By Tisaranee Gunasekara “To change masters is not to be free” Jose Marti (eddosrios.org ) The photograph is iconic; Alavi Moulana, 83 years old and an SLFP veteran of 52 years, bending down and kissing the hand of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. That picture is revelatory of the current Lankan reality at multiple levels. It shows [...]
Does a Parent,Spouse,Child,Sibling or a Grandparent Become a Traitor Because he/she Weeps for a Loved One who Fought in LTTE Ranks?
Militarization of Civilian Institutions and Taking Over Private Property for “Security Purposes”is Matter of Great Concern
By Gamini Weerakoon The conventional belief was that the military at best should be confined to barracks or be on battlefields but after the much celebrated victory over terrorism the forces have not been demobilized as is usual in other countries or found civilian jobs but appear to move into civilian projects under the Ministry [...]
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says Indian Foreign Minister in Telephone Call to GL Peiris did NOT Raise Issue of Land Acquisition for Army in North
By Shamindra Ferdinando Having consulted External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday afternoon, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told The Sunday Island that contrary to media reports, acquiring land by the government for the expansion of Palaly-Kankesanthurai security zone hadn’t been raised by Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid when he phoned his Sri Lankan counterpart [...]
We Appear to be Coming Uncannily Close to Uganda-like Madness in the Age of Idi Amin Minus the Cannibalism
By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As lights are dimmed over Sri Lanka following prohibitively crushing electricity hikes, the enveloping darkness is menacingly symbolic of the crisis which our society is facing. This is even as the politically privileged siphon off massive amounts of money for useless extravaganzas, including an airport in the deep South to which [...]
BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Erroneous political thinking and analysis obscure and obstruct the path of the political recovery of the Opposition in Sri Lanka. They can be disaggregated into six myths.
BY MEERA SRINIVASAN In a quiet lane in Eluthumadduval, Jaffna, cement and concrete structures, in different stages of construction, show up on either side every few yards. Part of the second phase of Indian Housing Project launched, they will soon take the form of compact, new homes.
Muslim Organizations in Sri Lanka Join Hands to Form an ICC “Shoora”( Interim Consultative Council )
By Latheef Farook For the first time almost all Muslim religious, social and cultural and other organizations and groups, buried their differences, and met in one platform under one roof at Wellawatta Miami Reception Hall on Thursday 2 May 2013 to announce the formation of an Interim Consultative(Shoora) Council-ICC. The main purpose of ICC is [...]
Arrest of Azath Salley Under Terrorism Act Signals a new Political Witch-hunt Against Opponents of Rajapaksa Govt
By K. Ratnayake Sri Lankan police formally detained Azath Salley, the leader of the Muslim Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) on May 5 for three months under the country’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He had been taken into custody on May 2 and was held illegally for three days without producing him before a [...]
When Minorities within Particular Group go on Rampage their Own Majority Cannot be Silent Spectators-Sumanthiran
Video and Full Text of remarks by Tamil national Alliance Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran at a recent Panel Discussion on “Religion, Reconciliation and Future”: Members of the Panel, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, your Excellency and my friends, Five minutes is all I have, so I’m going to say a few things in a very disjointed way – [...]
By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Never will tyrants freely consent to the extirpation of servitude….” Thomas Raynal Of all the spectres the Rajapaksas fear, Oppositional-unity would arguably be the most terrifying. The Rajapaksas began getting jittery when it became evident that the May 15th demonstration against the electricity hike would be supported by both the UNP and [...]
Only Way Govt can Show Spirit of Reconciliation is to Talk to TNA and Agree on What a Solution Can Be-Sumanthiran
Dinouk Colombage Interviews TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran In the lead up to the proposed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in September Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran, has expressed the belief that the government is not genuinely committed to the process of reconciliation. In a wide ranging interview with Ceylon Today, he explained [...]
Confluence of Blunders Bespeaking Arrogance,Mismanagement and Bad Judgement in Washington This Past week
BY DAVID ROTHKOPF It says all you need to know about the current state of the Obama administration that the region of the world in which its greatest opportunities may lie over the next several years is the Middle East. This is not because there are any great opportunities in the Middle East. Quite the [...]
If Sri Lanka Continues in This Way it May Wind Up With Its Control Shrunk to Its Ethno- Lingual and Ethno-Religious Heartland -Dayan Jayatilleka
Dr Dayan Jayatilleka interviewed by Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe In Australia, Sri Lanka continues to dominate headlines about allegations of war crimes and the influx of asylum-seeking refugees, but comparatively little is known about Sri Lanka’s history and politics. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respective political commentators. A prolific writer, he has [...]
Legal Action at Appeal Court on Behalf of 1474 Land Owners in Valigamam North Against Land Grab by State
(Full list of Petitioners and full text of petition filed at Court of Appeal reproduced below) IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA In the matter of an application under Article 140 of the Constitution for Mandates in the nature of Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition CA (Writ) Application [...]
TNA Mounts Legal Challenge for 1474 People of Valigamam North Against State Attempt to Acquire Their Lands Unlawfully
(Full Text of Press Statement Issued by the Tamil National Alliance media office) 15th May 2013: Around 1474 persons owning land in Jaffna filed a writ application today in the Court of Appeal challenging the attempts to illegally and unlawfully acquire their private land. A further 2000 petitioners are to file on the same issue [...]
British Deputy PM Nick Clegg Warns of Consequences Before Commonwealth Summit if Sri Lankan Authorities Do not Address International Concerns
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Wednesday there would be “consequences” for Sri Lanka if its leaders did not address international concerns over human rights abuses, ahead of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to be held in Colombo in November. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told parliament “despicable human rights violations” had taken place in Sri [...]
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Mothers, wives and sisters of several LTTE surrendees are demanding that they be reunited with their family members, four years after the war. Ananthy Sasitharan, wife of Sinnaththurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan War came to an end in May 2009, but that did not put an end to the suffering [...]
Free and Fair Northern Provincial Council Elections Will Make India and Many Other Countries Review Position on Sri Lanka at UN in Geneva
By N Sathiya Moorthy More than a month after the DMK withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh Government over the Sri Lanka vote issue at the UNHRC session in Geneva, no one is talking about the ‘Tamil Nadu factor’ influencing India’s Sri Lanka policy. If anything, after a decade and more, a Government at the [...]
By Upul Joseph Fernando ‘Sunday Virakesari’ 15 July 2006 The UK High Commissioner was asked to comment on accusations that ‘divide and rule’ policies of the British colonial administration precipitated the present ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. “When the British came to Ceylon in 1796, there were three distinct kingdoms. The British made it one [...]
by Meena Menon As a child in Wardha at the time of Partition, Asghar Ali heard “horrible stories of people being killed and trains full of dead bodies.” Those stories, he wrote in his autobiography, A Living Faith, disturbed him so much that he began thinking very early in his life about why people killed [...]
BY UDHAV NAIG Many film awards have been accused of ignoring the significant shifts in the film industry. For capturing these changes reasonably well, the jury of Vijay Awards need to be congratulated. Small-budget but popular films such as Pizza, Vazhakku En 18/9, Aarohanam, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Kumki were bestowed with many notable [...]
By Dr.Jayantha Dhanapala (Text of the address by Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, chairman of the panel of judges, at the awarding of the Gratiaen Prize 2013 in Colombo on May 4, for what is adjudged as the finest creative work in English for the year, by a resident Lankan) The Gratiaen Prize was established twenty years [...]
by Kath Noble Just when sanity seemed to be prevailing over the Bodu Bala Sena, following the various vigils, rallies and protests that have been organised in the last month, the government found yet another imaginative way to agitate people – it had Azath Salley arrested. Apparently, the Police are so busy scouring the pages [...]
By Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne Kindness and care are replaced with power and command. People look for somebody who knowingly or unknowingly takes the reins into his hands. In this scenario Anoma Janadare, the famous actress and a committed feminist launched the English version of her book Punarukthi, a few weeks ago. At this occasion, chaired by [...]
Ambassador Amza Intervenes at Screening of “No fire Zone”, Pinpoints Serious Flaws and Questions Credibility of Film
(Intervention by the Ambassador P.M. Amza, Head of Mission to the European Union, at the Screening of the “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” at the Premises of the European Parliament on 14 May 2013) 1. The Government of Sri Lanka strongly protests the use of the premises of the European Parliament [...]
5000 Families in North are About to Begin Legal Battle for Their Land Rights in Vali North Pradeshiya Sabha
by Meera Srinivasan The country’s 30-year ethnic conflict may have ended four years ago, but for Gunaratnam Selvi — who remained displaced for considerable part of the war — the daily battle for food is far from over. “I pawned my earrings a few days ago because we had no money for food,” said Ms. [...]
Sri Lanka Born Canadian Author Shyam Selvadurai Returns to Literary Scene with Epic Novel “The Hungry Ghosts”
By Ian McGillis It hasn’t been a century since Shyam Selvadurai was a star presence on the Canadian literary stage, but it was in a previous century that most of us last saw him — in 1998, to be precise, when his second novel Cinnamon Gardens solidified the profile established by his 1994 debut Funny [...]
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai A board placed roadside announced,: “Keppapulavu Model Village”. Houses here are those who belonged to the final batch of returnees from Menik Farm, onetime the world’s largest facility for the Internally Displaced Pesrons (IDPs). Young returnees In September last year, public and media were denied access to this site.
By Meera Srinivasan If there is one weapon that Kumaran Pathmanathan now says he has faith in, it is education. “If only I had taken education more seriously, I would have acquired the ability to think and analyse issues independently,” he says, leaning back on his chair, at his office in Senchcholai Children Care Home [...]
“Project Leopard”: Cinnamon Wild Yala Throws a Lifeline to Sri Lanka’s Endemic Leopard-Panthera pardus kotiya
By Marianne David The lord of the Lankan jungle, the leopard is one of the ‘Big Five’ in Sri Lanka and the Yala National Park is undoubtedly the best place in the island for leopard sightings. The apex predator here, the Lankan leopard has been stealing the spotlight from other wildlife destinations around the world, [...]
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai The Indian Ocean like other seas is bountiful and its resources benefit many. But for the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen, fishing in the deep blue waters of the Palk Strait, from time to time, it also amounts to fishing in troubled waters. While both countries handle the issue [...]
Former Colombo deputy mayor and founder leader of the National Unity front Azath Salley who was released after 8 days of “arrest” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act has denied that he had apologized to President Rajapaksa to secure his freedom as alleged in some sections of the state media. Salley in an interview to [...]
By Tisaranee Gunasekara “….instead of looking for necessary and sufficient conditions of change we must train ourselves to be on the lookout for unusual historical developments, rare constellations of favourable events, narrow paths, partial advances that may conceivably be followed by others…. We must think of the possible rather than the probable”. ~ Albert Hirschman [...]
By AATISH TASEER FOUR years ago this week, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that their struggle for an independent homeland in northern Sri Lanka had “reached its bitter end.” The group had been fighting on behalf of the Tamil people for more than a quarter-century, and its defeat was absolute. Today, great sections [...]
It is Wrong for Sri Lankans to Assume that Provincial Council Polls in North Could be Stepping Stone for Separation
by N.Sathiya Moorthy Now that the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu is caught up once again after a long gap in the web of local issues like caste-clashes, and continual concerns, including drought, Cauvery water dispute and the Centre’s alleged neglect on both and more, it may be time for Sri Lanka and Sri [...]
By Indika Sri Aravinda Parliamentarian Duminda Silva has been reappointed as the organizer for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the Kolonnawa electorate. Minister Basil Rajapaksa was appointed as the SLFP organizer in the Kolonnawa electorate after the Mulleriyawa shooting incident in October 2011 in which Silva was seriously injured. However now that Silva has [...]
Sri Lanka Navy and Special Task Force Grab 1220 Acres of Forest Land in Panama Chasing Sinhala Villagers Away
By Nirmala Kannangara The Sri Lanka Navy and the Special Task Force (STF) are accused of grabbing 1,220 acres of forestlands in Shasthrawela, Ragamwela, Ulpassawela, Horowkanda and Ella in Panama chasing away the villagers whose forefathers too had been occupying these lands even during the Uva-Wellassa rebellion However though sanctions have been imposed by the [...]
Arrest of Azath Salley Shows Emergency Regulations have been Replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act
By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene So is humiliating or being antagonistic towards the Government the latest excuse that will be used to invoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA, 1979) against critics? This question is unfortunately self-explanatory as we entered into the theatre of profound absurdity last week with the PTA detention order arresting dissenting Muslim [...]
Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake Harassed and Humiliated by the Bribery Commission -Bar Association of Sri Lanka
The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Friday unanimously adopted a resolution stating that former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had been “subjected to absolutely unnecessary harassment and humiliation” at the office of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and corruption.
By Franklin R. Satyapalan National Organizer of the SLFP, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday that the government has still not reached finality on the longstanding proposition to repeal certain sections of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution considered obstacles to government’s development initiative. He said the effort envisaged the scrapping of land and police powers, [...]
by C.A.Chandraprema The main political drama over the past several days was the detention of Azath Salley and the hunger strike he had launched while in detention. During the few days that he was in CID custody Salley was being transported from the CID headquarters to hospital and back in the full glare of media [...]
By Kalana Senaratne Reading a tome on constitutional history, theory and practice – like Asanga Welikala’s edited collection titled The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 – can be a daunting task. For a start, such books have too much to say about constitutions. The more you read about constitutional documents, the more they begin to [...]
(Text of Statement Issued on behalf of the Nava Sama Samaja party by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne) Azath Sally was arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and he has been now released due to the campaign for his release by national and international democratic forces.
New “Jihadi” Magazine in English Called “Azan” Focussing on Muslims in south Asia Launched on the Web
by B. Raman SITE, an Internet monitoring group, has drawn attention to a new web-based jihadi magazine in English called Azan. According to SITE, the magazine is believed to have been started by jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its first web issue appeared on May 5, 2013.
Canada May be Alone Among Commonwealth Leaders in Adopting a Decision to Boycott CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka
By Natalie Brender It’s looking likely that Prime Minister Harper will boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Sri Lanka this November, due to that country’s deteriorating human rights and governance record. If so, Canada may be alone among the Commonwealth leaders in adopting a boycott. Other countries seem to be [...]
By Shamindra Ferdinando and Lal Gunasekera President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the immediate release of leader of the Muslim-Tamil National Alliance (MTNA), Azath Salley, after the latter denied a report in India’s Junior Vikatan magazine that he had asked the Muslims to take up arms against the Sri Lankan state. The directive was given before President [...]
President Rajapaksa Revokes Detention Order on Azath Salley After He Submits Affidavit Stating he Had Nothing to do With Terrorism
By Aisha Nazim Former Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Azath Salley, was released yesterday afternoon, ending his eight-day detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). President Mahinda Rajapaksa revoked the controversial detention order under which the Muslim politician was held after Salley submitted an affidavit to the President in which he [...]
Arrest and Harassment of Azath Salley is Indicative of the Climate of Fear Critics of Govt Must Live Under
by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne From Kotagala struggle now we have entered the battle to free Azath Sally. We got together as the Movement for Unity with Power Sharing some time back. Team consisted of Mano, Sumanthiran, Azath, Siri and I. We met regularly to discuss the implementation of the LLRC and relevant subjects. Press conferences, statements, [...]
Azath Salley,TNA Parliamentarian and a Tamil Professor Have Discussed Armed Struggle in Sri Lanka With Tamil Nadu Group reveals Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
By Premalal Wijeratne In a damning revelation, powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has stated Muslim politician Azath Salley was arrested as he conspired to mobilize Sri Lankan Muslims for an armed struggle along with a Tamil group in Tamil Nadu. Speaking to our sister paper, Rajapaksa said intelligence agencies have uncovered evidence against Salley, who [...]
By Hasitha Kuruppu and Anuradha Samuel Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain politician, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, says if Duminda Silva can perform miracles, there is no God. “All I can say is, Duminda is not a good man, but a trickster. My father’s murder was well-planned. I know Duminda’s actual physical and mental status,” she [...]
Channel 4 Documentary “NO FIRE ZONE”:Screening and Discussion at Frontline Club by Dushy Ranetunge The third instalment of Chanel 4’s documentary, titled NO FIRE ZONE, the killing fields of Sri Lanka is being preview screened at various locations in London. It is yet to be scheduled to be broadcast by Ch4 itself. It was screened [...]
Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai From last year’s World Press Freedom Day to this year’s, few things have changed in the country’s media status, if any. Activists and journalists taking part at a protest
By The Social Architects Even though the protracted internal armed conflict has ended, community members have been unable to return to their day-to-day lives. Under the administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s militarization has continued unabated. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has established numerous checkpoints and camps near peoples’ homes. Military personnel frequently patrol these [...]
Violation of Fundamental Rights Application by Azath Salley to be Heard by Supreme Court on Friday May 10th 2013
By Chitra Weerarathne The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support Friday, May 10, 2013, the fundamental rights violation application filed by the former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Azarth Salley. The petition has alleged illegal detention by the CID since May 2, 2013. The issue was in respect of an interview said to have been given [...]
“Mahinda Chintana” Is In Danger of Being Overshadowed or Overtaken by “Gota Chintana” – Dayan Jayatilleka
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Interviewed by Chamitha Kuruppu “The ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ is in danger; it is increasingly overshadowed by the ‘Gota Chinthana,’” stresses Sri Lankan Diplomat and Political Scientist Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka.He warns that President Rajapaksa has devolved far too much of his power to those close to him. “I am not sure really whose hand is [...]
THE NEED TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT (PTA) -CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
(Text of a Statement Issued by the Centre for Policy Alternatives) 9th May 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: With the recent arrest and detention of opposition politician Azath Salley, Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has once again come under critical scrutiny. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and other civil society groups have condemned [...]
From Being Indifferent to Suffering of Tamils We Have Become Indifferent to Suffering of Our Fellow Sinhala Buddhists
By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Everything is going to end in violence….and who knows what limits of madness will be reached?” Georg Forster (Works XVII) A Presidential Offspring hammers a referee, in full view of hundreds of spectators. An Appeal Court Judge has a temper tantrum in an international airport and throws a water bottle at another [...]
“Ravana Balaya” Wants Ban on Films Starring Tamil Nadu Actors Like Rajnikanth, Kamal Haaasan, Sarath Kumar and Vijay
By Ramani Mendis Secretary of Ravana Balaya, Innekande Saddhatissa Thera threatened to stop the screening of films starring Tamil Nadu actors such as Vijay, Kamal Haasan, Sarath Kumar or Rajanikanth, saying “We will not say it unless we can actually do it.” The Thera made his sentiments known at a meeting with Chairman of the [...]
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti From time to time, politicians from the South, especially during various phases of political negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have dangled a particular carrot before the Tamil community from the North and East – elections in the provinces to elect their own representatives. Tamil political parties for their [...]
By Prof. V. Suryanarayan In a unanimous resolution on 3 May 2013, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly demanded the Government of India should take immediate steps to take back control of Kachchatheevu, a small, barren island in the Palk Bay, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. The context for reviving the demand is [...]
Why Treat Azath Salley as a Major Threat to National Security and Turn him into an Internationally Known Name?
By DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” -‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919) When Sri Lanka was nominated as host of the Non Aligned Conference and chair of the Non Aligned Movement under Madam Bandaranaike there wasn’t a single dissenting voice within [...]
The Dalai Lama has implored Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to put an end to a series of recent attacks on Muslims in their countries, the Associated Press reported today. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader spoke Tuesday night about religious violence when asked questions following a speech he delivered to 15,000 people at [...]
Azath Salley’s detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be revoked and he should be released immediately. If there are indeed serious allegations of his inciting religious hostility that merit investigation, such investigation, and any consequent action, should take place under the normal law. It should also be part of a wider law-enforcement exercise [...]
Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran has stated that the expulsion of Muslims from North was an act of ethnic cleansing. Eviction of Muslim community from North within 24 hours was nothing but ethnic cleansing he said. Sumanthiran made these comments which he described as the “bitter truth”, at the 36th death anniversary of [...]
Ranil Wickremesinghe Raises in Parliament the Issue of Azath Salley Being Arrested Under Prevention of Terrorism Act
Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday in parliament, demanded to know from the Government whether the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act would continue to be used to suppress opposition politicians. Making a special statement, on the arrest of National Unity Alliance General Secretary Azath Salley, the Opposition Leader said that the present [...]
By Norman Palihawadana Irked by various quarters raising concern over the arrest of former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley, blunt speaking Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that Salley was arrested for discussing the option of taking up arms and inciting Muslim youth in a speech, in Tamil Nadu.
By Upul Joseph Fernando It is no secret that the assurance the government received that Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will definitely be held in Sri Lanka as scheduled carried India’s imprimatur. Speculation as to who in the Indian polity pulled it off for President Mahinda Rajapaksa gained considerable interest in the local political [...]
By Ameen Izzadeen The genie is out and it is difficult to put it back into the bottle, say concerned Sri Lankans as anti-Muslim hatred spreads far and wide, evoking fears of a major ethnic riot which the country last witnessed in July 1983. But the voice of the concerned citizens is a murmur against [...]
Public Statement Condemning the Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Azath Salley and Calling for his Immediate Release
7 May, 2013 We the undersigned, vehemently condemn the arrest and detention of Former Deputy Mayor and General Secretary of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), Azath Salley, by a team of officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID), on Thursday, 2 May 2013 morning, and call for his immediate [...]
By Claire Carter It is not yet known why the monarch will not attend the meeting. The Prince of Wales will go in her place, Buckingham Palace said. The news comes amid controversy over the summit, with concerns having been raised by member governments over human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. But the decision by [...]
“I had CID and NIB Reports That Mahinda was Planning to Topple My Govt With the UNP’s Help -Chandrika Kumaratunga
By Upul Joseph Fernando Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, in a wide-ranging interview, talks about her rise and decline in Sri Lanka’s turbulent politics, 20 years after her ascendance to political power, which turned tables for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that was reeling under a spell of defeats.
By Kamaya Jayatissa “I believe in the essential unity of all people and for that matter of all lives.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi The need for an inclusive solidarity between all Sri Lankans is now urgent. This includes solidarity between members of all communities, as well as members of the Diaspora(s). Such social solidarity, which [...]
By S.L.Gunasekara I recall as though it happened the other day, little A. C. S. Hameed, the former ineffective Foreign Minister in J. R. Jayewardena’s Government and later Minister in charge of various ministries in R. Premadasa’s Government, putting on what I term his ‘wise look’, looking over his spectacles balanced on the tip of [...]
By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA If Azath Salley is a terrorist in the making – a terrorist who has to be pre-empted by recourse to detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act – or a promoter of fanatical, fundamentalist ethno-religious hatred, he comes with the strangest of profiles.
Why are the Jathika Hela Urumaya,Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya Not Arrested for Inciting Hatred Against Muslims?
By Latheef Farook In the wee hours on Thursday 2 May 2013, prominent Muslim politician Azath Salley, former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Municipality and leader of the newly formed National Unity Alliance, was arrested from his daughter’s Kolonnawa house. He is now being held at the CID headquarters in Fort on a three month detention [...]
Sinhala Buddhist Hardliners Like Bodu Bala Sena Allowed Hate Speech but Muslim Politican Azath Salley Arrested as a ‘Terrorist’ Under PTA
by Ranga Jayasuriya The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has reportedly obtained a detention order to keep Azath Salley, the former Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), in custody, for an additional three months, according to the family of the detained politician. Salley has been kept in custody by the CID since last Thursday [...]
Are Sinhalese Hawks Ready to Face Consequences of Doing Away With the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment?
by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka I approach this subject as a political scientist, a former diplomat and briefly a Minister in the Cabinet of the North East Provincial Council. At the overlap of these experiences and roles is what is classifiable as a Realist perspective. As a Realist, I reject outright three myths about devolution which have [...]
By Tisaranee Gunasekara “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” Malcolm X (Advice to Youth of Mississippi – 1964) Senior Journalist J Tissanayagam was charged with creating ethnic dissension, by a regime which included such apostles of [...]
Human Rights Groups React with Disgust to British PM David Cameron Attending Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka
by JONATHAN MILLER Foreign Affairs Correspondent The Prime Minister’ s decision comes amid growing alarm over Sri LankaТs dismal and worsening human rights record and fears that permitting Colombo to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will enable the regime to whitewash allegations of war crimes.
January Twenty-fourth is the “Day that Happiness Died” for Missing Cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda’s Wife Sandhya
By Hana Ibrahim Twenty-fourth January is remembered for many reasons. Historically, it was on this day that former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill died (1965), that the American serial killer Ted Bundy was electrocuted (1989), that Robert Baden-Powell organized the first Boy Scout troop in England (1908)…. but for Sandhya, wife of missing cartoonist Prageeth [...]
National Identity Cards to be in Both Sinhala and Tamil Due to Fundamental Rights Petition Filed by Sinhala Youth
Identity cards in Sinhala, Tamil soon The relevant authorities are taking a policy decision to include both Sinhala and Tamil languages in the identity card, Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne informed the Supreme Court. The fundamental rights petition filed by A.P. Dananjaya Gamage cited Registration of Persons Commissioner General R.N.S. Sarath Kumara, Defence Secretary Gotabaya [...]
‘Tamil Govt’ in the North Could Lead to Accountability Issues Getting Pushed to Background with International Discourse Re-Focussing on a Political Solution
by N Sathiya Moorthy It takes two to tango, and come September, Sri Lanka will see which way they will go. To be precise, which way one will lead the other – or, who between the two will lead the other, where and how! In September, the promised elections to the Northern Provincial Council are [...]
Spokesperson for Galle Bishop Wickramasinghe Denies Statement to Fides Agency About “Buddhist Taliban”.
The Bishop of Galle has denied making comments about the Bodu Bala Sena or calling the organisation ‘Buddhist Taliban’ operating in Sri Lanka.
Galle Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe Expresses Fears About “Buddhist Taliban” Violence Against religious Minorities
Colombo (Agenzia Fides) – The group of Buddhist fundamentalist monks, extremist and violent seriously concern civil society and religious minorities. This is ‘the alarm sent to Fides Agency by His Exc. Mgr. Raymond Wickramasinghe, Bishop of Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, expressing his fears for what happens in the country: it is the phenomenon of [...]
Victims of Sri Lankan Govt Development Policies are not only the People of the North and East but also People of the South
By M.A.Sumanthiran M.P. The opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International airport in Sri Lanka has been hailed by representatives of the Sri Lankan government as a significant boost to Sri Lanka’s economic development. In keeping with the priority the government clearly seems to be placing in the last few years, on large scale development projects, [...]
The Hope of Provincial Council Elections Initiating and Facilitating a Process of De-militarisation not only in the North but also in the East
By Dr Devanesan Nesiah President Lyndon Johnson ranked the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the most important legislative achievement of his career – even more important than the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The latter was drafted under the direction of President John Kennedy, but was pushed through after his assassination by President Johnson. [...]
British PM David Cameron Will Criticise Sri Lanka Human Rights Record Openly at Commomwealth Summit in November
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent Calls on Mr Cameron to boycott the event risked an embarrassing split with Buckingham Palace, had the Queen travelled to the meeting as the Commonwealth’s head. The organisation decided at its last meeting two years ago to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Sri Lanka this [...]
Duminda Silva’s “Recovery” and Azath Salley’s “Arrest” Expose Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamaleshwar Sharma
by Mangala Samaraweera M.P. We were gravely disturbed to learn of the arrest of former Deputy mayor of Colombo and Muslim Tamil National Alliance leader Azath Salley by the CID on May 2nd 2013. This is yet another blatant manifestation of the depths to which the rule of law has sunk in this country and [...]
“Please Withdraw Army Personnel From North and Take Them to Hambantota,Galle or Kolonnawa –Suresh Premachandran MP
By Chamitha Kuruppu Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran asserts it is unnecessary to deploy 150,000 soldiers in the Northern Province. According to Premachandran, of the 200,000 Army personnel in Sri Lanka, 150,000 are stationed in the north. “Let the Government have any amount of Army personnel they want, but please withdraw them from [...]
Dr.Indrajit Coomaraswamy Appointed Consultant to Sri Lankan Govt to Work on Substantive Issues for Commonwealth Summit Agenda
By Dharisha Bastians Top economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has been appointed Consultant to the Government to work on substantive issues on the agenda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Colombo in November this year.
Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom Condemns Arrest of Mr.Azath Salley and Calls for his Immediate release
by Andrew Bennet May 3, 2013 – Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement: “Canada condemns the arrest of Azad Sally, leader of Sri Lanka’s newly formed Muslim Tamil National Alliance. Mr. Sally was reportedly taken into custody by Sri Lankan authorities on May 2.
Quadruple Murder Suspect Duminda Silva Welcomed at Presidential Palace but Azath Salley Arrested for Alleged Press Statement
By Karu Jayasuriya M.P. It is in the strongest possible terms that the arrest of former UNP Deputy Mayor Azath Salley must be condemned by all right thinking peoples of this country. His arrest – for allegedly inciting communal hatred under the prevention of terrorism act, is further proof that the Government continues to retain [...]
Prominent Muslim Politician Critical of Govt Arrested in Sri Lanka – Amnesty International About Azath Salley
(Text of Press Release Issued by Amnesty International Over Arrest of Azath M.Salley by the Police in Sri Lanka) A prominent Muslim politician and government critic arrested today in Sri Lanka must be immediately released or charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence, Amnesty International said. Azad Sally, the leader of Sri Lanka’s newly formed [...]
To whom it may concern, Attached is a copy of my affidavit filed in an appeal made on behalf of Mr. M Azath M Sally to the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka. Azath was taken into custody under the PTA and the police stated that according to a news item Azath has addressed a meeting [...]
by Tisaranee Gunasekara “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men”: George Orwell (The Adelphi – January 1939) On January 2nd, 2006, five students were murdered in the Town of Trincomalee. The government initially claimed that these were LTTE cadres who died [...]
By Alan Strathern Oxford University Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead? [...]
Will Daya Master of LTTE and Justice Wigneswaran of TNA Face Off as Chief Ministerial Candidates for Northern Poll?
by Harim Peiris President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been publicly reiterating and recommitting himself to finally holding the long delayed and often postponed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections in September this year, almost four and half years after the war ended in May 2009. Thereafter despite presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections, in 2010 and 2011, various [...]
One of the biggest insults a government can deliver to another — the diplomatic equivalent of a slap in the face — is for the leader of one country to refuse to attend a high profile gathering hosted by another. Well, Canada has just slapped Sri Lanka. Canadian Foreign Minister Baird greets Tamil protesters outside [...]
May Day:The rights of the working class are forgotten in Sri Lanka as political pageantry takes centre stage
by Dilrukshi Handunnetti It was not surprising to find yesterday, thousands of ‘electrocuted’ (and duped) Sri Lankans jubilantly assembling at various rallying points to celebrate International Labour Day. Not surprising, because Sri Lankans have been demonstrating unfailing loyalty to the war-winning regime, irrespective of the regular price escalations, the latest being the debilitating electric shock [...]
Will The Rajapaksa Administration Hold Northern Provincial Council Polls Or Will a Promise to India Be Broken Again?
By Dharisha Bastians In what feels like a repeat of Geneva 2012, behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by New Delhi may have tipped the scales in Sri Lanka’s favour in London last week, where the Commonwealth’s most powerful grouping decided an eleventh-hour venue shift of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet was simply not an option. In exchange, [...]
‘There Are No Human Rights In Sri Lanka’ Says Amnesty International About Country Hosting Commonwealth Summit in November
(Amnesty International (AI) has issued a news release today (may 1st 2013), one day after publishing its report about “Assault on Dissent” in Sri Lanka.Today’s release gives specific examples of continuing violations of human rights, and then puts these in the context of the CHOGM that is still scheduled, despite these continuing issues of human [...]
By Upul Joseph Fernando Just a few days before the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was scheduled to meet for business, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a special announcement regarding the much touted election for the Northern Provincial Council. He categorically stated that the election will be held in September and his astrologers are working on [...]