‘In the Face of such Overwhelming Pressures it is still Impressive that we Secured 15 votes’

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha I was first asked by the External Affairs Ministry to go to Geneva , after a lapse of a couple of years, the night the US tabled its Resolution. The reason, I believe, was the work I had done in reconciliation, since the impression the United States and its friends were …

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We can defuse UNHRC Resolution simply by taking steps to implement our own LLRC Report recommendations – Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

By Dinouk Colombage Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanmuttu, political analyst and head of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, spoke to The Sunday Leader about the recently passed US backed Resolution and what it will mean to the country. He expressed his hope that this will see Sri Lanka move forward from ‘post-war to post-conflict’. Excerpts: Q:Now that …

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‘Rajapaksa Rottweiler’ Mervyn Silva threatens to break limbs and bones of journalists and human rights defenders in public

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Running dog of the Rajapaksa regime,Mervyn Silva has threatened to break in public the bones and limbs of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders who had allegedly worked against the Country at the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) in Geneva. Vigil on 2nd anniversary of Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance-Jan 24, 2012-pic courtesy of: VikalpaSL …

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Indian Govt did what it did under pressure from the DMK and AIADMK

By Smita Gupta Pressure exerted by the United Progressive Alliance government’s southern comrade, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, forced India to vote in favour of the U.S.-sponsored censure motion against Sri Lanka on Thursday in the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging that country to probe rights abuses in the war against the Tamil …

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Sri Lanka in Geneva: Theoretical assertions of sovereign equality have no practical validity

by Ayesha Zuhair When the Sri Lankan military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 ending nearly three decades of brutal terror, I – alongside millions of my fellow citizens – was elated. Sri Lankan handicapped soldiers in wheelchairs call for the defeat of a U.N. resolution calling on Sri Lanka …

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President Rajapaksa has Brought Geneva Resolution Upon Himself -The Hindu

The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is proof that the international community disapproves of the manner in which the Rajapaksa government is addressing the fallout of its Armageddon moment of mid-May 2009 The resolution, backed by India, asks Sri Lanka credibly to investigate allegations of rights violations in …

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If India had been with Sri Lanka the vote in Geneva may have been Different

By Ameen Izzaddeen | in Geneva The final scorecard on the giant screen at the United Nations Human Rights Coucnil read 24 yes votes and 15 no votes. Eight countries abstained. Thus came to an end weeks of Sri Lanka’ diplomatic efforts in Geneva, Colombo and other world capitals. But the battle has not ended …

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Lanka adopts principled position as D-Day draws near at UNHRC in Geneva

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Even as D-day for the vote on a US sponsored resolution regarding Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) drew near in Geneva the Island nation continued to adopt what may be described as a “principled position” as its key strategy in dealing with the diplomatic …

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Attempts to suppress Koodankulam anti-nuclear struggle through deployment of armed police results in death fast by Udayakumar – PNAME

We hope you have been following the Koodankulam Anti – Nuclear Struggle from its inception. The entire populace in and around Koodankulam have rallied under the leadership of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant and have successfully with-stalled its implementation for the past 218 days.

Tamil Nadu Govt increases Police deployment at Koodankulam in readiness for crackdown

by S.P. Udayakumar March 19, 2012 – Just in: Some 10 people, including Struggle Committee members have been arrested. The Tamil Nadu State government is increasing the police strength in front of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Heavy police force has been posted in a few major junctions around Koodankulam. The ADGP (Additional Director …

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Ruling Rajapaksa dynasty must be held accountable for the atrocities they are responsible for

By Viresh Fernando An Open Letter to Sinhala Canadians Dear Fellow Sinhala Canadians: It is time that we express our immeasurable gratitude to Sri Lanka for our early education, facility in language, social skills, leadership qualities and all other factors that have led to our many successes in Canada. We can best do so by …

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‘I don’t understand why champions of Tamil Eelam are supporting US Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC’- ‘Thuglak’ Editor ‘Cho’

by R. Bhagwan Singh Cho S. Ramaswamy, the redoubtable editor of the Tamil weekly Thuglak, and a former Rajya Sabha member, tells R. Bhagwan Singh that the hue and cry in Tamil Nadu in support of a US resolution on human rights against Sri Lanka is uncalled for QUESTION: Tamil parties here and across the …

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Channel 4 Film is UK media neo-colonialist bid to ‘divide and rule’ – Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

By Arthur Wamanan and Sandun Jayawardana The documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished”, was aired by Britain’s Channel 4 on Wednesday (14). The documentary is a follow-up to last year’s controversial documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”. The new documentary, made by the same team reiterates accusations on “War Crimes” during the latter stages …

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If India Wants to Help Tamils in the Island it Cannot Vote for the US Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC

by N Sathiya Moorthy Not since the ‘anti-Tamil pogrom’ has Sri Lanka rocked the Indian Parliament as of now on the upcoming UNHRC vote. A wide view during the 19th Session Human Rights Council. 15 March 2012. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré As irony would have it, the Indian communists are on the side of the …

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Dutthagamani vanquishing Tamils and Rajapaksa defeating Tigers

by Charles P. Sarvan “Even though [Sri Lanka] has all the four world-religions, it is unfortunate that political chauvinism and religious fundamentalism have often overtaken religious values such as respect for human life and human rights.” In sharing some thoughts triggered by the above words, I acknowledge my debt to works such as Alice Greenwald’s …

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Sachin Tendulkar reaches long awaited century of centuries

By Vijay Lokapally The 100th century was nothing but a number for him. He never chased it but some of his critics did, using it as a platform to question his credibility and commitment, forgetting the longevity factor that marks his cricket journey. In this 1989 pic from The Hindu Archives, Sachin interacts with Australian …

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Channel 4 Film on Sri Lankan war causes war of tweets between singer MIA and journalist Anderson Cooper

By Claudine Zap Take one CNN journalist. Mix in M.I.A., the Tamil Tigers, and the Super Bowl middle finger incident, and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned Twitter feud. Let us explain. MIA Tweets picture of “#KillingFields” trending on twitter in UK on the night of Mar 14th It all started with the British performer …

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India in dilemma over Sri Lanka due to inability and unwillingness to talk and act tough when the time for it has come

by B. Raman 1.We have seen how the human rights violation issue is often used by terrorist and insurgent organisations and their supporters to demoralise the security forces. 2. We had seen how after the Khalistani terrorism was defeated in Punjab, dozens of police officers were sought to be harassed in Punjab on the ground …

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India’s Stance at Voting Time will be Bottom Line in Future Indo-Sri Lanka Relations

By M K Bhadrakumar Deep-rooted contradictions are surging to the surface in India’s Sri Lanka policy. The deep bonds of ethnicity, culture, geography and history make India and Sri Lanka inseparable. Yet this is also a tragic story of the imperatives of geopolitics and the compulsions of domestic politics crisscrossing plain human dignity and compassion …

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‘Going to Geneva’: TNA in the eye of a political storm

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) regarded as the premier political representative organization of the Sri Lankan Tamils has been in the eye of a political storm for the past few weeks. The TNA which contested the 2010 Parliamentary polls under the House symbol of the “Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi” (ITAK) has been mired …

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Will Sri Lanka Shift more Towards State Capitalism as Economic Crisis Worsens?

By Charitha Ratwatte A recent article by Charitha Ratwatte in the daily “Financial Times”published by Wijeya newspapers provides interesting reading about Corporatism and State Capitalism. It also focuses on various aspects of the current Chinese Corporatist model The writer describes facets of Chinese model in progress known as the “Beijing Consensus” and ponders about the …

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US Plan is to get Sri Lanka commit publicly in an international forum – US Envoy Patricia Butenis

Hello Friends, Moves initiated by the USA to present a resolution on Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has aroused much controversy. U.S Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Ms.Patricia Butenis welcomes the gathering at The Martin Luther King Jr Commemorative Exhibition in Colombo, Feb 2010-Pic …

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The high stakes in Geneva in 2009 and 2012: Dayan Jayatilleka recalls

Hello Friends The 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) has commenced in Geneva from February 27th. It is very likely that Sri Lanka would figure as item 10 on the agenda during the concluding stages of the conclave in the days between March 21st to 23rd. A wide view during the …

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Peoples control of land will be more effective through Village Peoples Councils

by Dr.M. A. Mohammed Saleem and Arjuna Hulugalle Hello Friends Tamil National Alliance (TNA) national list Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran wrote an opinion piece on the issue of devolving land powers that was carried in my blog on February 25th under the heading”Principal reasons for TNA position on devolution of Land powers”. Mr.Sumanthiran with direct experience in …

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Forging a common Sri Lankan identity based on a culture of mutual respect and tolerance

By Kamaya Jayatissa Hello Friends, Paradoxical as it may seem, I have in the past often referred to Sri Lanka as both an Island nation and archipelago of communities. Art at a children’s camp promoted by D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo and the Future for the Youth Charity in Nov 2009-Pic by Charles Haviland-Courtesy: BBCNews.com Given …

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Indian Judiciary and anti – corruption crusade of civil society activism

By V. Venkatesan Hello Friends There is an on going controversy in India about corruption on a massive scale as manifested in the 2-G Spectrum scandal. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram with former Telecom Minister A. Raja (right), in June 2010. Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini has dismissed the petition to include Chidambaram, who was …

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Will India Support, Oppose or Abstain if and when UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka comes up in Geneva?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Geneva is the name of the game as Sri Lanka prepares to face and possibly overcome the threat posed in the form of a resolution initated by the USA at the 19th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) scheduled to commence on Monday February 27th 2012. The important question …

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Marie Colvin: The uncrowned Queen of Intrepid Journalists

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj It was with a deep sense of sadness that I read about the death of Marie Catherine Colvin the respected war correspondent of Britain ’s “Sunday Times” 22nd along with a French photojournalist Remi Ochlik in Syria on February. Both were at Baba Amr, a suburb of the besieged city of Homs, when …

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Is the TNA response to LLRC Report  politically correct?

by Asanga Welikala Hello Friends, The Tamil National Alliance(TNA)is today the premier political party of the Sri Lankan Tamils. When the long delayed report by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was released the response of the TNA was eagerly awaited. The TNA did respond by issuing a devastating critique in the form of …

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Shavendra Silva ‘Debarred’ from UN Special Advisory Panel Meetings

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka was rapped sharply on the knuckles at the UN in New York on Wednesday February 22nd 2012 when its controversial deputy permanent representative Major –General Shavendra Silva was debarred from participating in meetings of the Special advisory group of which he is a member representing the Asian group of countries. …

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Direct discussions between President Rajapaksa and TNA leader Sampanthan to revive talks end in failure

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Direct discussions beween Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Tamil National Alliance(TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan to revive stalled talks between the ruling regime and the TNA ended in failure. A meeting held at “Temple Trees” on Tuesday February 21st between the President and the senior TNA Trincomalee district MP aimed at breaking …

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‘So far’ Sri Lanka is not on the agenda at UNHRC 19th sessions in Geneva

By Ron Ridenour Hello Friends The forthcoming 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHCR) from February 23rd to Marh 23rd 2012 is of vital importance to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government. Anticipating an adverse resolution against it the Govt has embarked on a vigorous campaign aimed at thwarting such …

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Downgrade and Foreign Exchange Controls in Sri Lanka : A Probability or an Inevitable Certainty?

By Dr.Arujuna Sivananthan Hello Friends As I have stated earlier ,there are many who feel that Sri Lanka is undergoing a severe economic crisis although Government propagandists do not seem to agree.Despite harsh economic realities there prevails an optimistic outlook in the Colombo corridors of power. In recent times I have been posting in both …

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Police use tear gas and water cannons to disperse UNP led protest in Colombo

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The Fort and Pettah areas of Colombo city became a battlefield of sorts on Friday February 17th when Police cracked down on a mass demonstration of opposition parties led by the United National Party(UNP) protesting over issues like the recent steep rise in fuel prices, increasing cost of living and mismanagement of …

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One Killed and eight critically injured in crackdown on fisherfolk protesting fuel price increase in Chilaw

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 38 year old Warnakulasooriya Anthony Fernand, a father of two children, was killed and eight others critically injured in Chilaw on February 15th when Security personnel opened fire on fisherfolk stridently protesting the sharp rise in fuel prices announced by the Government of President Rajapaksa. The gunfire was preceded by the widespread …

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Women in Mannar perturbed over setting up of new Army camp in Tharavankottai

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Women from nine villages and housing schemes in Mannar are perturbed over plans to set up a new Army camp in Tharavankottai. Representatives of Women’s rural development societies from the nine concerned villages met recently and drafted a petition in Tamil protesting the allocation of land along Tharavanlottai road for the purpose …

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Temerity of EPDP leader before LLRC was due to armour of immunity given by years of impunity

by Chanakyan Hello Friends, The role and conduct of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) described once as “half democrats” by its leader Douglas Devananda came in for intense scrutiny by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. The LLRC report strongly recommended action by the Government against the EPDP and other groups of a similiar …

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Tamil businessman who filed FR case against police abducted at Wellawatte by armed group in white van

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj State Terror in the form of the dreaded “white van goon squad” struck again in Colombo on Saturday February 11th 2012 when a Tamil businessman of Indian origin was abducted near his residence on Canal Bank Road, Wellawatte in the presence of his Sinhala wife and daughter. 42 year old Ramasamy Prabakaran …

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Indo-Chinese tensions and the ‘mutiny’ causing regime change in Maldives

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hello Friends There has been a regime change in the Paradisian archipelago of Maldives. Recent events leading to such a change in the Maldives Islands have evoked great interest and concern in the corridors of power in Colombo. Sri Lanka is the closest neighbour to the Maldives and there existed a strong personal …

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Madonna, M.I.A and the middle finger malfunction!

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Superbowl XLVI is over and the National Football League champions for 2011 are the New York Giants who beat New England Patriots 21 -17. The game played on Sunday February 5th 2012 at Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis,Indiana was televised live by NBC.I was one of the estimated 110 million who watched …

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Return and re-settlement of displaced persons in the North: A TNA overview

Hello Friends The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has begun the commendable task of comiling and releasing informative reports on crucial issues affecting the people of the North and East. The latest in this series is one pertaining to the return and resettlement of displaced persons in the North. The preamble of the TNA report states …

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The Sri Lankan connection of Swami Vivekananda

By Priyadarshi Dutta Hello Friends Narendranath Dutta known as Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsar and founded the Ramakrishna mission that performs commendable service in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. Swami Vivekananda is a Bengali who was born in 1863 and passed away in 1902. He was greatly responsible …

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South Asian Think Tank IPCS researcher critiques LLRC Report

Hello Friends, The Report released by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)has been receiving mixed responses. The latest critique that I read was from the South Asian Think tank – Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in New Delhi ,India.It is written by an ICPS staff researcher J.Jeganaathan based in Delhi who is …

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Sea Tiger commander Soosai’s wife Satyadevi speaks out

Hello Friends Thillaiambalam Sivanesan alias Soosai was the former commander and special commander of the naval division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) known as “Kadal Puligal” or Sea Tigers. This native of Polygandy in Vadamaratchy fought to the very end and died in Mulllivaaikkaal in Mullaitheevu district on May 17/18th 2009. Soosai born …

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50th Anniversary of abortive coup d’etat conspiracy in January 1962

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Fifty years ago on Sunday January 28th 1962 the people of the Island nation known then as “Ceylon” were rocked by a special news bulletin in the afternoon on “Radio Ceylon” (Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation)that interrupted regular programming . The shocking announcement repeated ad nauseam by a male voice on Radio stated …

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Irresponsible diaspora sections cause many problems in Jaffna

By Rajasingham Jayadevan Hello Friends Rajasingham Jayadevan is an accountant based in London, Britain. He has been and continues to e a political activist concerned about the future and well-being of Sri Lankans in general and Tamils in particular Pic courtesy of: A visit to the market in Jaffna ~ more pics-by By helpingmedia ~ …

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Rowdyism at Rameswaram by Tamil Nadu ‘activist’ mob

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Rameswaram (Rameshwar)in the South of Tamil Nadu state in India is revered by Hindus all over the world as a place of tremendous religious significance.The Island town was the scene of an ugly rumpus on the tenth of this month when a well-known Sri Lankan Tamil businessman visiting for a religious purpose …

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Sharing land powers is part of the devolution process enshrined in the constitution

By Austin Fernando Hello Friends The sharing of powers over land between the Provincial and Central Governments is currently a raging controversy. The “lands” issue has become one of the primary issues on which the Government and Tamil National Alliance (TNA)are finding it difficult to reach agreement upon. President Rajapaksa’s pronouncements on the subject tend …

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Island Mystique: Three startling differences Between India and Sri Lanka

By Alaka M.Basu Hello Friends A friend sent me an interesting article that appeared in “The Telegraph”published in Kolkota (Calcutta). It is written by Alaka M.Basu who is a professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University,USA. Ms.Basu was in Sri Lanka on a holiday recently and is captivated by its charm like …

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Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna reaches out to people of Northern Sri Lanka

Hello Friends As most of you are aware India’s minister of External Affairs SM Krishna is currently in Sri Lanka. Krishna is a Kannadiga and a former chief minister of the South Indian state of Karnataka. A highlight of the Indian foreign ministers Lankan trip was his visit to the Northern Province where many Tamils …

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Devastating critique of LLRC Report by the TNA

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hello Friends The controversial report presented by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has evoked much interest in many different circles. It is being projected by some as Sri Lanka’s effective response to the demand for an International accountability mechanism on the one hand while others criticize it as falling far short …

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Cricket team crisis due to dressing room divisions?

Hello Friends The drastic decline in the Sri Lankan cricket teams performance in recent times is a cause for concern and worry among all lovers of the game who root for our Lankan lads. It can only be cricket that draws a shop-window crowd like this in Colombo, Sri Lanka ~ pic courtesy of: twitter.com/brysonhull …

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LTTE linked overseas groups want armed struggle to resume in Sri Lanka

By Gotabaya Rajapaksa Hello Friends Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger sibling and secretary of the Defence and Urban Development ministry is arguably the second most powerful man in Sri Lanka. pic: defence.lk It is an open knowledge that the retired colonel of the Gajaba Regiment calls the shots in the Country’s defence establishment.

7 persons remanded for 15 days in Rameswaram for ‘attack’ on Sri Lankan businessman Thirukumaran Nadesan

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Rameshwaram Police has cracked down on the Tamil Nadu political activist mob that attacked Sri Lankan Tamil businessman Thirukumaran Nadesan Agitators laying seige to ahouse where Thirukumaran Nadesan had performed a puja in Rameswaram on Tuesday-pic courtesy of: The Hindu Police arrested Seven persons including “Karate”Palanisamy of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham&Kan.Illango of …

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Guerilla poet stands guard as sentinel at Jaffna Fort

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj True tale of a Tamil Tigress-4 After joining the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formally the two friends Shenuka and Nirmala were lodged at the house of a widowed mother of three daughters by senior tiger leader Murali. This lady was an aunt of Bharathan Rajanayagam who was then in charge …

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Avatar of ‘Guerillee’ Shenuka: From SOLT activist to LTTE trainee

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress’ – 3 1987 was an eventful year in the modern history of Sri Lanka.It was the year of the Indo-Lanka accord signed by Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardena on July 29th. It was in the aftermath of the accord …

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The “Flying Pigeon” Rider who sang “Una Paloma Blanca”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj From Shenuka to Niromi:True Tale of a “Tamil Tigress”-2 Gaining acceptance for military training by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) organization and being inducted into the movement after a one to one meeting with tiger leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran was a great achievement for the author of “Tamil Tigress” at that juncture …

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Most serious problem faced by people in the North-East on a day to day basis is that of militarisation

by M.A. Sumanthiran Hello Friends The recent speech in Parliament during the Defence ministry vote by Tamil National Alliance National list Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran provides a different perspective on the growing militarisation of Sri Lanka with particular focus on the Northern and Eastern provinces

Remembering the APRC expert panel ‘majority’ report

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Nallathor Veenai Seithe –athai Nalankeda Puzhuthiyil Erivathundo?” (Do we make a good “veena”(musical instrument)and throw it away in the dust to decay?)-Subramaniya Bharathiyar The on going dialogue between Government and Tamil National Alliance delegations has seen agreement on a number of issues although areas of disagreement receive wider publicity in the media.

5th Death Anniversary of LTTE ‘Mathiyuraingar’ Balasingham

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hello Friends December 14th is the fifth death anniversary of Anton Stanislaus Balasingham who served for many years as the “Arasiyal Mathiyuraingar” or political adviser to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)movement and its leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran. While the media described Balasingham by various designations such as political adviser, political strategist,ideologue,theoretician etc he …

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From Shenuka to Niromi: True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress’

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Tamil Tigress” is a 320 page book released this year by the Australia –based publishing house, Allen& Unwin. The book has a picture of an armed female guerilla fighter on the cover along with the strap line “My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war”. It is written …

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Karu Jayasuriya to challenge Ranil Wickremasinghe for UNP leadership

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Gampaha district MP and senior co-deputy leader of the United National Party Karunaratna (Karu) Jayasuriya has decided to throw his hat in the ring for leadership of the party. In a statement released by him Karu Jayasuriya has stated that he would be contesting for the post of UNP leader in order …

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Tamil Buddhism in Ancient South India and Sri Lanka

by J.L. Devananda Hello Friends The Tamil film “7aum Arivu”(the seventh sense)directed by AR Murugadoss is now running in cinemas and is a box office success. The film is based on the story of Bodhidharmar who was supposedly a Tamil Buddhist born In Kanchipuram and a scion of the Pallava dynasty. While relating the tale …

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Prabhakaran: Powerful symbol of Tamil armed struggle

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hello Friends Today November 26th is the birthday of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)Leader Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran. Had he been living Prabhakaran would have celebrated his 57th birthday today. Incidently today is also the birthday of former National Security minister Lalith Athulathmudali. He would have been 75 if he were living. Prabhakaran was …

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Countdown begins for ‘Great Heroes Day’ showdown

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj The count down has begun for “ Great Heroes Day” (GHD) on November 27th. Rival factions of the overseas Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)competing with each other to commemorate the event in Western countries where substantial concentrations of Sri Lankan Tamils are prevalent. November 27th falls on a Sunday this year. This …

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Pandemonium in parliament as UPFA-UNP MPs clash during budget speech

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Pandemonium erupted in the Sri Lankan Parliament on Monday November 21st 2011 as MP’s belonging to the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA) and opposition United National Party(UNP)clashed openly in the presence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the presentation of the budget for the forthcoming year. In what was a shameful …

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Tiger factions gear up for Nov27th “Maveerar Naal”

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj [Continued from last week-Attack on Parithy in Paris: Intra-Tiger power struggle] The French crackdown on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in Paris was launched on April Fools day . In what may have appeared to be a cruel April fools joke to the tigers in France, French law enforcement authorities engaged …

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Life and times of Karu Jayasuriya in the private sector

By Ravi Ladduwahetty Hello Friends Senior deputy leader of the United National Party and Gampaha district Parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya is a widely respected popular politician. Before he entered active politics this old Anandian had a distinguished record in the private sector. In a recent article in “The Island” journalist Ravi Ladduwahetty has written a multi-faceted …

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Attack on Parithy in Paris: Intra-Tiger power struggle

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Part II: Tiger factions gear up for Nov27th “Maveerar Naal” The October 30th nocturnal attack on senior French tiger leader Parithy in Paris is a symptom of a malady currently afflicting Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora politics. Overseas structures of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) are currently experiencing a power struggle between …

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Raviraj was a connector of people and not divider of communities

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Hello Friends, It was on November 10th 2006 that Nadarajah Raviraj the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) MP from Jaffna district and his Police bodyguard Sgt.Lakshman Lokuwella were killed in Colombo. Five years have passed and none have been penalised for the ghastly crime. While the finger of guilt pointed to the state and …

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Economic and political costs of over-extending military role

By Jehan Perera Hello Friends The war may be over but the Armed forces of Sri Lanka continue to play an assertive role in the affairs of the Country. This is more pronounced in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the Country where the armed forces continue to dominate may spheres of eeryday life in …

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With ‘enemies’ such as these, what need has Sarath Nanda Silva of ‘friends’?

By S.L.Gunasekara Hello Friends, The recent motion signed by several MP’s calling for the appointment of a Parliamentary select committee to inquire into allegations of misconduct by retired chief justice Sarath Nanda Silva has caused much excitement. Sarath Silva when serving as chief justice was regarded as being politically motivated and described as someone who …

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Low crowd of 2,500-3,000 at ‘Pongu Thamizh’ event in Toronto big blow to ‘Nediyavan’ led LTTE faction

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Less than 3000 people attended “pongu Thamizh”(Tamil Upsurge)event staged by Nediyavan led faction of pro-LTTE elements in Toronto on Oct 29 While the crowd was large by Canadian standards it was a massive drop in numbers compared to earlier LTTE events conducted at the same venue A “Pongu Thamizh” event at the …

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Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra: A tragic anti-hero

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra , gunned down brutally on October 8th 2011 was a vibrant personality who could be portrayed as an “anti-hero” of real life. The circumstances of his untimely end casts him in the mould of a tragic anti-hero. In literature, stage and screen an anti-hero is a complex character with …

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Shelton Ranaraja: Courageous politician with enlightened principles

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The demise of Shelton Ranaraja on August 11th 2011 takes away from Sri Lanka a distinguished member of a dwindling species –Principled political leaders. The former MP for Senkadagala and deputy minister for Justice was a courageous politician with enlightened principles. It is indeed a rare politician who is prepared to stand …

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Jayalalithaa in new avatar champions Tamil cause

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Actress turned politician Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s triumphant return to the seat of power in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has added a vibrant dimension to the “Intermestic” relationship between India and Sri Lanka. Jayalalithaa elected as chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the third time has in her current “avatar” seemingly …

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Jayalalithaa: From Alluring Actress to Powerful Politician

Hello Friends Actress turned politician Jayalalithaa Jayaram has triumphed in the latest elections to the Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly. Her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) led coalition has swept the polls getting 203 of 234 constituencies. She is to be sworn in for the third time as chief minister of Tamil Nadu I …

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The “See-Saw” battle between the UN SG and the SL Govt

Report on Sri Lanka by the Ban-Ki-moon advisory Panel – 2 By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Continued from last week A diplomatic tussle is going on at present between the United Nations Secretary –General (UNSG) and the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the release of the report compiled by the three-member advisory panel appointed by Ban …

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Report release put on hold pending discussion between Ban-Ki-moon and G.L. Peiris scheduled for April 23rd

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj A one to one discussion has been scheduled for Saturday April 23rd between United Nations Secretary – General(UN SG) Ban Ki moon and Sri Lankan External affairs minister Prof.Gamini Lakshman Peiris. UN SG Ban Ki moon It is learnt that the release of the report on Sri Lanka by the three member …

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Report on Sri Lanka by the Ban-Ki-moon Advisory panel

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The three-member panel appointed by UN secretary –general Ban Ki moon to advise him on alleged human rights violations and accountability issues in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization handed over its report on April 12th. It is expected that the UN Secy –Gen will publicise the contents in due course. At the time of this article being written the report was yet to be made public.

Sections of the media notably some wire services have gone to town describing the report as the “UN Report” and as the “UN War crimes report”. Wittingly or unwittingly this media “spin” has bestowed upon the report a degree of importance which it may not deserve in the final analysis. It has to be pointed out in this respect that the report in question is neither a UN report nor a war crimes report.

Positive forward movement in Govt-TNA dialogue

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The on –going political dialogue between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)has registered some positive forward movement at the third round of talks held on Friday March 18th in Colombo.

The essence of the dialogue was succinctly revealed in the following excerpt from the joint communiqué released to the press after the talks-

“The two sides proceeded to discuss appropriate constitutional arrangements to meet the aspirations of all the people of Sri Lanka. They agreed to Continue their dialogue with a view to arriving at a structure to fulfil these aspirations.”

It was indeed heartening to know that the third round of Govt-TNA talks had concluded on a positive note. Despite two earlier rounds the past few weeks had seen an escalation of political tension threatening to disrupt this dialogue.

The assassination attempt on TNA Jaffna district MP Sivagnanam Sritharan was a disturbing event. This column which reconstructed the attack in the “Daily Mirror” of March 12th made a specific appeal to the TNA that in the interests of the long suffering Tamil people the party should not let the incident affect the talks with the Govt.

Assassination attempt on TNA parliamentarian Sritharan

Assassination attempt on TNA parliamentarian Sritharan

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The abortive attempt to assassinate Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Sritharan has sent shock waves throughout the “Tamil speaking world”. Although the incident did not receive adequate coverage in the mainstream media, the attempted murder of the Jaffna district MP has rocked the Tamil people as many feared the bad days of old were returning.

S. Sritharan MP

There was a time when many Tamil MP’s and political leaders were being killed at regular intervals.

Ramifications of crackdown on LTTE in Switzerland

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The crackdown on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Swiss Federal Police on January 11th where ten top tiger activists were taken into custody is a development of enormous significance.

SI128A.jpg

[pic. Courtesy of SwissInfo.ch]

Helvetia or Switzerland is home to 40-42,000 Tamils of Sri Lankan origin. While this number is less than that of the Tamil Diaspora in countries like Canada, Britain, USA, France or Australia, the immense contribution made by the Tamils of Switzerland to the war effort of the LTTE has proportionately exceeded that of Tamils living in other Western countries.

Terrible truth of the Trincomalee tragedy

Hello Friends,

Compliments of the Season and Greetings for New Year.

A New Year dawns and the nation gears up to face what lies ahead.

In a reflective mood I went through some of the articles I had written in the past particularly about incidents of human rights violations in the North and East. One thing that struck me was that justice has not been done in most of those cases. No person has been penalised for these crimes so far. There is a climate of impunity

National Anthem: From “Namo Namo” to “Sri Lanka Matha”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A campaign is being conducted by majoritarian hawks to do away with the practice of singing the national anthem in Tamil. There are however indications that saner counsel is prevailing and that the current National anthem controversy may turn out to be a tempest in a tea cup.

Controversy however is nothing new as far as the national anthem of Sri Lanka is concerned. A retrospective gaze into the evolution and growth of our national anthem shows that the song has been mired in controversy right from the beginning.

The concept of a national anthem was introduced by the British to what was then Ceylon. The modern Ceylon nation itself was a colonial construct.It was the British who integrated different territories under their control into a single entity and set up a unified administration for the Country.

The language controversy over Sri Lankan National Anthem

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A National Anthem is a song of patriotic sentiment affirming loyalty to one’s country or nation adopted officially by that Country or Nation. An anthem becomes a national anthem through Constitutional provision, specific legislation or long – standing tradition.

Stylistically the majority of anthems are marches or hymns.They are usually written or composed in the most common language in the Country.There are however some notable exceptions to this rule particularly in multi-ethnic nations.

Ananda Samarakoon ~ pic courtesy of: sundaytimes.lk

In Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon , the song “Namo Namo Matha” written by the artist-poet Ananda Samarakoon was formally adopted as the national anthem in 1951. It was slightly amended and changed to “Sri Lanka Matha” in 1961 without the consent of Samarakoon.

President Rajapaksa initiates political dialogue with TNA

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Tamil National Alliance (TNA)leader, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan underwent heart surgery at a hospital in New Delhi on December 7th. The surgery according to TNA sources was successful and the veteran Tamil Parliamentarian from Trincomalee is likely to be discharged this week

The septuagenarian Sampanthan will not however be returning to Sri Lanka soon. Given his age and state of health, Sampanthan will be recuperating in Chennai with his family and not engage in active politics for quite a while.

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan ~ pic courtesy: Reuters

While wishing the TNA leader a speedy recovery this column notes with concern that the delay in Sampanthan returning to the fray may affect the slow progress towards an evolving political understanding between the Government and Tamil National Alliance.

Mahinda Denied Right of Free Speech by Oxford Union

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Journalists James Harding and Ben Macintyre of the UK ”Times” were about to leave the Dorchester Hotel in London on December 1st 2010 when an aide of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa came down hastily to the lobby and contacted them.

“President Rajapaksa wants to see you urgently. Can you come please?” asked the Presidential emissary.

Mahinda suffers political Waterloo at Oxford

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa suffered an ignominious political embarrassment at the stately university town of Oxford when his scheduled address to the prestigious Oxford Union was cancelled unilaterally.

A statement issued by the Oxford union stated-

“Due to security concerns surrounding Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit which have recently been brought to our attention by the police, the Union has regretfully found that the talk is no longer practicable and has had to cancel his address.

Interpol “Red Notice” issued for new LTTE leader Vinayakam

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sri Lankan defence authorities moved quickly last week to target the self-styled new leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization who is operating in Europe under the nom de guerre Vinayakam.

A team of Police and intelligence officials sought and obtained on November 24th, a warrant for the arrest of Sekarapillai Vinayakamoorthy alias Vinayakam from the Chief Magistrates Courts in Colombo.

Since the person concerned is operating in areas beyond national jurisdiction, Sri Lankan officials have sought and obtained the services of the International Criminal Police Organization –INTERPOL – to issue an “INTERPOL Red Notice” regarding Vinayakamoorthy alias Vinayakam for the alleged offence of terrorism.

Vinayagam emerges in Europe as new Chief of LTTE

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK)

Writing in these columns last week about the state of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) overseas network I noted that “the Tiger and pro-tiger structures abroad could be broadly classified into two categories”.

The first category is the group comprising organizations that are either fronts or sympathetic to the LTTE.

This category about which I wrote extensively last week ,consists of organizations such as the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) headed by New York lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Global Tamil Forum(GTF) umbrella group under Germany based Catholic clergyman Fr.SJ Emmanuel and the network consisting of LTTE branches/fronts controlled by Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan living in Norway.

What I want to focus on this week is the second category of LTTE structures which is basically non-transparent and less accountable. This category is far more dangerous because of it’s secretive style of functioning and radical aims. It is in a sense the “real LTTE” within the Tamil Diaspora milieu.

Will there be a violent resurgence of the LTTE soon?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)organization was virtually demolished in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan armed forces in a series of battles in the Karaithuriapatru AGA division of Northern Mullaitheevu district.

The LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran and almost all his senior deputies and commanders were killed along with thousands of cadres in the fighting that also incurred a large number of civilian casualties.

More than ten thousand LTTE members surrendered to the armed forces and were detained at special camps. A few thousands of these ex-tiger cadres have been rehabilitated and released. The rest will be released gradually. Legal proceedings will be initiated against hard-core members numbering about a thousand.

Rapprochement necessary between the Govt and TNA

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(Continued from last week)

The decision taken by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)to oppose the 18th Amendment to the Constitution on a matter of principle placed the party in an unenviable position of antagonising the Mahinda Rajapaksa government.

The task of spearheading the Parliamentary opposition against the amendment should have been rightfully that of the United National Party (UNP). The hopelessly divided UNP abdicated its responsibility by opting to walk out of Parliament and engage in extra-parliamentary protest demonstrations.

Piyasena on the campaign trail

Turbulent politics of the Tamil National Alliance

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Chartering a pragmatic political course based on principle may appear to be a paradoxical venture to many. In the knitty-gritty world of practical politics being principled and pragmatic would sound like a contradiction in terms.

Recent events however indicate that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is attempting to adopt a pragmatic approach based on principle.

This bid to blend principle with pragmatism and evolve a harmonised political approach has not been without perils and pitfalls. Politics of the TNA in recent times has been turbulent as the party tried to strike a middle between principled and pragmatic courses of action.

The Defence Secretary and Myself: KP speaks out – 4

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK)

QUESTION: Thank you for relating these  details  about these important events of the recent past. Your input provides fresh insight into these matters. But now I want to ask you about the present.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse ~ pic courtesy: businesstoday.lk

Let me start with your relationship with this government particularly the Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse.

How Prabhakaran met his death: KP speaks out – 3

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK)

Question: What happened finally to your plan of rescuing Prabhakaran and his family by helicopter? Why did the plan not take off?

Answer:

It’s a very sad story………

After Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony asked me to rescue his family members by air I devised a plan and made preliminary arrangements. I arranged for a ship to be kept waiting at a far –off port beyond the reach of the Sri Lanka navy. I also made arrangements to buy a second-hand helicopter from an Ukrainian contact.

KP speaks out ~ 2 – An interview with the former LTTE chief

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(continued from last week)

Question: So how did the return occur? How and why did you re-join the movement?What was your role during the last days of the war?

Answer: That’s another long story.

I was now out of the movement and leading a quiet life in Thailand with my family.I had no idea of returning to the movement though my wife felt that I would always go back if asked by Prabhakaran himself.

What is happening to the Ex-LTTE cadre surrendees?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Conclusion of the long drawn out war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization has been welcomed by all sections of Sri Lankan society in particular and the international community in general.

Even as war ravaged Sri Lankans breathe a collective sigh of relief and attempt to get on with their lives in a post – war scenario ,it is important to note that the armed conflict’s end does not necessarily mean the national question generally referred to as the “Tamil problem” has been satisfactorily resolved.

Actress Asin combats Tamil filmdom over Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has a robust Film industry. From it’s nascent stages ,film- making in the state has been inclusive in nature. Artistes and technicians from various parts of India have worked and continue to work in Tamil films. Many non –Tamils employed in the film sector have chosen to live in Chennai.

Asin Thottumkal looks up during a news conference, about her new film “Ready” which is being shot in Sri Lanka, in Colombo June 30, 2010.~ Reuters pic

Sri Lanka’s film industry too has had historical links with Tamil Nadu. The first Sinhala film produced by SM Nayagam a Tamil was shot in Madras as Chennai was known earlier. Several other Sinhala films in the forties and fifties were made in India.

Ex-LTTE Chief “KP”: The Tiger who changed his stripes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The tiger, they say , does not change its stripes. The leopard too wont change its spots. This inability or refusal to change is certainly true of the four –legged felines.

There are some – perpetually paranoid- who would say this is applicable to the near extinct two –legged tiger in Sri Lanka too. “Once a tiger always a tiger”. In fact there is a proverbial saying in Tamil “Puli Pasithalum Pullai Thinnaathu”(even when hungry the tiger will not eat grass).

Whatever truth these sayings may seek to convey, the reality in Sri Lanka is that of many members and ex-members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) changing their stripes. Ferocious felines are transformed from carnivores into herbivores. The most famous examples of this successful transition were until recently Vinayagamurthy Muraleetharan alias Karuna and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan. The former is a Parliamentarian and Deputy Minister while the latter is Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council.

There are also innumerable instances of nondescript tiger cadres dropping out of the movement and embarking on a new, violence free family life. Thousands of former tigers have sought refuge in foreign countries. Most of them lead quiet, dignified lives contributing immensely to society at large.

Yesteryears: LTTE leader Prabhakaran, ‘KP’, Anton Balasingham and ‘Col.’ Sankar

The “Intermestic” Tamil issue in Indo-Lanka Relations

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The term “Intermestic” was first used by Henry Kissinger to explain international issues having domestic economic implications like for instance the middle-eastern situation abroad impacting on the price of gas in the US. The term coined by Kissinger took the “inter” from International and “mestic” from Domestic.

It was however veteran Journalist Mervyn de Silva who popularised the term in Sri Lanka. Mervyn who was then editing the “Lanka Guardian” fortnightly and writing a weekly column for “Sunday Island” applied the term to all issues crossing the boundaries between the International and the domestic and belonged to both spheres thereby necessitating this sub- category.

The politics of transnational Tamil Eelam Government

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

A significant event in Tamil transnational politics occurred a fortnight ago in historic Philadelphia city in the US state of Pennsylvania. About 70 -75 persons gathered on Monday May 17th for a three-day conclave. The venue was the National Convention Center situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall at 525 Arch Street.

TGTE Representatives in Philadelphia

Decline of Tamil representation outside the North and East

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Whenever demands or proposals are put forward to devolve more powers so that the Tamil and Muslim people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces could have a greater role in administering their areas of historic habitation one of the standard responses is to point out that more Tamils and Muslims live outside those two provinces.

It is also an incontrovertible fact that the greater part of Tamils of recent Indian origin described generally as Up Country Tamils or Plantation Tamils or Hill Country Tamils reside in the seven Sinhala majority provinces.

T.N.A. Performs creditably in parliamentary elections

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) contesting under the House symbol of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK)has performed creditably in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections. By the dint of this performance the TNA has strengthened its claim to don the political leadership mantle of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Though results of Trincomalee district are yet to be officially released due to the re-poll scheduled for Kumburupitty polling station according to unofficial estimates the TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has won his seat there.