponsors had no deep knowledge about Bollywood or Indian …

Continue reading ‘Insulting Lankan VIPs in Tamilnadu amounts to insulting Tamil culture!’ »

‘Statements may be made by leaders but Eeelam is our ultimate goal’- Sivagnanam Shritharan MP

By Paul Newman Sivagnanam Shritharan, 43, is the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Sri Lankan Parliament from Kilinochchi. Elected in 2010, he was earlier the head master of the Kilinochchi Mahavidyalayam in Kilinochchi, where LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s children had studied. An ardent advocate of peace who loses no opportunity to criticise the flawed …

Continue reading ‘‘Statements may be made by leaders but Eeelam is our ultimate goal’- Sivagnanam Shritharan MP’ »

Will the Galle Fort become a haven for the rich devoid of vibrant people?

By Nimmi Gunasekera Armed with images from the news media of a partially restored Galle Fort in the context of the, literary festival, and with the excuse of driving down the new southern highway, we, a group of four, set forth to spend a weekend in the Fort. Starting with a very tasty Sri Lankan …

Continue reading ‘Will the Galle Fort become a haven for the rich devoid of vibrant people?’ »

How has Northern Province economy fared since the end of the war in 2009?

by R.M.B.Senanayake At a recent seminar on the peace dividend, the speaker Dr Muttukrishna Sarvanandan drew attention to the fact that the share of government services which includes defense services is a high of 53% in the Northern Province. He was quoting from the Provincial GDP data prepared by the Department of Census & Statistics …

Continue reading ‘How has Northern Province economy fared since the end of the war in 2009?’ »

The spectre of separatism and the language of self-determination

by Kalana Senaratne From its inception in late 1949 as the Tamil Federal Party, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) – a party which, as the late Lakshman Kadirgamar once claimed in Parliament, was founded by a “dedicated group of principled men” – has been in the forefront of Sri Lankan (and Tamil) politics. It …

Continue reading ‘The spectre of separatism and the language of self-determination’ »

Sampanthan’s speech at ITAK Convention: Intentions, interpretations and implications

BY Rajan Philips Whether he intended it or not, TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s speech in Batticaloa two weeks ago has stirred up a hornet’s nest. The occasion was the 14th National Convention of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), once known in English as the (Tamil) Federal Party. The speech became the subject, and the …

Continue reading ‘Sampanthan’s speech at ITAK Convention: Intentions, interpretations and implications’ »

Present University Grants Commission Chairman got appointed due to serving President in election campaign and drafting his manifesto

by S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole The University Grants Commission (UGC) never ceases to amaze me by its ability to posture through high principles which it never practices. Indika Sri Aravinda reports (Leader, 3 June) that the UGC will henceforth fine illegal doctorates and that according to the UGC Chairman, issuing doctorates for a payment is …

Continue reading ‘Present University Grants Commission Chairman got appointed due to serving President in election campaign and drafting his manifesto’ »

‘I run orphanages and vocational training centres in the North’ says ex LTTE Chief ‘KP’

by Arthur Wamanan LTTE’s one time global arms procurer and financial controller Pathmanathan alias KP, accusing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of misleading Tamil youth in this country by spreading false propaganda, expressed regret at Tamil politicians’ failure to live up to the expectations after government had restored peace in the once war-torn areas. In …

Continue reading ‘‘I run orphanages and vocational training centres in the North’ says ex LTTE Chief ‘KP’’ »

Is Sri Lanka heading towards another July ’83 with Muslims as the Target?

By Latheef Farook Is Sri Lanka heading towards another July 1983 type pogrom? This is the growing fear in view of the repeated threats on mosques and madrasas provoking Muslims. In the midst of this turbulence, the Criminal Investigation Department’s call for a list of mosques and madrasas – no information on worshipping centers of …

Continue reading ‘Is Sri Lanka heading towards another July ’83 with Muslims as the Target?’ »

Buddhism in Tamil Nadu: The ‘Buddha Samy’ of Thiyaganur

by A. Srivathsan In most ways, Thiyaganur is a typical village in Tamil Nadu. Matchbox houses with gleaming white walls and red earth tiles, fields with irregular patterns, a provisional store that sells garishly coloured beverages, and the occasional bus chugging through. The lime-washed temple, in this village 80 km north-west of Tiruchi, has a …

Continue reading ‘Buddhism in Tamil Nadu: The ‘Buddha Samy’ of Thiyaganur’ »

Shehan Karunatilaka wins 2012 Commonwealth book prize

Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka, a former advertising copywriter, has won the Commonwealth book prize for his highly praised debut novel Chinaman: the Legend of Pradeep Mathew. Narrated by the alcoholic former sports journalist WG Karunasena, the novel is the story of his quest for Pradeep Mathew, a devastatingly talented Sri Lankan spin bowler who …

Continue reading ‘Shehan Karunatilaka wins 2012 Commonwealth book prize’ »

‘Pulathup Puligal’ (LTTE) protest against Mahinda in London

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Mahinda Rajapaksa was let down badly by the London based Commonwealth Business Council that had invited the Sri Lankan President to deliver the keynote address in a symposium organized by it for the Diamond jubilee of accession to the throne by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrives at the …

Continue reading ‘‘Pulathup Puligal’ (LTTE) protest against Mahinda in London’ »

Parliament is becoming increasingly irrelevant

By M. A. Sumanthiran Thank you sir for providing me some time to speak on this motion moved by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake. This is a timely motion that’s being brought to the Parliament, reminding us all that private members’ motions that are debated and approved must be taken seriously, since they are approved by Parliament. …

Continue reading ‘Parliament is becoming increasingly irrelevant’ »

Rajapakse besieged in London, after Gota denies Tamil region

by Dushy Ranetunge in London On the eve of the Presidents visit to the UK to attend the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Gotabaya in his usual finger wagging style told the BBC that the north cannot be recognised as a “Tamil” region. Front page of ‘The Independent’, Thursday, June 7, 2012 In the run up to …

Continue reading ‘Rajapakse besieged in London, after Gota denies Tamil region’ »

Did Navi Pillai’s Office work for UN Resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva?

Ambassador Kunanayakam Seeks Clarification Given below is the complete text of a letter sent by the Permanent Representative of the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, regarding an email communication circulated by the Chief of the Asia Pacific Dvision of her Office, Mr. …

Continue reading ‘Did Navi Pillai’s Office work for UN Resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva?’ »

Meeting Ranjini: A Day at the Villawood Detention Centre

by Niromi de Soyza As soon as I step into the reception room which reminded me of a sterile hospital cafeteria, a woman with long dark hair in a black blazer catches my eyes. The epaulettes on her jacket give her small skinny frame an air of authority. I recognise the young woman easily as …

Continue reading ‘Meeting Ranjini: A Day at the Villawood Detention Centre’ »

Commonwealth Institutions seem unable to lend a helping hand with Sri Lanka

By Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah From Gary Barlow’s backing musicians to flags fluttering on the flotilla, the Commonwealth featured prominently in the diamond jubilee celebrations. Commonwealth Heads of Government lunch with HM Queen Elizabeth II H E Mr Mahinda Rajapaska, President of Sri Lanka, arrives with his wife Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaska at the Commonwealth Heads of Government …

Continue reading ‘Commonwealth Institutions seem unable to lend a helping hand with Sri Lanka’ »

President Rajapaksa’s London address to Commonwealth Economic Forum cancelled

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj In an unexpected,sudden development the Commonwealth Economic Forum the event in which Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to deliver the keynote address has been called off. The Commonwealth Business Council that had organized the event made a special announcement announcing the decision. In a tersely worded statement the Commonwealth Business …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa’s London address to Commonwealth Economic Forum cancelled’ »

An effort is on to drive a wedge between traditional moderates and one-time militants

By N. Sathiya Moorthy At the annual conference of the ‘Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK)’, which he heads as the elected president, the nominated chief of the larger Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, made a few points. One, the ITAK was the leader/ guiding spirit of the TNA and that the Sri Lankan Tamils …

Continue reading ‘An effort is on to drive a wedge between traditional moderates and one-time militants’ »

Murugesu Sivasithamparam the ‘Lion of Udupiddy’: Tenth Death Anniversary Tribute

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Panchamum Noiyum Nin Meiyadiaarkko, Paarinil Menmaigal Verini Yaarkko” (If famine and disease are for your true followers for who else then are glories in this world) – Subramania Bharatiyaar in his Ode to the Motherland’s (India) freedom. Veteran Sri Lankan Tamil political moderate leader, Murugesu Sivasithamparam, passed away peacefully after a brief illness …

Continue reading ‘Murugesu Sivasithamparam the ‘Lion of Udupiddy’: Tenth Death Anniversary Tribute’ »

Madhubashini Winner of Gratiaen Prize For Her First Novel ‘There’s Something I Have to Tell You’

by Smriti Daniel The recently crowned Gratiaen Prize winner Madhubashini Dissanayake-Ratnayaka describes her winning work and her journey towards calling herself ‘a writer’ Madhubashini Dissanayake-Ratnayaka is on the run. Her colleague is on the phone with a question related to work, her younger daughter is waiting for a ride (they’re late for chess class), her …

Continue reading ‘Madhubashini Winner of Gratiaen Prize For Her First Novel ‘There’s Something I Have to Tell You’’ »

Sri Lankan national team cricketers gagged from speaking to media

by T.M.K. Samat PERHAPS, the next thing they might resort to is to put national cricketers in hijabs so as to conceal them from the media – or, on returning from the playing field, bundle the lot into a room and place a sentry at the door. And if need be, extend that surveillance to …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan national team cricketers gagged from speaking to media’ »

How the Jaffna Youth Congress Pioneered the Struggle for Total Independence from the UK

By Tissa Jayatilaka A revised edition of Handy Perinbanayagam A Memorial Volume & The Jaffna Youth Congress edited by Santasilan Kadirgamar, published by Kumaran Publishers, Colombo, was released under the auspices of the Indo-Lanka Foundation on March the 4, 2012 at the Saraswathy Hall in Colombo. The first edition of the above publication, also edited …

Continue reading ‘How the Jaffna Youth Congress Pioneered the Struggle for Total Independence from the UK’ »

Pope Benedict to express concern over Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph’s safety to President Rajapaksa at Vatican

by D.B. S. Jeyaraj His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is expected to express concerns over the personal safety of most reverend Rayappu Joseph the Catholic Bishop of Mannar-Vavuniya diocese in Sri Lanka when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa calls on him at the Vatican later this week. President Rajapaksa scheduled to visit Britain on June …

Continue reading ‘Pope Benedict to express concern over Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph’s safety to President Rajapaksa at Vatican’ »

Gota’s BBC Interview: ‘Absolute Truth’ about Tamils and the Northern Province

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The recent interview given by Defence and Urban development secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Charles Haviland of the BBC in Colombo has resulted in the “Archaeological expert” of the Jathika Hela Urumaya(JHU) showering praises on the presidential sibling. JHU parliamentarian Ven.Ellawela Medhananda Thero in a statement to the “Dasa Desin”programme has described the …

Continue reading ‘Gota’s BBC Interview: ‘Absolute Truth’ about Tamils and the Northern Province’ »

Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism Generally Perceives Muslims to be a Grave Threat

By Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri The recent attack led by Buddhist monks on the Khairya Jumma mosque located in the so-called “sacred zone” of the Dambulla rock temple in the central province is important even though it did not develop into a larger scale clash between the Buddhist and Muslim communities of Sri Lanka. The Dambulla …

Continue reading ‘Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism Generally Perceives Muslims to be a Grave Threat’ »

HRW Urges UK to Suspend Deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka due to Reports of Returnees being Tortured

(London, May 29, 2012) –The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and review its policies in assessing these claims, Human Rights Watch said today. The next scheduled deportation of Tamils from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka is due to take place on May 31, 2012. Investigations …

Continue reading ‘HRW Urges UK to Suspend Deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka due to Reports of Returnees being Tortured’ »

Revival of community courts in Rwanda to strengthen reconciliation

By Moara Crivelente The ethnic aspect which is usually defined as a cause of conflict between Hutus and Tutsis – either historically fundamented or discursively constructed, and instrumentalized by political leaders – has deep roots with which society has to deal. A photograph of the three-day exhibition titled Lessons from Rwanda: An Account of the …

Continue reading ‘Revival of community courts in Rwanda to strengthen reconciliation’ »

Why and How People in Tamil Nadu are Protesting Nuclear Energy

By S.P. Udayakumar We have been fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) since the late 1980s. This Russian project was shelved right after the Soviet Union’s collapse and taken up again in 1997. The Indian government and Russians have constructed two huge reactors of 1000 MW each without the consent of or consultation …

Continue reading ‘Why and How People in Tamil Nadu are Protesting Nuclear Energy’ »

Text of Presidential Address by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at 14th National Convention of ITAK in Batticaloa

My greetings to all respected delegates of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi I sincerely welcome you all – the life and vitality of our party – to our National Convention here in Batticaloa. As those in service to the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, which has become the political symbol of the Tamil Nation, with its …

Continue reading ‘Text of Presidential Address by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at 14th National Convention of ITAK in Batticaloa’ »

Sarath Fonseka: Historic confluence of twin processes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The “release” of General Sarath Fonseka Former Army commander and erstwhile contender for the 2010 Presidential stakes from jail due to remission of his prison sentences by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has infused fresh excitement into the Sri Lankan Political scenario. Photojournalists in anticipation to cature release of release of General Sarath Fonseka-pic …

Continue reading ‘Sarath Fonseka: Historic confluence of twin processes’ »

The State of Human Rights in Sri Lanka – 2012: Amnesty International Annual Report

Head of state and government: Mahinda Rajapaksa Death penalty: abolitionist in practice Population: 21 million Life expectancy: 74.9 years Under-5 mortality: 14.7 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 90.6 per cent The government continued to arbitrarily detain, torture or ill-treat people and subject people to enforced disappearance. It failed to address most instances of impunity for violations …

Continue reading ‘The State of Human Rights in Sri Lanka – 2012: Amnesty International Annual Report’ »

An Appeal to the people of India regarding the PMANE protest over Koodankulam

Dear Fellow Citizens of India , This appeal is a reflection of our collective frustration and instead of being sent to the Govt, it will be presented before people of India. It is already endorsed by eminent Indians like Prashant Bhushan, Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen, Vandana Shiva, Lalita Ramdas, Partha Chatterjee, Praful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, …

Continue reading ‘An Appeal to the people of India regarding the PMANE protest over Koodankulam’ »

Shared cultures and heritage for conflict resolution: A South Asia perspective

By Dr.Sudharshan Seneviratne “A stage of resignation envelopes the community. The long shadow of the gun has not only been the source of power and glory, but also of fear and terror as well. In the menacing shadow play, forces complementing each other, dance in each other’s momentum. The paralyzing depression is not due to …

Continue reading ‘Shared cultures and heritage for conflict resolution: A South Asia perspective’ »

Colombo needs to internalize the investigation into the cause(s) for failures, and not externalise the excuses

By N. Sathiya Moorthy It could not have come at a better time, or worse. President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga’s speaking/reading about ‘home truths’ in Sri Lanka’s relations with neighbouring India coincided to the week with the conclusion of ‘Eelam War IV’ and the end of the LTTE. His references to India’s role in the Sri …

Continue reading ‘Colombo needs to internalize the investigation into the cause(s) for failures, and not externalise the excuses’ »

Being a Treasure Hunter would have been a lot more fun than this Writing Job

by Namini Wijedasa I have missed my vocation in life. I should have been a treasure hunter. I fault my parents for this. They never told me it would be so easy, or so painlessly lucrative. All you need is a good archaeological site (and we’ve plenty of those), some basic implements—and a backhoe. These …

Continue reading ‘Being a Treasure Hunter would have been a lot more fun than this Writing Job’ »

It is not possible to remove Armed Forces camps from North and reduce attention to national security

by Mahinda Rajapaksa (Text of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the nation, at the Armed Services Humanitarian Victory Parade, Galle Face, Colombo on May 19th 2012) I need not state afresh that this day – the 19th of May – is now a great historic day in our country. Today marks third celebration of victory …

Continue reading ‘It is not possible to remove Armed Forces camps from North and reduce attention to national security’ »

When you read the book “Gota’s War” you learn that it does not means Gota won the war single-handedly

By Dr. Sarath Amunugama I consider Mr. Chandraprema’s book “Gotas War” which was launched last week to be the finest and most comprehensive description and analysis of the fratricidal ethnic conflict which affected Sri Lanka for over six decades. It is also a detailed analysis of the military operations that successfully terminated the armed uprising …

Continue reading ‘When you read the book “Gota’s War” you learn that it does not means Gota won the war single-handedly’ »

Devolution and the concept of concurrency: Abolition or reform?

by Asanga Welikala Among proponents of devolution as a means of power-sharing in Sri Lanka, one of the key bones of contention about the Thirteenth Amendment has been the Concurrent List. Students in a group work to complete their art ~ The British High Commission marked the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2011 …

Continue reading ‘Devolution and the concept of concurrency: Abolition or reform?’ »

Ensuring TNA participation at the parliamentary select committee

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The political dialogue between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)that progressed in fits and starts has reached a state of impasse for several months. The current deadlock is due to rigid positions adopted by both sides on the key question of a Parliamentary Select Committee(PSC). President Mahinda Rajapaksa is of …

Continue reading ‘Ensuring TNA participation at the parliamentary select committee’ »