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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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We need freedom to create with and for everybody living in Sri Lanka

By Rasaiah Loganandan Mr.Jeyasankar says that there has been a statement in the leaflets like this, distributed at the premier of the drama “Theatre needs no spoken language and it evolutes sans spoken language several decades ago” says the leaflet” There are no such baseless lies in that leaflet. As the Tamil translator of it …

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“Dubbing Sri Lankan Conflict as ‘war without Witness’ is Simply not True”

By Frances Harrison Today marks three years since the end of the fighting in Sri Lanka . I would like to mourn the dead but still I do not know how many. Estimates range from seven to 147,000. It is a shocking difference. How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and …

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Sri Lankan Supreme Court petitioned to disqualify Tamil political parties under Sixth Constitutional Amendment

by R. K. Radhakrishnan Most Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka could become things of the past if the Supreme Court acts on a petition that seeks disqualification of the parties for retaining the demand for a separate state in their party documents, called constitutions. Long after the Tamil political parties dropped their demand for …

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Muslims’ peaceful response to vandalism at Dambulla Mosque

By Latheef Farook Muslim community’s overall response to vandalism at the Dambulla mosque by a mob led by Ven Inamaluwa Sumangala Thero on Friday 20 April 2012 has been “calm and dignified”. In one voice their message to the mainstream peace loving Sinhalese was “restore communal harmony”. This was the spontaneous response of the community …

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Sri Lanka’s Nationality Conflict: Contemporary Political Scenario

By Suresh Premachandran M.P. Text of a paper presented at a symposium in Oslo, Norway The root cause of the nationality conflict in Sri Lanka is based on two mythical believes masqueraded as history that is ‘Sinhalese are the son of the soil’ others are aliens. The island is blessed by Buddha thus, ‘the island …

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Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Three areas where swift action is needed

By Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP Sri Lanka: Reconciliation and Justice – Frontline Club, London 16 May 2012 The following remarks had been prepared in the belief that speakers would have about 10 minutes each. However, speakers were only given a few minutes for a few introductory remarks, the rest of the 45 minutes for the …

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Preventing ‘outsiders’ from entering domain will not allow Tamil Drama to grow beyond what it is today

by Parakrama Niriella A Reply to S.Jeyasankar “Kaliman Vandi and History of Sri Lankan Tamil Theatre” was the title given to the write up by Sivagnanam Jeyasankar of the Eastern University , on the Tamil adaptation of the Sankskrit drama “Mruchakateeham” assumed to be written by Chudrakha between 400 – 500 AD. This was produced …

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Denizens of the Ministry of External Affairs have no understanding at all of Foreign Policy

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP The more extreme elements in the Ministry of External Affairs have at last put their cards on the table in the form of an article by the wife of one of its rising stars. The same young lady kindly gave me an opportunity to engage in a strong critique of …

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The significance of Sri Lanka’s success at the UNHRC in Geneva, May 2009

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Reflections on the Third Anniversary of the Diplomatic Victory May is the month of the diplomatic success of Sri Lanka and its friends at the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2009. That battle and victory are now the target of criticism and historical revisionism. It …

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‘Gota’s war’ book launch function turns into an India bashing session

by R.K.Radhakrishnan The Indian intelligence agencies had a big hand in planning and executing terrorist strikes in Colombo in the mid-eighties, the President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said. Reading from a book, Gota’s War, at its launch here, he said the role India played in Sri Lanka needed “intensive discussion.” He described the events described in …

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‘Respect India’ call made at non-violent Koodankulam protest similar to ‘Quit India’ call of freedom struggle against Britain

by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. ‘Respect India’ is a call similar to ‘Quit India’ fervently made by the ordinary citizens of India here at Idinthakarai on May 8, 2012. ‘Quit India’ was a civil disobedience movement launched in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ speech delivered on August 8, 1942 at the Gowalia Tank …

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People in the North feel welfare measures by the Govt is due to Western pressure

by Jehan Perera The first green shoots of new life are emerging after a long period of drought in the north of the country, parts of which were not under government control for close on three decades, and where a terrible war was fought to its bitter end three years ago. David Hall, UK’s Foreign …

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Is GL or Sajin the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka?

By Our Diplomatic Editor The names of Sajin Vass Gunawardena and G.L. Peiris were to cause some confusion at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, South Africa last Wednesday. A Protocol Officer of President Jacob Zuma was running helter skelter trying to find out who was the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka. It appeared that …

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Over 500 people on indefinite hunger strike since May 1st in protest against Koodankulam nuclear plant

By Sam Rajappa THE manner in which the authorities have been trying to crush the agitation of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which is no longer a mere protest against generating electricity by using nuclear energy to boil water, is shocking. It is a life-and-death struggle for the very survival of government of the …

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‘Tamil Tigress’ by Niromi de Soyza: An unfolding saga describing the Best and Worst of the Tigers

By Prof. V.Suryanarayan TAMIL TIGRESS: MY STORY AS A CHILD SOLDIER IN SRI LANKA’S BLOODY CIVIL WAR. | Niromi de Soyza (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2011), pp. 308, Price not mentioned. Writing about his literary career, Robert Frost once wrote: “I have never started a poem yet whose end I know. Writing a poem is …

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This is a country that does not honour the constitution – its supreme law

By M.A. Sumanthiran MP Speech by M. A. Sumanthiran on Adjournement motion in Parliament (11th May, 2012 Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity given to me to speak on this Adjournment Motion moved by the Hon. Member for Kandy District. Before I get on to what I wish to state, I’d like to …

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Ayodhya and Dambulla: The situation in Sri Lanka is entirely different from India

by Patali Champika Ranawaka Was the JHU directly involved in the attempt to remove the Dambulla mosque? This was the question posed to me by an Indian journalist who contacted me recently. I answered in the negative. His next question was whether the JHU would go in a procession and tear down the mosque in …

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Those who are in charge of Defence establishment would be held responsible if any harm comes to Hirunika’s life and limb

by Asela Premachandra Six months after assassination of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra who was a former Parliamentarian, on an election day in Mullariyawa, now, one of the week-end newspapers in Sri Lanka has reported that “Contract” has been given to two under world gangs to assassinate Hirunika Premachandra who is the only daughter of Bharatha in …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe and Rajavarothyam Sampanthan break 30 year communal barrier

by Gamini Weerakoon National Unity receives the backing of one and all—saints, sinners, racist killers, communal lovers, fanatics, rationalists and of course all types of politicians including those of the UPFA and UNP. During and after the ’War’ every person who climbed a public platform did not fail to call for national unity. But amidst …

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Selected information from Tamil Culture In Ceylon – A General Introduction by M.D. Raghavan

Compiled by Dr. Rajasingham Narendran In his words Raghavan claims his book incorporates a number of cross-sectional studies of a number of Tamil societies in the different provinces and survey of the Northern Province, supplemented by a few incidental aspects in other provinces of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Office of the Village Officer in Nallur-in …

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UNHRC Resolution: Justice and Responsibility Confront Sovereignty, Development and Diplomacy

by Jude Fernando Part I “Dangerous pride, hatred, and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless cavalries; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but …

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President Rajapaksa orders transfer of Tamara Kunanayakam from Geneva to Havana with effect from July 1st

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Tamara Manimekhalai Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka ’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva has been transferred out from her current station with effect from July 1st 2012. Ambassador Kunanayakam was sent an official facsimile message from External Affairs Ministy secretary Mr.Karunatilake Amunugama dated May 7th 2012 which informed her that she …

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Protesting people on hunger strike against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant: Appeal to Indian Civil Society and International Community

by S.P. Udayakumar Let’s leave an Earth where our children and grandchildren can all play without worries.” – Yoko Kataoka, a retired baker from Japan. The indefinite hunger strike has been going on for the past 7 days. Some 25 men have been on the fast since May 1 and 302 women and 10 more …

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Only Mahinda Rajapaksa matters in his ‘hangers on’ govt of self-seeking ‘yes’ men

by S. L. Gunasekara There was a time, not too long ago when even a relatively small increase in prices led to consternation among the public. Thus, an increase of even 10 cents in the price of a gallon [not litre] of petrol; or of 2 or 3 cents in the price of a cigarette …

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13th Amendment Concluded Argument on Power Devolution Within a United Sri Lanka Without Revisiting Unitary State Concept

by N. Sathiya Moorthy With hopes, if not indications, of an early revival of some form of consultative process on power-devolution in the air in Sri Lanka, there is an accompanying need for contextualising some of the well-entrenched political positions on arguments in the matter. Call it names, or call it by any name, the …

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Order the Armed Forces to stop their atrocious activities against the people

by Veerasingham Anandasangaree Text of a letter sent by TULF Secretary-General and former Parliamentarian Veerasingham Anandasangaree to Pressident Mahind Rajapaksa over the recent mass arrests in Trincomalee district Your Excellency I refer to the recent incident in Trincomalee in which youth, young girls and elders were arbitrarily and unjustly arrested and a good number of …

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‘I have not Resigned from my Post in Geneva nor is it my Intention to do so’-Tamara Kunanayakam

An Interview with Namini Wijedasa On April 28, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris telephoned Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, and instructed her to leave. She was told to choose between Brazil and Cuba for her next posting. The development comes hot on the heels of the US-led resolution …

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‘We are fighting to save the 2,300 year old Buddhist Heritage that is ours’

Ven.Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero Interviewed by Niranjala Ariyawansha Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero, the Chief Priest at the Rangiri Dambulla Viharaya was in the forefront in recent times leading a protest at Dambulla to relocate a mosque which was within the sacred Vihara land, disputed by the Muslim fraternity. The issue is yet on the boil and …

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A Buddhist Monk and child abuse in London

by Dushy Ranetunge in London This is a personal journey, which has touched our lives deeply and thus I will not pretend that it is an unbiased account. I have changed the names of the persons involved to attempt to safeguard the little privacy that they have. In 2004, we purchased a home in a …

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Mobs, Monks and the Problems of Political-Buddhism

By Kalana Senaratne It is always a curious and odd little matter, to witness how even Buddhists become so obsessively attached to ‘sacred’ lands and in protecting them, commit acts seemingly prompted by hatred, delusion and ill-will. Ideally, lands should not become ‘sacred’ for simple reasons. The Buddha, in attacking the rigid and unethical caste-system …

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Thirty Sixth Birth Anniversary of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Hello Friends The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which determined the course of Sri Lankan politics for more than two decades is no more a functional entity today. The LTTE would have celebrated its 36th birth anniversary on May 5th if it was an active organization now. Adverse developments on the …

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Is Thirteenth Amendment plus the best solution?

By Victor Ivan Implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution with its attendant powers is held to be the best solution for the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, particularly by India, Western powers, Tamil leaders as well as various critics who are interested in the devolution of power as a measure of a political …

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‘Kalimann Vandi’ and history of Sri Lankan modern Tamil theatre

by Sivagnanam Jeyasankar A Response to the leaflet issued before the beginning of the performance of Kalimann Vandi the Tamil language stage production of “Mettikaraththaya” and to the performance itself The “Tamil language production of Mettikaraththaya” refers to Mirhchakadikam, a Sanskrit play written in B.C. 300-400 by Chudraka. It was produced in Tamil as ‘Kaliman …

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Kurunegala Anglican Bishop Emeritus Andrew Kumarage – An Appreciation

by Rt.Rev Kumara Illangasinghe It was with much sadness that we learnt of the passing on of our beloved Bishop Andrew Kumarage, the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kurunagala, in the early hours of April 21, 2012. He was ailing for some time, but briefly and was a wonderful relief for some of us …

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Muslim community is strongly opposed to demolition or relocation of Dambulla Mosque

By Ayesha Zuhair President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to summon a meeting shortly to discuss a matter of vital national importance. This follows a discussion he had with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem on Monday, during the course of which the President promised to resolve the dispute that has arisen over the …

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Moves on to remove Tamara Kunanayakam as UN envoy in Geneva

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka ’s ministry of External Affairs has initiated moves targeting Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ms. Kunanayakam who returned to Geneva last week after participating at the UNCTAD conference in Doha, has been informed over the telephone that she should move out from Geneva …

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President Rajapaksa a Buddhist married to a Catholic who worships at Hindu shrines has been a friend of Muslims

by Arjuna Hulugalle Man, living in community will invariably have social and political problems. This applies to a tribal society, a nomadic society, a settled rural society or a highly structured civilization, whether Greek, Roman, European or Asian. President Rajapaksa at at Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, Jan 2010-Pic by Sudath Silva-courtesy: InfoLanka Minimizing problems and tensions …

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Hate rhetoric articulated by radical Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka is uncannily similiar to that mouthed by ‘Hindutva’ proponents in India

By Sudha Ramachandran A mosque in the central town of Dambulla was attacked with petrol bombs and vandalized around 10 days ago by a mob led by radical Buddhist monks. To add insult to injury, the government has bowed to the mob’s demand and ordered the mosque’s demolition and relocation. Muslims say the mosque is …

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Tea Industry as a whole is said to be profitable while most estate operations report loss

By Dr. U. Pethiyagoda As a sector of indisputable importance to the nation, the tea industry draws periodic comments and now seems such a time. Court Lodge Estate, Kandapola-pic by: UKInSriLanka The various assessments and comments are naturally, not wholly acceptable. In fact, my long held view is that the assumed profitability of the industry …

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‘Why India? I don’t know why everybody talks about India’? – Basil Rajapaksa

By Namini Wijedasa Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who is once again playing a central role in directing India-Sri Lanka relations last week refused to clarify whether President Rajapaksa had promised a visiting Indian delegation to implement the 13th Amendment in full. Excerpts from the interview: How healthy are India-Sri Lanka relations? I think very …

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The Dambulla crisis and need for a policy for multiculturalism and post-war social integration

by Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography. The solution to the unfolding Dambulla Mosque crisis must hence build on, protect and nurture traditions of religious syncretism, …

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If ‘hand of politics’ had not deprived team of ‘full strength’ in Manila, Lanka would have been 2012 Asian Rugby Champions

By T.M.K. Samat SRI Lanka ’s fall at the final hurdle of the A5N rugby tournament in Manila last week evokes much regret. The failure to get among Asia ’s top five nations is obviously disappointing, but more hurting was seeing the triumphant march of a team of brave young Sri Lankans finally come to …

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Dambulla Mosque controversy: Conflicting versions prevail

By Raisa Wickrematunge and Niranjala Ariyawansha | reporting from Dambulla Muslims in Dambulla are still reeling from last week’s events, which could mean the demolition and relocation of a 65 year old mosque. We were there until the last minute… people were throwing rocks and stones, so we had to leave at around 1:30 pm,” …

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Immediate investigation needed for Dambulla Mosque incident

by Javid Yusuf The incidents surrounding the Dambulla mosque and its aftermath have left the Muslim community shaken and uneasy. The Muslims have over centuries lived in harmony with their brother communities and enjoyed excellent relationships with both the Sinhala and Tamil communities. This state of being was rudely shaken on April 20th when the …

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DMK Chief Karunanidhi revives Tamil Eelam demand

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Muthuvel Karunanidhi the Octogenarian leader of India’s Dravida Munnetra Kazgagham (DMK) has a flair for creating controversy through provocative pronouncements. Karunanidhi known widely as “Kalainjer” or Artiste has been the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state for nearly 19 years serving five terms in office. The latest controversy triggered off by the Tamil …

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The truth behind the Trincomalee Hospital Pillaiyar Temple issue

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj A news item published by some Tamil newspapers in Sri Lanka a few days ago stated that the Urban Development Authority (UDA) had issued a directive calling for the removal of the temple dedicated to Pillaiyar or Lord Ganesha at the Trincomalee general hospital premises. Pillaiyar at the Gopuram of Sri Maha …

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Discovering the White Van in a Troubled Democracy

By J.C. Weliamuna An analysis of ongoing “abduction blueprint” in Sri Lanka In a country that has achieved so much in literacy, education and social development, is it not indeed unfortunate that “White Van” has frightened the entire nation? Appearance of a white van assures a disappearance of some one. If you Google or do …

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Demolition of Dambulla Mosque means loss of Muslim support to govt

By Latheef Farook Prime Minister D.M. Dayaratne’s order to demolish a 65 year old mosque in Dambulla and instead build a mosque in another place strikes at the very root of religious freedom .It also shocked and hurt the island’s Muslim community. Responding to the order and expressing the community’s mood Muslim Congress Secretary and …

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Was 13th Amendment not discussed by President Rajapaksa with visiting Indian MPs?

by R.K.Radhakrishnan The events seem to be a replay. It was External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna then. It is India’s Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s turn now. A leading newspaper in Sri Lanka has claimed that no discussion was held regarding the devolution of powers to States when the Indian MPs delegation met President Mahinda …

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World Future Council: Defending the rights of future generations

By Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Ashok Khosla, Dr. Scilla Elworthy Today, vast factory trawlers are vacuuming every living thing off the floor of the oceans. Toxic wastes are being dumped on poor communities whose governments turn a blind eye. Millions of acres of irreplaceable primeval forest are purposely being burned every year, to make way …

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Indian MPs’ Sri Lanka visit: A clear message from Indian polity

by N Sathiya Moorthy The six-day-long visit of a 12-member Indian parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka could not have come at a more inopportune moment in the contemporary context of bilateral relations — after New Delhi had voted against Colombo at the Geneva UNHRC. The Indian Parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka led by Smt Sushma …

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The mysterious lady who knelt at the President’s feet and related a tale

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Last week, I was told, a mysterious lady approached the President while he was at a funeral, knelt at his feet, and came out with a terrifying story. The person who told me the story evidently thought of the lady as she who must not be named, but she was …

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I felt we had won a moral victory, a battle well fought – Tamara Kunanayagam

By Ayesha Zuhair In an e-mail interview with Ayesha Zuhair of the Daily Mirror, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam,Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, discusses the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka which was adopted at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the challenges ahead. QUESTION: A crucial report …

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Hirunika Premachandra will seek justice for her father in Sri Lanka and will not internationalize issue

by A Special Correspondent The daughter of slain Presidential Trade Union Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra said that she is in possession of vital evidence which could further implicate the chief suspect in the case pertaining to her father’s gruesome murder on October 8 last year. In an interview with LAKBIMAnEWS she maintained that she will …

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Fighting Food Fascism: The Beef-eating festival at Osmania University

by Meena Kandasamy “The university and all teaching systems that appear simply to disseminate knowledge are made to maintain a certain social class in power, and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class…. The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear …

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Wimal Weerawansa has become a joke after he left our party – Vijitha Herath

by Dianne Silva JVP MP Vijitha Herath spoke to Dianne Silva of the Daily Mirror about drama revolving around the disappearance of Premakumar Gunaratnam, the survival of the JVP and the interference of India in internal matters of Sri Lanka The White van culture Question: What is your opinion on the perceived white van culture …

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‘Sri Lanka Unites’: A Sri Lankan youth model for reconciliation

By Jonathan Kay Like Israel and Rwanda, Sri Lanka serves, for many world-watchers, as a byword for ethno-religious conflict. For almost three decades, the country’s largely Buddhist Sinhalese majority engaged in an on-and-off civil war against a guerrilla insurgency waged by elements from within the country’s largely Hindu Tamil minority. And yet, despite this bitter …

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It is not Ethical to Speak of Difficulties I Faced During the White Flag case as an Appeal is Still Proceeding

Former High Court Judge.T.M.P.B.Warawewa Interviewed by Ayesha Zuhair Question: Could you narrate your experience as a judge; how you started, where you have served, and why you picked the judicial profession? Answer: I must say that I became a judge unexpectedly. I was called to the Bar in February 1979 and since then I was …

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Kumar Gunaratnam alias ‘Gemunu’ led JVP in guerilla war against Indian Army in 1989

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The enforced “disappearance” and dramatic “re-appearance” of Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar/Kumara Mahathaya a.k.a. Noel Mudalige has evoked much interest into the revolutionary antecedents of this colourful personality who was at one time a key leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or People’s Liberation Front. Even though Gunaratnam alias Mudalige has now …

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How Gotabhaya ‘helped’ Col. Karuna go to UK on a diplomatic passport under a false name

by Ranjith Jayasundera Hello Friends, There is a raging controversy on about the abduction and release of Frontline Socialist Party leaders Kumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle. Much of the spotlight is on Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige and his alleged offences of travelling under a false passport and overstaying his visa. The Australian Govt is also …

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Sandhya Ekneligoda, Wife of missing Sri Lankan journalist speaks out to WSWS

By Panini Wijesiriwardane and Wasantha Rupasinghe Sandhya Priyangani Ekneligoda, wife of disappeared Sri Lankan journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda, recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about her ongoing struggle to discover what happened to her husband, and the continuing harassment of the Sri Lankan authorities. Prageeth Ekneligoda disappeared on 24 January 2010, after …

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‘We never deported him; he could have stayed but he wanted to leave the country’-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

by Shamindra Ferdinando Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that many of those listed missing during the war could have obtained new identities courtesy foreign governments. The recent Gunaratnam affair revealed how Australia had issued a passport (N 1016123) to the leader of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) under a different name in …

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‘Who says Sinhalese are against devolving powers to Tamils? That’s absolute rubbish!’ says Chandrika Kumaratunga

by S.Venkatnarayan Chandrika Kumaratunga speaks with “Island” Special Correspondent in An Exclusive Interview Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has vehemently rubbished the claim being made by some people in the present government that the majority Sinhalese are opposed to devolving political power to the minority Tamils in her island-nation. “Who says the Sinhalese are …

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Will launch of Frontline Socialist Party lead to revival of ‘Left’ in Sri Lanka?

By Niel Wijethilaka and K. Govindan (Nava Sama Samaja Party) More than 5,000 people packed Colombo’s Sugathadasa stadium for the inaugural conference of the Peratugami Samajawadi Pakshaya (Frontline Socialist Party – FSP) on 9 April 2012. Most were members and sympathisers of this new Left party – a breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (Peoples’ …

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‘Hey Geneva’ by Ajith Kumarasiri! Birth of Sinhala Blues?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Hello Friends “Hey Geneva” is a song performed by musician-singer-composer Ajith Kumarasiri at his live concert”No More” at Punchi theatre in Borella on March 31st 2012. It is now featured on You Tube. It was Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka ’s former Ambassador to the UN in Geneva who informed me first about …

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By downgrading ties with India and US, Sri Lanka is in danger of cutting its nose to spite its face

By Sudha Ramachandran BANGALORE – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka’s recent announcement that Colombo was considering raising the issue of the safety of India’s nuclear power plants with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been widely interpreted in the Indian media as retaliation for India’s vote supporting an anti-Sri …

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India has thrown a life line For Sri Lanka in Geneva that must be grasped

by M. Sooriasegaram Time has come for all Sri Lankan people to come together to defend the sovereignty and independence of their mother country. People of Sri Lanka have a historic role to play at this juncture. The need of the hour is to mobilise all democratic and anti-imperialist forces to compel the Sri Lankan …

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LTTE leader Prabhakaran is alive and will re-emerge says TNA MP Shritharan in Tamil Nadu

by D.B.S Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance MP from Jaffna District Sivagnanam Shritharan has stated in India that LTTE leader Prabhakaran is alive. Shritharan said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran was alive&safe& that he would re-emerge again.

Kumar Sangakkara chosen by Wisden as Leading Cricketer in the World plus One of Five Cricketers of the Year for 2011

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara has been chosen as both one of the Five Cricketers of the Year and the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2011 in the 2012 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, it was announced on Wednesday. The 34-year-old Sangakkara, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation and for much of his …

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Is Sri Lanka targeting India’s Koodankulam project as retaliation for UNHRC vote in Geneva?

By Indrani Bagchi NEW DELHI: In what is seen as an apparent retaliation for India’s vote against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka’s energy minister has said they were threatened by the Kudankulam nuclear plant, in case of a Fukushima-like disaster. “We are not Alone, We are all Together.” by Emi …

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Tamils fearful about re-appearance of disappearances

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hello Friends The Long – suffering Tamil ethnicity in Sri Lanka is once again getting apprehensive and fearful! The war between the Security forces of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended three years ago. This resulted in one set of problems faced by ordinary Tamils becoming non – …

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Strategic reasons behind India supporting the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC

by P.S.Suryanarayana Abstract: A comprehensive calculus of ethnic, political, and strategic factors has shaped India’s firm vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 22 March 2012. In a broad sense, India has cast a Diaspora Vote, which is compatible with the so-called ‘Indira Doctrine’ of the 1980s. However, New Delhi, …

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How Tamil Women in UK can Help War-Affected Women in North – East Sri Lanka Through Thrift and Credit Co-operatives

By Rajani Iqbal Today we are assembled here to commemorate the International Women’s Day that falls in March, 2012. I wonder whether the women in the war affected parts of Sri Lanka today would be happy to commemorate this day or whether they would look at it in despair due to the sad plight in …

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Is Dayan Jayatilleka the target of a witch-hunt?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj “I see, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.” – Franz Kafka in “The Trial”. April is here and it’s spring time now. My thoughts turn to Paris . …

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Anatomy of the LTTE military debacle at Aanandapuram

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj This article was first written on April 10th 2009 under the heading”Top Tiger Leaders killed in a major debacle for LTTE”.Subsequently it was updated,revised and posted under the current heading. “It is being posted here again to commemorate the third anniversary of the decisive battle of Aananthapuram that concluded on April 5th …

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‘I Used Myanmar As An Example, Just As Others Have Used Israel And Cuba As Examples’– Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka

By Dianne Silva Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Paris Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has come under scrutiny in recent days for his controversial remarks in the aftermath of the passing of the United States sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions, last month. Certain remarks that were misconstrued as having compared …

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Theepan of the LTTE: Heroic saga of a Northern warrior

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Hello Friends Today April 4th is the third death anniversary of Velayuthapillai Bhagheerathakumar alias Theepan of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). He died in the decisive battle of Aananthapuram along with several frontline commanders and hundreds of cadres of the tigers in that confrontation. Theepan like Balraj was a fearless fighter …

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UNHRC vote in Geneva shows that Muslim countries were Sri Lanka’s sincere friends

By Latheef Farook In times of crisis in Sri Lanka, Muslims countries have always come to the island’s rescue with no strings attached. This friendly gesture was demonstrated once again by Muslim countries when they voted against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka. Protest in Colombo on March 15 …

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Text of Letter sent to Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka by Ministry of External Affairs

Letter dated March 30th 2012 sent by Mr.W.A.S. Prasanna, Actg Director General (Overseas Administration) states thus: “Instances of administrative and financial irregularities resulting from your administration of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris have come to the attention of this Ministry. In this context, while noting the following instances, explanations on the same are hereby …

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‘An Insiders Account of the JVP’ By Lionel Bopage

Book Review by Prof.V.Suryanarayan Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka – The Lionel Bopage Story (Written by Michael Colin Cooke) (Agahas Publishers, Colombo, 2011), pp. 566, Price US Dollars 25/- Known to the Arab travelers as Serendib (The island of happy fortune), Sri Lanka, in the post-independence years, was neither happy …

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Distressingly for Rajapaksa administration ‘Accountability’ will be the elephant in the room

by Gibson Bateman Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, has recently given one additional reason for the passage of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva: “collective commitments.” Evidently, Mr. Peiris had been informed by one of his European counterparts that certain members of the European …

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SJV Chelvanayagam’s Son Chandrahasan will return permanently to Sri Lanka after 27 years in India

by B.Kolappan Ever since he arrived in Chennai in August 1983 after violence broke out against Tamils in Sri Lanka, S.C. Chandrahasan and his family lived with the hope that in three months they would be back in their motherland. S.C.Chandrahasan,Attorney-AT-Law,Treasurer OfERR (Organisation for Ealam Refugees Rehabilitation) – Photo: K.Pichumani History proved otherwise and his …

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India appears to have done everything possible to push Colombo into Beijing’s stifling embrace

by Ajai Sahni “If such an outcome were to be secured in Iraq or Afghanistan or, now, even in Pakistan, it would be embraced by the West as an unadulterated and righteous triumph. In Sri Lanka, however, it appears to have provoked, across much of Europe and among the most prominent international agencies – including …

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Tamil Nadu State Govt delays implementing pledge given to PNAME about releasing imprisoned protesters and withdrawing cases

Text of a press Release issued by PMANE on April 1, 2012 The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) entered into a negotiation with the Tamil Nadu State officials on March 27, 2012 with the assistance of some credible and respectable mediators. Koodankulam: pic courtesy of: thehindubusinessline.com As per that mediation, the Tamil Nadu State …

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External Affairs Ministry threatens to charge Dayan Jayatilleka under Penal Code

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj In an unprecedented and controversial move Sri Lanka ’s Ministry of External Affairs has threatened to charge the country’s Ambassador to France Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka under the Penal code! It is learnt that the External ministry’s overseas administration division Acting Director General Mr. W.G.S.Prasanna has sent a lengthy five page letter to Dr.Jayatilleka …

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Post Geneva challenge posed by Sri Lanka to British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

By Westminster Insider Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) mandarins play the long game, and, as a matter of policy doctrine believe credible domestic inquiries of war crimes and crimes against humanity provide more durable solutions than those externally imposed. pic courtesy of : facebook.com/foreignoffice For this reason, and, the improbability of securing a majority in …

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On the campaign trail in Burma with Aung San Suu Kyi

by Marwaan Macan-Markar For Aung San Suu Kyi, next week’s by-election is an attempt to reach out to the people and affirm her credentials as a unifier of Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi on the campaign trail at a village near Myeik in southern Myanmar on March 24-AFP photo-courtesy: The Hindu The political fortunes of …

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Dismantling a dictatorship peacefully in Myanmar

By Marwaan Macan-Markar (As Burma heads for an election on April 1st this analysis written in January is reproduced here due to its current relevance. The writer is a Sri Lankan journalist now working for IPS in Bangkok – DBSJ) BANGKOK, Jan 23, 2012 (IPS) – As he dismantles a 50-year military dictatorship without a …

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Tamara Kunanayakam: Fighting for Lanka in Geneva

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Many Sri Lankans watching live proceedings of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the fateful Thursday of March 22nd 2012 were puzzled by the composition of our representatives when the spotlight was on Sri Lanka in Geneva. With our learned minister of External Affairs himself being present in Geneva it …

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‘We Opposed the Resolution Because of Our Respect for the UN HRC’-Rajiva Wijesinha

by Ayesha Zuhair In an interview with Ayesha Zuhair for the Daily Mirror, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP, Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation, discusses the resolution against Sri Lanka adopted at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Question: Why was Sri Lanka unable to defeat the resolution brought against it at the UN …

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Sri Lanka should take UNHRC Resolution seriously and improve human rights record like Myanmar says Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka could learn from Myanmar which has radically changed bringing democratic reforms in the country says Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka. Press conference with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ~ Foreign Secretary of UK William Hague visited Burma in January 2012, where he met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi He told Sandeshaya …

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‘Shape karala ganna puluwan’ (Can fix it) plan of Govt failed in Geneva

By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu The reaction of the Rajapaksa regime to the successful US resolution at the Human Rights Council makes out the resolution to be, in effect, the first defeat suffered by the regime, its feeble efforts at damage limitation notwithstanding. Needless to say it should not have come to this. What passed for …

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Govt must present road map for implementing recommendations in LLRC Report

by Jayantha Dhanapala and Prof. Savitri Goonesekere The Friday Forum is an informal gathering of public spirited persons wishing to contribute to the future development of Sri Lanka within a framework of democracy, social justice and pluralism. It is in that spirit that we wish to share some of our concerns with the wider public …

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This is a struggle between powerful pro-mega development folks and powerless pro-sustainable development masses

by S.P. Udayakumar Dear Friends: Greetings! Pushparayan, the other 12 friends and I have become weaker and tired; but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike. pic by: Eunheui Nobody from the State Government or the Central Government has bothered to …

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The rise of populism: A comparative perspective from South Asia

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. I must begin by thanking the Secretariat of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats for putting together an excellent concept paper, which presents us with a very balanced view of the topic of our general assembly this year. It is all too easy to think of populism in negative terms, …

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‘We speak two noble languages (Sinhala and Tamil) but with one voice (Sri Lankan)’

By Dr.Devanesan Nesiah Some countries are predominantly monolingual. Perhaps England, Japan, France, Germany and Thailand could, subject to some qualifications, be placed in this category. The British High Commission marked the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2011 by hosting an Art Festival in Colombo, involving over 50 school children-pic courtesy of: UKinSriLanka Some …

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Post-war Northern Province: Some facts and fallacies

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran I have been concerned by the claims of some politicians, journalists, NGOs and INGOs about post-war developments of an adverse nature relating to purported settlement of Sinhalese in the Northern Province, contrary to what I could see and gather from the people living within the province. Table 1 : Population Statistics for …

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Tamil Nadu peoples protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power project

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Fifteen persons comprising eight men and seven women have been on an indefinite hunger strike for eight days now at a place called Idinthakarai adjacent to Koodankulam in Tirunelvely district of the Southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. The indefinite hunger strike is a continuation of a long drawn out peoples …

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After Geneva vote New Delhi finds itself in a precarious position in Colombo vis a vis Beijing

by N.Sathiya Moorthy History will remember two dates this week as the defining moment in the India-Sri Lanka relationship. Rather, by extension, they were landmarks in re-defining India’s evolving the 21st century equations in the South Asian neighbourhood — and by extension, in the larger geo-strategic milieu. On March 19, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told …

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We talk about victory and defeat but who really won or lost in Geneva?

by Kalana Senaratne The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, is when the world comes to an end. Miu Zhenmin, …

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